Getting and Maintaining an EMT Certification
The requirements for becoming a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) vary from state to state. However, several steps are common to the EMT certification process. They include the following steps:
Enroll in an EMT course.
Search on the web or go to your local emergency medical services (EMS) or fire station to find out where reputable EMT training programs are offered. Talk to the program coordinator or main instructor to find out when the course meets, how long it lasts, what costs are involved, and other factors you want to know before deciding which one to enroll in.
Complete the EMT course.
EMT training programs are fairly intensive, taking at least 150 hours to complete. Review the course syllabus and understand what it takes to successfully complete the program.
Pass the NREMT or state exam.
Most states now use the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam as the qualifying test for state certification; your instructor will let you know whether another state exam is being used. You’ll want to prep a bit for either exam after you complete your EMT course.
Apply for state certification.
You complete an application and turn it in to the state EMS office, along with a fee. Some states require proof of successful course completion, and other states may require a criminal background check. You’ll want to check the state’s EMS website and talk to your instructor about the process.
Maintain your EMT certificate.
All states require you to attend continuing education classes in order to stay up-to-date on changes in practice. Several states require you to attend refresher courses each time you renew your EMT certificate, usually every two to three years. Your state’s EMS office likely has this information on its official website.