EMT Requirements

What EMT requirements are there? Here is a breakdown of various requirements that you will run into after you begin training for your new EMT career. There are 6 types of requirements that you should keep in mind when considering whether EMT training is for you, or not.

EMT Education Requirements

First things first. In order to be eligible to take EMT education courses, there are generally some education requirements for enrollment. EMT education requirements are state specific, so be sure to check with your own state’s education requirements. However, most states will have educational enrollment guidelines similar to these:

EMT Education Enrollment Requirements

  • Most states require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.

    EMT training education requirements

    EMT education requires a lot of reading – truds09

  • You must have passed a recent CPR program – if you need to find classes go to redcross.org for information on classes near you.
  • You need to be current with various immunizations. Usually, immunizations for TB (tuberculosis), Hep B (Hepatitis), and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Passed a physical examination in the past year.
  • Often, as part of enrollment, you will need to allow the educational institution to run a criminal background check on you.

After you have made sure that you have obtained all of the needed educational enrollment requirements. You can then go on to start taking EMT training classes and be on your way to gaining certification.

EMT Certification Requirements

EMT certifications are a set of standards for education and training for EMTs and paramedics. Certification requirements are usually a combination of minimum classroom hours, emergency medical system (EMS) internship hour requirements, basic life support (BLS) practical skills testing, and passing a final EMT certification exam.

EMT Classroom Hour Requirements

There are different classroom hour requirements depending on which EMT certification level you are pursuing. If you are just starting out, you will be working to become what is known as a EMT-B or basic. Each state has their own state certification requirements, including number of hours of class work. But you can expect to do about 110-120 total hours of classroom lectures, simulations and “hands on” skill training, at a minimum.

EMS Internship Requirements

Usually, there are EMS internship requirements in order to gain EMT certification. Again, each state sets their own specific guidelines. These internships will usually be done at local hospitals or ambulance companies. Emergency medical system internships are used to allow the EMT student a chance to use the Basic Life Support skills that they have learned in class in real life situations. The student will be mentored on the proper use of various medical procedures by trained EMT and EMS workers on actual patients. If the EMT intern works the required hours (around 8-12 hours) and is able to pass the evaluation done by the EMS instructors, then their internship will be completed. After that, the student will be able to take the practical skills test.

Practical Skills Testing

After the EMT student has finished his classwork and internship at local Emergency Medical Services providers, they will have to take the practical skills test. This is also known as the psychomotor examination. Your instructors in school will be able to instruct you on how to go about taking the psychomotor exam after completion of classes.

The practical skills test will involve the students to successfully use various EMT skills including:

  • Trauma assessment
  • Bleeding control and shock management
  • Bag valve mask (BVM) ventilation
  • Oxygen administration
  • Usage of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine
  • Joint and bone immobilization (splinting)
  • Supine (lying down) and seated spinal immobilization

After you have passed your psychomotor skills exam, you will finally be able to take your state’s certification test.

EMT Certification Exam

EMT training

EMT skills testing – Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

Completing the EMT certification exam is the last step to becoming certified as an EMT. Again, your class instructors will be able to direct you on how to go about taking your state’s certification exam. EMT certification tests are usually administered by a proctor employed by the state’s Department of Health. After completing the test you will receive a notice in the mail whether you have passed or failed the test. States will allow students only a limited number of attempts to pass the state certification exam.

After passing the state certification test, the student will then be able to apply for a EMT license to practice as an EMT in the state.

EMT Requirements by State

Although all states have very similar EMT training and certification requirements like those listed above, there are some differences. That is why it is important to know the specific rules and regulations for certification and licensing requirements for your own state. For further information on EMT requirements by state.

EMT Age Requirements

All states require you to be at least 18 years old to work as a full time Emergency Medical Technician. Some states allow people under the age of 18 to work as “volunteer” EMTs. Check with your own state’s Department of Health for further details.

EMT Job Requirements

What will you need to do while working as an EMT? Your job as an EMT is to drive to scenes of accidents or injuries quickly, but safely. Once at the scene, you will evaluate the patient’s condition, work to stabilize the patient for travel, and then safely transport them to the nearest hospital or other medical facility for further treatment.

You will need to be able to handle stressful situations, sometimes long work hours, and be able to deal with, at times, unruly patients. There will be times when the work can be emotionally very difficult. Car accident victims could be in agonizing pain, heart attack patients may die on the way to the hospital. You will need to be able to handle all of those situations and more while working as an EMT. If you are interested in reading more about what the day to day job of an EMT is like, check out this “day in the life” post.

EMT Physical Requirements

EMT physical requirements

Must be fit to be an EMT – photo:drewgstephens

The job of an emergency medical technician can be very physically demanding, at times. You may have to work long hours and get little rest between calls during busy shifts. Also, you will often need to lift patients and sometimes carry them long distances to get them into the ambulance. Imagine you and a partner carrying a 250 pound man down 3 flights of stairs. That doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen. Luckily, you are taught proper lifting and carrying techniques while in EMT class, but it still can be very difficult at times to transport patients at the scene.

Since working as an EMT can be so physically challenging, some states have physical requirements that you must pass in order to get certified. Check with your state’s department of health for more information.

Even though these EMT physical requirements may sound scary to some. Don’t think that you have to be a male professional weightlifter to become an EMT. There are plenty of excellent women EMTs that are not necessarily that big, but by learning proper lifting techniques, can do the job as well as any man.


That is the rundown on the various EMT requirements you may find while starting your EMT training or while working as an EMT. If you still need more information on EMT training, explore our site! There is a ton of additional information on training, certification, licensing, and qualities that make a good EMT, that you can find here at EMT Training Depot. If you don’t know where start, why not try our EMT Training FAQ? Thanks for reading!


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