Online EMT Certification and License Info: How to Become an EMT Online

Get info about online programs in EMT certification. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

View popular schools

Essential Information

All emergency medical technicians (EMT) must be licensed, although each state has its own specific requirements. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) provides certification standards that are applicable in most locations. Some states provide their own examinations instead, while others use their own tests in addition to the NREMT guidelines.

Typically, EMT-Basic training includes at least 130 hours' worth of classroom and emergency medical experience, which can be completed in 2-4 months. EMT-Paramedic training is more extensive, requiring at least 1,200 hours or about two years of work. Individuals enrolled in a paramedic training program may also have the option to complete an associate's degree program in conjunction with their training. In addition to online coursework, each of these programs requires on-site clinical training in hospital and ambulance settings. Applicants must have CPR or life support certification, and they may be required to submit health and immunization documentation.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Cardiovascular Technologies
  • Electrocardiograph Tech. - ECG, EKG
  • Electroencephalographic Tech. - EEG, END
  • EMT and Paramedic
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Industrial Radiologic Technology
  • Medical Radiologic Therapist
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist
  • Perfusionist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Radiation Protection Technology
  • Radiological Science and Technologies
  • Respiratory Care Therapy
  • Surgical Technologies
  • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies

Training Programs

EMT certification cannot be completed 100% online. However, those willing to go on-site for portions of the practical training can take Web-based coursework. Due to the nature of distance learning, online courses are often most suitable to those who have already completed a certification program and are looking for renewal, individuals with a healthcare background or students with high motivation and strong discipline.

Hybrid EMT training is available from community colleges and some four-year universities. To be eligible for enrollment, prospective students may have to submit documentation regarding their health status, immunizations and valid CPR or basic life support certification.

Common Courses

Like traditional on-campus programs, distance learning EMT training focuses on the technical, safety and ethical issues involved in being an emergency responder. Though not necessarily required, some schools recommend that students complete classes in areas like anatomy before enrolling to help them be prepared for the coursework. Students in a hybrid EMT program learn about specific medical conditions and how to handle them, in addition to the following:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and human development
  • Safety protocols
  • EMS systems
  • Patient assessment
  • Emergency responses to specific populations (children, the elderly and those with special needs)
  • Pharmacology
  • Oxygenation and ventilation

Online & On-Site Components

For initial EMT-Basic or EMT-Paramedic training, some programs provide Web-based instruction through lectures by streaming audio and video, PowerPoint presentation, discussion board participation and self-conducted examinations.

On top of the online instruction, students need to attend weekly skill sessions and complete clinical time in an ambulance or hospital environment. Practical skills that cannot be learned online may include patient assessment, administering oxygen and bandaging.


Certification and License Renewal Requirements

To be eligible for NREMT certification, candidates must finish an approved training program and pass a written and practical exam. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, other common requirements for state licensure include being at least 18 years old and having a clean criminal background check (www.bls.gov).

Most states require license renewal after two or three years. EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic refresher courses are available online for EMTs looking to brush up on their skills. Online courses are also available for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that can count toward license renewal.

Hybrid EMT training programs provide a blend of online coursework, which is provided through a virtual classroom, and on-site practical training, which gives them real-world emergency response experience, so that graduates are ready to take state licensure exams. Depending on the student's previous education, these programs are offered at several different levels.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MS in Nursing
    • Master of Healthcare Administration
    • BS in Fire and Emergency Management
    • BS in Fire Science
    • BS in Health Science
    • AAS in Public Safety and Security
    • Associate of Science in Fire Science
    • AAS in Fire Science

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • MBA: Health Systems Management
    • MS in Health Care Administration
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
    • BS in Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Leadership Studies
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MBA - Healthcare Administration
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?