How Much Does EMT Training and Certification Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Certification Exam: $70 $ $ Basic Training, Public Schools: $200-$1,000 $ $ $ Basic Training, Private Programs: $750-$1,800+

During medical emergencies, emergency medical technicians are the first responders as they provide basic emergency care and transportation to hospitals.

To practice, these professionals require state certification and thus technical schools, community colleges and universities nationwide offer EMT training programs.

Typical Costs

The charge for the University programs is approx. $800-$1,000 for basic EMT training with the duration from one month to three months, based on whether students attend full-time or part-time.

For example, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics offers a 138-hour training program for EMTs that costs $850.

At the same time, UCLA secures training through its Center for Prehospital Care for $925 for a 20-day fulltime program which can be completed part-time and at night over three months.

The community college programs usually charge $200-$1,000 for basic EMT training; however, the tuition may be substantially more for out-of-state students.

The basic EMT training at South Louisiana Community College is $258 for state residents, plus student fees of $52.

At the same time, at other community colleges such as Tacoma Community College in Washington, the training costs are about $1,000, comparable to universities.

The costs at technical schools vary significantly by the program and can be $750-$1,800 or more.

One of the state-recommended EMT training programs for people seeking EMT work in Massachusetts – The Human Services Training Program, requests $760 for a three-month program with possible completion at night and on weekends.

At the same time, The San Francisco Paramedic Association secures a one-month full-time program for $1,825.

Many states need national certification, available for EMTs through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians for the cost of $70.

What Is Included

  • EMTs can work for hospital-affiliated ambulance services, private ambulance services,  or with firefighters.
  • The basic training includes managing respiratory, instruction in assessing patients, as well as trauma and cardiac emergencies.
  • The training further instructs students on handling typical emergency calls including emergency childbirth, cardiac arrest, and fractures.
  • Some programs require on-the-job training, such as ambulance ride-along and hospital observation, as an addition to classroom work.
  • A great deal of the EMT programs secure intermediate training, and teaching students more advanced skills, including IV insertion and usage of advanced airway devices.
  • The next step to becoming an advanced EMT is the intermediate training, which is usually completed after basic EMTs have gained on-the-job experience.

Additional Costs

  • The books needed during the tuition can cost  $100 extra, based on the program.
  • Recertification is required periodically, typically every two years.
  • The health testing (for diseases such as TB) and vaccinations (for diseases such as for hepatitis B) could be required before entering an EMT program.
  • TB tests are usually obtained and inexpensive; vaccines are priced at $50 a dose, according to the CDC.
  • Some programs need students to obtain basic certificates before starting EMT training.
  • The cost of classes provided by the American Heart Association and the Red Cross varies by location and is typically under $100.


  • Employers sometimes pay for required recertification or needed continuing education programs for EMTs.
  • Completing the intermediate-level training programs usually results in better pay and more job opportunities based on the federal government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for tuition reimbursement for EMT training and certification through Swords to Ploughshares.

Shopping For EMT Training And Certification

  • Read this full how to become an EMT guide.
  • Some states offer lists with schools that have accredited EMT training programs.
  • The Journal of Emergency Medical Services presents a state-by-state list of accredited programs, which is updated annually.
  • The state license boards require that EMT training programs are accredited.
  • Attending a school that is not accredited could result in denial of a license, whether or not the certification exam is taken and passed, that is why it is important to check the requirements of individual states before beginning an EMT training program.

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