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Online Basic EMT (EMT-B) Certification

Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) programs are not currently offered online; however, hybrid programs and online refresher courses for those already certified are available. Explore your options for certification and review courses, and get information on prerequisites and common topics of study.

What EMT-B Programs Are Available Online and How Do They Work?

Although EMT-B certification courses are not available entirely online, you can enroll in hybrid programs, which combine online coursework and in-person clinical training. Courses for initial EMT-B certification are delivered asynchronously via lectures, presentations and audio or video streaming. Students are required to submit assignments and tests online. Online EMT-B training typically must be completed within a designated number of hours or weeks.

Another option for EMT-B training is an online refresher course open to currently certified EMT-B professionals interested in enhancing their skills and becoming recertified. Some schools may allow you to access the course at any time and complete it at your own pace, whereas others may require you to finish the course within a designated time period. You can usually communicate with classmates and instructors through e-mail, discussion boards or chat rooms.

Online OptionsEMT-B certification courses are available as hybrid programs; EMT-B recertification or refresher courses are available online
PrerequisitesCurrent CPR card, criminal background check, fluency in the English language, at least 16 to 18 years of age, immunization records
Common Topics in EMT-B ProgramOxygen administration, splinting, bleeding control, injury and patient assessment
Common Topics in Refresher CoursesAirway management, trauma, infants and children, safety of EMTs
Median Salary (2018) $34,320 (for all EMTs and paramedics)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all EMTs and paramedics)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites for EMT-B Programs?

Online EMT-B training has several prerequisites that must be met prior to enrollment. These requirements usually vary by school, but generally you will need to have a current CPR card, pass a criminal background check, provide proof of current immunizations and demonstrate proficiency in English. Some programs may allow students as young as 16 to enroll, but you must be at least 18 years old in order to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.

What Will I Learn in Online EMT-B Certification Training?

Online EMT-B training consists of a combination of coursework and practical skills that prepare you to provide basic emergency medical care to injured and sick patients for emergency ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments and police. While coursework can be completed online, practical skills must be practiced in an ambulance or at a hospital. The skills you'll learn in an EMT-B program include the following:

  • Patient assessment
  • Oxygen administration
  • Bandaging
  • Spinal immobilization
  • Cardiac arrest management
  • Splinting
  • Bleeding control
  • Shock management

Once you complete your coursework and the designated number of fieldwork hours, you're eligible to sit for the NREMT exam. You qualify for the certification exam for up to two years after completing your program. You must also pass a psychomotor exam prior to NREMT certification. Requirements for state certification vary by state, so be sure to research the specific requirements for your state of residence.

What Topics Do EMT-B Refresher Courses Cover?

EMT refresher courses offer recertification for those looking to update their skills or whose EMT-B certification is about to expire. In addition to successfully completing the online courses, you must pass the cognitive and psychomotor exams to obtain national recertification. Courses you are required to take may include the following:

  • EMT health and safety
  • Airway management
  • Medical and behavioral emergencies
  • Trauma
  • Obstetrics, infants and children