EMT - Emergency Medical Technicians

  • Cost: $104
  • Renews every 2-3 years


In Person


The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) certification validates the knowledge and skills of professionals providing out-of-hospital medical care and transportation for emergent and critical patients. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) offers the EMT exam, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).


To be eligible to take the EMT exam, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a state-approved EMT course within the last 2 years that meets the National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards, with verified completion by the program director on the National Registry website

  • Hold a current CPR-BLS for healthcare providers, or an equivalent credential

Completion Time: Candidates have 2 hours to complete the NREMT cognitive exam

Cost: Cognitive Exam Fee: $104

Course Format

Exam Format

The EMT certification consists of a cognitive exam by NREMT and a psychomotor exam offered by the state EMS office or the applicant's training institution.

The NREMT cognitive exam includes 70-120 multiple-choice questions and 10 pilot questions. It takes 2 hours to complete. The exam is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), individualized to the candidate’s skill level. Exam topics include:

  • Airway, Respiration & Ventilation (18-22%)

  • Cardiology & Resuscitation (20-24%)

  • Trauma (14-18%)

  • Medical, Obstetrics & Gynecology (27-31%)

  • EMS Operations (10-14%)

Test Dates

Applicants may register to take the exam anytime based on availability at their selected Pearson VUE Testing Center. They may also take the exam at home via Pearson VUE’s online proctoring platform, OnVUE.

Exam Registration

After payment, applicants receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Their ATT appears on their NREMT account; it won’t be mailed or emailed. ATTs are valid for 90 days. To view an ATT:

  • Log in to the NREMT account 

  • Click “CBT Candidate”

  • Hit“My Applications”

  • Click “Application Status/ATTs”

  • Select “Current Applications”

  • Choose “Print/View Authorization to Test Letter”

To register, applicants must sign in or create a Pearson VUE Web account with the National Registry Candidate ID from the ATT letter. They may schedule exam appointments up to 1 day in advance.

Test Results

Test results are available 1 to 2 days after the test and NREMT posts results on the applicant’s account. To access results:

  • Log in to NREMT account 

  • Select “View All Certification Applications”

  • Click “View All Certification Applications”

  • Hit “Results”

  • Click “Print Exam Results”

In Person
  • Arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before exam time

  • Bring 2 forms of identification

  • Store personal items in provided lockers

    • Food and drinks aren’t allowed in the testing room

  • Take the software tutorial before the exam


For online proctored exams, applicants must use a computer with a camera, microphone, and internet connection. Review details for technical requirements and take the system test.

  • Log in to the Pearson VUE testing platform 30 minutes before the appointment time

  • Download the Pearson VUE software

  • Complete the check-in process performed by a Pearson VUE test administrator, including a system check, identification check, and environment check

    • Examinees must be alone, in a quiet, well-lit space, with the computer on a table or desk

    • No food, drinks, headphones, electronics, or notes are permitted

  • The live proctor remains present throughout the test for questions


Application Process

Applicants may apply for the EMT certification exam 4 weeks before program completion with approval from the program director. Once they meet the course requirements, NREMT approves the application.

  • Log in or create an account on the NREMT website

  • Click “Create Certification Application” from the CBT Candidate Dashboard

  • Verify personal information and click “Next”

  • Select a preferred delivery method of credentials

  • Select “EMT” under Application Registry Level

  • Answer Criminal Convictions and License Discipline Disclosures, then click “Agree and Submit”

  • Enter course information

  • Enter CPR information

  • Review application, then click “Next”

  • Agree to the attestation

Exam payment is due once NREMT approves the application.

  • Log in to the NREMT account 

  • Select “CBT Candidate”

  • Click “View All Certification Applications”

  • Click “Application Payment”

  • Complete payment information


The EMT certification is valid for 2 to 3 years, based on when applicants pass both the cognitive and psychomotor exams. If they pass the final exam between January 1 and June 30, their certification expires 2 years later on March 31st. If applicants pass the final exam between July 1 and December 31, their certification expires 3 years later on March 31. To renew, EMTs must retake the examination or complete Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Recertification by Exam

EMT certification holders must pass the exam by March 31st of the expiration year.

  • Log in to the NREMT account

  • Select “My Certification”

  • Select “Recert by Exam,” then “Application”

  • Complete the application

  • Insert payment information

  • Print ATT and schedule exam

  • Submit the “Cognitive Competency by Exam form” to NREMT after passing

Recertification by CEUs

To recertify by CEUs applicants must:

  • Enter CEU information in the NREMT account

  • Enter agency affiliation information

  • Validate skills competency

  • Submit electronic recertification application

Renewal Fees

  • Renewal: $25

  • Late Renewal: $50 + $25

Continuing Education

To recertify, EMTs must complete a total of 40 CEUs. Each CEU category has a minimum number of CEUs and a maximum number of Distributive Education (DE) hours. DE hours involve education where the educator and student aren’t interacting in real-time, such as during online courses and videos.

CEU categories:

  • National: minimum 20 CEUs, with a maximum of 7 DEs

  • Local: minimum 10 CEUs with a maximum of 7 DEs

  • Individual: minimum 10 CEUs with a maximum of 10 DEs

For full CEU Requirements, refer to the Recertification Handbook.

Other Resources

Related Certifications

Other related certifications include:

  • Emergency Medical Responders (EMR)

  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT)

  • National Registered Paramedics (Paramedic)

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Frequently asked questions

Can I still renew the EMT if I no longer work in direct care?

EMTs can place their certification on inactive status if they’re no longer working in direct care.

What if I need to reschedule or cancel my exam?

You should call Pearson VUE at least 1 business day before the exam appointment at 866-673-6896 or log in to your Pearson VUE account to change the appointment. The fee is $25 to reschedule or cancel the exam.

What’s the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?

EMT programs are generally 120-150 hours, while Paramedic programs are 1200-1800 hours. EMTs receive basic medical training, while Paramedics receive advanced medical training. Most Paramedics start as EMTs and progress to Paramedics.

Does NREMT offer the psychomotor exam for the EMT certification?

No, NREMT doesn’t administer the psychomotor exam. It only administers the cognitive exam. Refer to the psychomotor exam location page for details on that part of the certification process.

Is the EMT exam hard?

Like any certification exam, the EMT exam is difficult without proper preparation. In 2021, the exam had a 70% first-time pass rate.

Can I earn a Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) online?

Yes you can earn a Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) online.