Emergency Medical Technician

EMT at a Glance

  • Average starting salary: $26,000 per year
  • Level of patient contact: High
  • Length of program: 1 semester
  • Program Location: Belleville, Granite City and Red Bud campuses, and off-campus sites
  • Program Start Time: Every semester
  • Morning, Afternoon and Evening classes
  • Prepare for National Registry Exam

More Information

After reviewing the information found on this page, interested students should contact Program Coordinator, Curt Schmittling.

Back to Top Job Description

Southwestern Illinois College's EMT program prepares students for the basic level of pre-hospital care in emergency medicine.

An EMT-Basic:

  • Assesses a patient's condition
  • Manages respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies
  • Cares for patients at the scene of an accident
  • Cares for patients while transporting them to the hospital under the supervision of a physician

Career Resources

The SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center offers a Career Mentor program, including job shadowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides EMT career information.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website provides additional information.

Back to Top Career Opportunities

EMTs are employed by a variety of organizations, including:

  • Fire Departments
  • Hospitals
  • Private Ambulance Services
  • Police Departments
  • Helicopter Flight Crews
  • Security Agencies

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment is projected to grow 24 percent between 2014 and 2024 as paid emergency medical technician positions replace unpaid volunteers and competition will be greater for jobs in local fire, police and rescue squad departments than in private ambulance services. Opportunities are best for those who have advanced certification.

Back to Top Salary

Average Salary

According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services Salary & Workplace Survey in 2009, the average salary is $26,000 for an EMT. Earnings of EMTs depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual’s training and experience.

Back to Top Enrollment Requirements

To enroll in the EMT program, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete the SWIC placement test with eligibility for English 101 or greater and Math 94 or greater
  2. Be 18 years of age to test for licensure
  3. Graduate from high school or have proof of GED

Back to Top Course Sequence

Emergency Medical Technician Certificate

The Emergency Medical Technician Certificate consists of a single course, EMS 110 - Emergency Medical Technician.

This is an 8-credit-hour course with 4 hours of lecture time and 6 hours of lab time, which can be completed in one semester. During this course, students will learn emergency treatment procedures both in a classroom setting and in clinical practice at area hospitals. Students will experience 24 hours of observation in an emergency room. EMS 110 is offered at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City and Red Bud campuses as well as various off-campus sites.

Back to Top Program Capacity

EMS 110 - Emergency Medical Technician is an 8-credit-hour course that can be completed in one semester. This course is available during the spring, summer and fall semesters.

View SWIC's Course Schedule to search for specific classes.

Spring and Fall Semesters

During both the spring and fall semesters, EMS 110 is offered in a 16-week format. Typically, there are 5 or more sections of the class at a variety of times and days of the week to accommodate student schedules.

The capacity for each class section is 20 students.

Summer Semester

During the summer semester, EMS 110 is offered in an 8-week format. There are typically fewer sections available and students should be aware that summer semester classes may be more challenging.

The capacity for each class section is 20 students.

Back to Top Program Location

Spring and Fall Locations

During the spring and fall semesters, EMS 110 is offered at a variety of locations, including: Belleville Campus, Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, Red Bud Campus and a variety of off-campus sites.

Summer Locations

During the summer semester, EMS 110 is primarily offered at the Belleville Campus.

Back to Top Program Cost

Emergency Medical Technician Certificate

For details, see the EMT Certificate Cost Sheet

Back to Top Time Commitment

Class Time

EMS 110 is an 8-credit-hour course with 4 hours of lecture time and 6 hours of lab time. This means that students can expect to attend classes approximately 10 total hours per week (20 hours per week during the summer semester). This course can be completed in 16 weeks during the spring and fall semesters or 8 weeks during the summer semester. In addition to regular class meetings, students will be required to attend occasional Saturday meetings for specialized testing and instruction.

Students should check the location and schedule of classes to ensure availability and access. Students are responsible for their own transportation and attendance at any of the classes assigned by the program.

Study Time

For each hour of class time spent in lecture, students should plan to spend 2 hours outside of class for study time, homework and completing assignments. For each hour of class time spent in the lab, students should spend an equal amount of time outside of class practicing skills.

Back to Top Additional Requirements

The following criteria are required of all enrolled students and all information will be explained in detail by the program coordinator or course instructors.

Orientation & Performance

Students enrolled in the EMT program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Any applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

EMTs must:

  • Have excellent judgment
  • Have the ability to prioritize decisions and act quickly in the best interest of the patient while following the physician's directives
  • Possess strong communication skills (spoken and written)
  • Have the ability to function independently in a constantly changing, non-structured environment
  • Have good physical stamina, endurance and body condition that would not be adversely affected by frequently having to walk, stand, crawl, lift, carry and balance at times in excess of 125 pounds


Students should be aware that health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Malpractice insurance is provided by the college through assessment of lab fees.

Background Check

Criminal background check, random drug test and name search on government registries that prohibit employment in health care professions are conducted at the beginning of classes. The cost of these services is approximately $87 with an additional fee of $13 per state (other than Illinois and Missouri), in which the student has lived or worked since the age of 18.

Students with positive results on the drug test or listed on a prohibitory government registry will be dismissed from the program.  If drug test results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test. Medical marijuana, which is not FDA approved, is also considered a positive drug testing result. Dismissal for positive criminal background check, drug test or listing on a government registry does not qualify students for refund of tuition or lab fees. Students who have concerns regarding their status with the above regulations are encouraged to discuss the matter with the program coordinator or coordinator’s assistant prior to seeking admission.

Back to Top Program Recognition

The SWIC Emergency Medical Technician course is recognized and approved by:

The Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761
phone: 217-782-4977
fax: 217-782-3987
email: DPH.MAILUS@illinois.gov

The program’s curriculum is guided by the standards developed by U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compliance with this curriculum helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians.

Back to Top Work Requirements

National Certification

Upon successful completion of the one-semester course, EMS 110 - Emergency Medical Technician, students are awarded an Emergency Medical Services certificate and are eligible to apply for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination.

State Licensure

After students complete the NREMT examination successfully, they may apply for Illinois licensure through the local EMS System Coordinator. Refer to Illinois Department of Public Health website for more information on the various EMT level national examinations offered in Illinois.