The following is a list of requirements you will need to satisfy prior to becoming a licensed EMT in the State of California:
- 18 years of age
- Criminal background check, criminal records may result in rejection; if you have a criminal record it’s best to contact your local EMS Agency before you invest time and money
- 120 hours EMT Basic training
- CPR course certificate
- NREMT certification
- High School diploma not needed for EMT Basic, but is needed for higher levels of EMT
- Valid drivers license not a requisite for an EMT license but may be required for better job prospects
Find a local approved training facility and register for the 120 hour EMT Basic training. Prior to contacting the training facility you should get proof of immunization and verify with the training facility what other immunizations you will need prior to registering.
It is very important that you only register for an approved training program at a state approved facility. It is also recommended that you check that your training completion date does not fall after an approval expiry date of the training facility. In the below link for approved training facilities the expiry date of each provider is indicated in the table.
For a full list of approved training providers see here: http://www2.emsa.ca.gov:8000/trnsho
Training programs are usually spread over a 6 week period and cost usually ranges between $1,000 and $1,500.
A lot of approved training facilities also offer CPR certification courses. It would make sense for an applicant to choose a training facility that does indeed offer both the EMT and CPR training courses. Applicants should also talk to the training provider about the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) psychomotor examination and whether they will be able to provide such a certificate (see next step).
Upon completion you will receive a certificate that is needed for the state EMT license application.
EMT license applicants must pass the NREMT exams, which are made up of two parts, a written cognitive exam and a psychomotor exam. For the written exam an applicant will need to register with the NREMT (http://www.nremt.org) and pay the $70 application fee. When the applicant is ready to take the exam they will need to get in touch with Pearson Vue (http://www.vue.com) who provide the computer based testing for the NREMT exam.
For the psychomotor examination you should check with your EMT training provider whether they are able to provide such certification in conjunction with the EMT course. Note that fees for this certificate may apply.
Once the applicant has received certification for both exams they will be issued with an NREMT certificate which is valid for 2 years; this certificate is needed for the state EMT license application.
For some tips and recommendations on preparing for these exams take a look at our Preparing For NREMT Exams page.
EMT Applicants must submit fingerprints electronically for a criminal background check using the Live Scan Service. Only forms received from a local EMS Agency should be used; a list of EMS agencies can be found here: http://www.emsa.ca.gov/local/default.asp
Note that a fee of $51 must be paid at the Live Scan site.
In order to submit an application an applicant must do the following:
- Complete the local EMS Agency’s EMT application
- Include certificate of EMT course
- Include documentation of passing NREMT exams
- Include proof of CPR course completion
- Include proof of Live Scan including ATI number
- Include copy of valid legal photo ID
- Include payment of initial certification fee of $155 (check or money order)
Knowing all these steps in advance will greatly help in planning your training and ensuring a quick and efficient process as possible.