We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I get EMT Certification?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

To become an emergency medical technician (EMT), one must complete an EMT certification program. The program includes extensive coursework, practical, hands-on training, and standard examinations. In the United States, EMT certification is administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), though some states have additional certification requirements.

EMT training programs are offered at many universities, technical schools, hospitals, and community colleges. In addition, there are several fully-accredited online EMT certification programs, which allow working men and women to complete coursework in their free time. Information about local and Internet-based training programs can be found online, or by contacting a state's Emergency Medical Services Office.

There are three levels of EMT certification: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. Each level requires a progressively longer and more difficult training regimen to become certified. In order to enroll in any training program, a candidate must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED.

Certification at the EMT-Basic level involves the completion of around 100 hours of classwork, as well as several hours riding along in an ambulance or observing in an emergency room. EMT-Basic trainees learn how to perform a variety of emergency procedures, such as assessing patients, controlling blood loss, and using emergency equipment. Upon completion of coursework and practical training, trainees must pass both a written and a practical exam offered by the NREMT to obtain certification.

The EMT-Intermediate level requires trainees complete at least 200 hours of training, split between classroom work and hands-on training. EMT-intermediate trainees learn how to administer intravenous fluids and provide emergency medication to patients. Again, certification depends on passing NREMT exams after the training course is completed.

An EMT-Paramedic must obtain a two-year associate's degree and spend several hundred hours in emergency rooms and ambulances. Trainees enroll in specialized emergency procedure classes as well as general courses in anatomy, physiology, and biology. After graduation, paramedics must pass rigorous NREMT written and practical exams. In some states, the standard NREMT exams must be supplemented with additional state-administered tests and training to obtain EMT certification at any level.

An EMT certification remains valid for two years. An EMT at any level must therefore take a state-sponsored refresher course every two years to maintain his or her certified EMT status. This continuing education course ensures that an EMT remains mentally and physically fit to administer the best possible emergency care.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon82665 — On May 06, 2010

There are actually four levels of EMT: basic, low-level intermediate, high-level intermediate, and paramedic -- and there are changes coming to these levels. The intermediate might be eliminated.

Also, it is practically impossible to find an accredited online training school. The number of training hours mentioned is also incorrect. I've not heard of anyone becoming an EMT without having completed a minimum of 150 hours of training, sometimes more. Hands-on does not always require ride time in an ambulance at the basic level. Many EMTs (basic) can satisfy the practical portion of training by doing clinicals in the Emergency Room (ER) of a hospital and never ride on the rig.

Also, other requirements to become an EMT should have been mentioned such as getting inoculated, an extensive background check, fingerprinted, etc.

By anon37058 — On Jul 16, 2009

once you have bacame an EMT-Basic you must get sponsored right? how do you do that and what are the steps you must take to do so?

By mrandovski — On May 19, 2009

Does an accredited EMT certificate from NREMT count for most fire departments across the U.S.?? Or does a candidate have to get re-certified in that state?

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.