Emergency Room Career Options And Education Requirements

Working in an emergency room can be a stressful occupation but it can also be extremely rewarding. 

There are a variety of emergency room career options available for those seeking employment, encompassing a wide range of education levels.

In this article, I will walk you through the various emergency room career options available and their respective educational requirements.

Let’s get started…

Emergency Room Career Options And Educational Requirements 

Emergency room career options have to do with those careers or occupations that have to do with working in a setting where there are frequent emergencies such as hospitals etc.

There are a number of career options available if you want to work in the fast-paced, high-stakes environment of an emergency room. 

Most options require some kind of advanced education, a technical degree to an MD, and may involve state licensing or certification of some kind such as medical doctors or nurses etc.

For instance, medical doctors need to complete years of education and residency positions before being able to treat patients, while nurses need to complete a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. 

An emergency medical technician or an EMT for short, will need to have completed the relevant training and must have passed the EMT training program. 

Nurses assist doctors in their care by providing personal care services to patients, while emergency medical technicians are responsible for responding to emergency situations and transporting patients safely from the site of their injury to the closest medical center.

Different Types of Emergency Room Careers Options

Emergency room career options comprises three main groups such as: doctors, nurses, and technicians. 

As an emergency room doctor, you are charged with the responsibility of taking care of patients who need immediate or urgent medical attention as a result of any injury or illness. 

You will examine and diagnose patients to determine the appropriate treatment to administer.

As an emergency room nurse, you will be assigned to conduct the initial assessment of the patients and assist medical doctors with continued care during the patient’s stay in the emergency room. 

As an emergency medical technician (EMT), you’ll provide essential health care during the patient transport to the emergency room and update the emergency room staff on the patient’s condition.

Different Emergency Room Career Options And Their Education Requirements

Depending on the level of education desired, there are a number of emergency room career options

For instance, those who would like to earn a certificate or an associate’s degree could study to become emergency medical doctors, while those desiring slightly more education could study to become emergency room nurses. 

Those who are not intimidated by significant post-secondary education, lasting a decade or more have the option to become emergency room physicians. 

Emergency Room Doctors

In emergency rooms, emergency room medical doctors are the ones that perform medical tests on patients in order to diagnose their health  conditions or illness such as poisoning or high blood pressure attack. 

Emergency room medical doctors also write drug prescriptions and perform complicated medical procedures or surgeries, such as suturing deep cuts. 

One of the most important functions of an emergency room doctor is the evaluation of patients in order to determine who needs help most urgently. 

This allows them to maximize the efficiency of treatment and medical supplies in hospitals or clinics.

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Emergency Room Medical Doctors Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an emergency room medical doctor and surgeons is $203,880 in 2018. 

Also the employment opportunities for medical doctors may expand significantly in the near future, due to the aging population. 

Career Forecast

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of medical doctors and surgeons working in the U.S. will grow 13% between 2016 and 2026.

Educational Requirements

Someone interested in becoming an emergency room medical doctor must complete substantial amounts of formal education. 

Students applying to medical school are generally required to earn a bachelor’s degree in a science field subjects like chemistry or biology. 

At the end of their undergraduate studies, students must sit for their Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as they apply to enter a medical school.

Medical school applications are strongly competitive. 

Students pursuing a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree take intensive courses in anatomy, biochemistry and pharmacology. After medical school, emergency room-bound doctors must complete an emergency medicine residency program which will last for three or more years.

Licensure and Certification

After finishing all education and residency requirements, aspiring medical doctors are required to maintain extensive licensing requirements. 

As such , you must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). 

They commonly maintain licensure with their state’s government every few years by submitting proof of continuing education study they performed.

Specialty certification through the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) requires medical doctors to complete written and oral examinations. 

They receive either the Emergency Medicine Initial Certification (EMIC) or the Emergency Medicine Continual Certification (EMCC).

Emergency Room Nurses

Most of the work in emergency rooms is actually carried out by skilled nurses. 

Emergency room nurses are tasked with the general patient’s care in a busy, fast-paced scenario. 

They keep track of medical records and distribute medication to patients. 

Nurses also assist medical doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients during their illness and recovery stage.

They know how to care for patients with severe trauma, such as head or spinal injuries, without further injuring them.

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Emergency Room Nurses Salary Outlook

The average salary for registered nurses is estimated to be $75,510 in 2018. 

The nursing workforce is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. 

Career Forecast

Based on research, the number of available jobs for registered nurses will likely increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.

Education Requirements

Individuals who want to try emergency room nursing are required to earn either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in registered nursing. 

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission are the two agencies which can confer accreditation on nursing programs.

Licensure and Certification

Upon completion of undergraduate education, registered nurses must pass a licensing examination administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 

Nursing licenses can be renewed through continuing education courses. 

Specialty certification for work in emergency rooms is available by passing an examination. 

The Certified Emergency Nurse credential is conferred by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).

Emergency Room Medical Technicians

Emergency Room Medical Technicians (EMTs) are responsible for transporting trauma victims and patients to the emergency room in ambulances. 

Emergency Medical Technicians also attempt to stabilize severely injured patients if the need arises.

Emergency Room Medical Technicians Salary Outlook

Emergency medical technicians earn an annual salary of $37,760 in May 2018.

Career Forecast

The overall employment outlook for emergency medical technicians is very stable. 

Based on future forecasts, it is expected that job openings for Emergency Medical Technicians are to increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.

Education Requirements

An aspiring emergency medical technician needs to graduate from high school. 

Not just high school, but also vocational schools and community colleges are both good places to acquire an education. 

An emergency medical technician can proceed through three levels of training programs: 

  • Emergency Medical Technician Basic, 
  • Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate, and
  • Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic. 

Among all the three trainings, Emergency Medical Technician Basic training is a necessity for an aspiring student. 

All individuals interested in becoming emergency medical technicians must complete a licensing exam in order to  commence a professional practice.


Regardless of the emergency room career options that you decide to take.

It is important that you know that working in an emergency room means that you’re making a difference in the world. 

Nevertheless, the healthcare industry is full of opportunities for aspiring healthcare workers, meaning that any profession related to healthcare is a stable choice. 

So if you like a fast-paced environment, thrive under pressure and want to help others, perhaps working in the emergency room is right for you.

Having said this…..

I hope that this article has been helpful to enlighten you on what you need to know about emergency room career options.

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