how to become an emt in texas
EMS training in Texas is regulated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the regulatory agency for EMS training in the state. They have set standards for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training programs, but not all programs follow them. If your program does not have DSHS accreditation, you will not be eligible to get an EMT license in the state of Texas.
There are many accredited EMT programs available throughout Texas including online and community college courses as well as technical and vocational schools.
EMT training programs must be accredited by the DSHS.
Courses must be accredited by the DSHS in order to prepare you for testing and certification. Accreditation is a way of assuring that your training meets state standards for quality. The state of Texas provides accreditation for EMT courses offered at public or private institutions, including community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals or programs administered directly through a fire department or EMS agency.
It’s important to find out whether a program has received this accreditation before committing to it since only an accredited course can prepare you for certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. An NREMT certificate is required if you want to work in many regions of Texas, as well as other states. Certification from a program that isn’t accredited can significantly limit your employment options and cause delays in gaining licensure in some jurisdictions.
If you’re not sure if a particular EMT class meets accreditation standards, contact the program’s director or administrator to ask. Your school may also provide information about its accreditation status on its website or social media pages.
Choose a program that fits your schedule and budget.
There are a number of programs available to you in your quest to become an EMT. For those interested in a shorter program that allows you to be on the job faster, there are programs like the one offered by National EMS Institute that last just two weeks. For those looking for more coursework and a traditional route to becoming an EMT, Texas A&M University offers a full-time associate degree program where you can major in paramedicine as part of a bachelor’s degree program. Other popular colleges for EMT training in Texas include Cisco College, Lone Star College, University of North Texas and Austin Community College, Houston Community College, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lamar Institute of Technology and Galveston College.
Check prerequisites to make sure you’re eligible.
The first thing you will want to do is to make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements. These can vary from program to program, but most training programs will require that you:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED (or an international equivalent)
- Be physically fit (you’ll be moving around a lot in this job)
- Have a CPR certification (some programs will include this as part of the coursework)
- Pass a criminal background check.
Apply to the program as early as possible.
- Apply to the program as early as possible. Most EMT programs recommend applying at least three months in advance. However, if you are planning to apply for financial aid, allow one month for the application process. It is important that you contact your program coordinator for details about their specific application process and deadlines. To keep yourself on track, don’t wait until the last minute to apply!
Apply for certification on DSHS website when you graduate from an accredited program.
Once you have graduated from an accredited program, it is time to head over to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website and apply for certification. You must have your application completed and submitted prior to starting a job.
Applications for certification are accepted online or by mail, but should be submitted online if possible. When applying on the DSHS website, you will be asked to include documentation proving that you were enrolled in and graduated from an accredited program. You will also need to submit documentation of national registry certification, in addition to your fingerprint card. A $25 fee must accompany the application as well. The only form of payment accepted is credit card; other forms of payment will not be accepted.
Your application status can be monitored on the DSHS website after submission.
To maintain your certificate, you’ll need to check off these boxes every two years.
One of the toughest parts of your EMT certification is going to be renewing it, but don’t let that discourage you. Taking care of this part of the process every few years will make sure that you not only have the skills and experience to help people in a medical emergency, but also that you know what’s required for a license renewal.
If you’re already certified, here are a few things you’ll need to do:
- Refresh your knowledge by taking a refresher course every two years on either an online or in-person basis. Even if you aren’t working as an EMT, being up to date on your knowledge is still important, because it’s how new regulations are created.
As an EMT applicant or renewer, there are two options when it comes to taking these courses: online or in person. For online courses (which probably will be offered through the National Registry), take them at your own pace and complete all class requirements before submitting your application. If you’re renewing and plan on using PMI’s “Veteran EMT” privilege (a discount code that can reduce some costs), then find out about free programs offered through PBSET so that you can get credit for classes taken within three years. Otherwise, enrolling in one of these workshops is completely optional; all approved applicants automatically receive six continuing education hours as part of their initial certification process anyway -but if this was something new for you and/or took place after October 1st 2013 then it would be wise to keep track of those 6 credits so that they reflect what classes were taken prior to October 1st 2013 which may impact hiring managers if traditional employers tend to only look at current certifications for job applications
How much do EMTs make in Texas?
It’s important to note that salaries for EMTs in the state of Texas vary by region. While Texas is one of the highest paying states, some areas of the state pay higher rates than others. Additionally, EMT salaries will vary based on experience, education and other factors within your control.
Generally speaking, however, EMTs in Texas make more money than their peers around the country. According to Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com, Texas EMTs are paid an average salary of $33000 per year. That’s roughly 13% higher than the national average salary for EMTs across all 50 states.
There are many things involved in becoming an EMT in Texas but they are a reasonable and achievable set of steps.
Now that you know the steps to become certified as an EMT in Texas, let’s explore some of the key details involved. Let’s start with some of the most important:
- Average salary: $37,250 – $43,040 per year
- Time required: 6 months – 1 year (including certification)
- Job growth outlook: 7% (faster than average)
Let’s look at how to find an EMT training program near you. The first step is to use our search tool at the top of this page to find schools in your area and request information from them. When contacting schools, it’s a good idea to ask about four key areas about each program: cost, length of the program and accreditation status. For example, if you’re interested in a specific type of work after becoming an EMT (like working for an ambulance company), it may be smart to ask what percentage of their graduates get jobs there. This will help you determine which training program is right for you.
If you’re looking for a job as an EMT after finishing your training program, here are some places you may want to start your search. You can also review our guide on [how to find a job as an EMT](http://www.emtfiretraining.com/how-to-find-a-job-as-an-emt).