students in ambulance

EMT: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How much does the course cost?
A: Based on in-station tuition rates, prepare to spend between $2,800 and $3,000. This estimate includes tuition, books, testing & professional fees.

Q: Can I just go to paramedic school?
A: No, you must first become a state licensed EMT before you can become a paramedic. In order to apply to most paramedic programs, you need at least 1 year of EMT experience.

Q: Can I get financial aid for this course?
A: Yes, the EMT and AEMT programs are eligible for FAFSA, Pell Grant, Lottery Scholarships, and GI Benefits. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Financial Aid Services.

Q: What is advanced EMT and is that longer?
A: EMTs will transition to Advanced EMT which will bring with it broader knowledge and a higher skill set. This course will be two semesters rather than one and will require more clinical rotation hours.

Q: If I miss a class, can I make it up by attending a class in one of the other class sections?
A: No. While all class sections are taught using the same curriculum and textbooks, the classes are on a slightly different schedule.

Q: How much does an EMT make a year?
A: The average starting salary in the Nashville area is between $28,000 and $31,000 a year. Your salary will depend on a variety of factors and should be discussed with your employer.

Q: What if there might be something on my background check?
A: Our clinical affiliates require background checks as part of their process for screening potential interns. Once an applicant submits a background check online, the company emails the results of that check to a secured account at the College. There are three potential results (based on the criteria of the company doing the background check, not the program or our clinical affiliates) the College could receive: Green, Yellow, and Red. If the results show Green, no further action is necessary. If the results show Yellow or Red, the applicant must request that a detailed summary of the background check be sent to the College. The College then submits the background check, without identifying the applicant, to each of our clinical sites for them to use in determining if they will allow an applicant access to their facilities. If even one site declines access, the applicant will be unable to complete the clinical portion of the class. This would make the applicant unable to pass the course and apply for a Tennessee EMT-IV license. If you think or know there are items that will show up on your background check, and want to know if any past record would keep you from registering for EMT or Paramedic class, you will have to submit a background check online in the same manner as someone who has already registered for the class. We will then follow our procedure with our clinical affiliates. There is a cost for each background check, and you may have to submit another background check after registering for the class because there is an expiration date on the background check (usually 30 days). There is also a background check done by the State of Tennessee whenever a student submits a license application to the State. The State reviews this background check and makes their determination on a case-by-case basis. Neither the College nor the EMS Education Department has any input in, or control over, the State’s decision to grant or deny a license based on the results of this background check. The only way to know if you would pass this background check is to submit an application for a license. The only way to submit an application is to complete either an EMT or Paramedic.

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