How to Become an EMT in Texas

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide emergency medical care to critically injured or ill people as they are transferred to a hospital or other medical facility. This profession involves high-stress situations and life-saving processes. These first responders work with fire departments and ambulance services during emergency situations

General Requirements

In Texas, EMTs must be at least 18 years of age and have their GED certificate or high school diploma. Prior to submitting an EMS certification application, EMTs must complete a training course approved by the Department of State Health Services and pass the National Registry exam. They must be fluent in English and have a healthy body and mind. Their fingerprints and criminal history will be checked. They must prove your US citizenship or legal residency.


A Texas EMT course may take as little as a few weeks, but typically at least 5 months. EMT courses are offered at many community and other colleges. These courses last one semester and teach prospective EMTs the skills they need. A 2-year EMS degree or 4-year degree in any field may also be required.


The EMT exam used in the state of Texas is the National Registry Assessment Exam, which must be scheduled at the National Registry website. You must pass this exam to become an EMT, but you can take it multiple times if necessary. In addition, the registry charges a testing fee for the exam.

Background Check

You will be fingerprinted and your background will be checked by law enforcement or the FBI. You may also have to pay a fee for this service.


If you were certified in another state, you are eligible for a 4-year Texas EMS certificate. You must submit verification of your certification for every state you received certification. You must also have the necessary training required in Texas. If you have not received a National Registry certification, you will have to schedule and pass the exam.


Those who have served as EMTs and received training in the military are also eligible for Texas certification if they have a current National Registry certification. These individuals should follow Texas’s reciprocity procedures.

Application and Certification

Your application may take 4-6 weeks after all the requirements are met. You can check your certification status on the website, but it will not show your exam scores. Your certification is valid for 2 years.

If you are interested in becoming an EMT, consider researching the job duties and responsibilities. You may also want to speak with EMTs to gain their perspective.


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