EMT Training - Become an Emergency Medical Technician

EMT Training Virginia

Virginia EMT training helps create professional employees with a strong knowledge base. Emergency medical technicians (EMT) in Virginia will go through training which is similar to many other states. However, a Virginia EMT can begin schooling at age 16 with parental consent. A candidate begins by going through an EMT training program in Virginia and then they must pass the National Registry of EMT (NREMT) exams. Once both NREMT exams are passed, the candidate is awarded both the National and Virginia EMT certification.


This page will guide you through how to become an EMT in Virginia. It will explain each step in the process and offer guidance when possible. There is also a section at the bottom for Virginia EMT candidates who will be taking the NREMT cognitive exam before they turn 18 years of age.


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Virginia EMS Certification Levels

  • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Advanced EMT (AEMT)
  • Paramedic

Virginia previously certified Enhanced EMTs. However, since April of 2016 a Virginia EMT can no longer become certified as an Enhanced level EMT. The Virginia Office of EMS also began transitioning already certified Enhanced EMT’s toward the AEMT (Level C) certification, with the ultimate goal of complete transition to AEMT through continuing education.


Virginia EMS Scholarship

Virginia has an EMS scholarship program which is undergoing major changes right now (As of 07/2018). The new application process for the EMS scholarship is scheduled to open late summer of 2018, which is very soon. To check for the latest on this scholarship, go to the Virginia Office of EMS Scholarship page.


According to the Virginia Office of EMS there are changes being made to the scholarship program, so past requirements may no longer apply. However, here is some previous information on the scholarship to give you an idea what it’s about. 

USNS Comfort Norfolk Virginia
USNS Comfort Norfolk, Virginia

Previously, eligibility was for residents of Virginia who enrolled in an initial or advanced Virginia Office of EMS approved EMS certification program. The purpose of the Virginia EMS scholarship program is to provide support for qualified applicants within Virginia. If chosen, the scholarship recipient must complete their training program, pass the NREMT exams and affiliate with a Virginia EMS agency within a year of completing their training program.


The previous application deadline was set at August 31, 2018. However, this may not be accurate with the new program changes coming this summer. Past awards were around $495 for Virginia EMT training programs,  $620 for Virginia AEMT programs and $2,165 awarded for paramedic programs in Virginia. If you are interested in becoming an EMT in Virginia, but have financial struggles, I highly recommend checking out this scholarship opportunity. Keep in mind you will be required to work as a Virginia EMT or paramedic after you become certified.


EMT Classes in Virginia

Virginia EMT students are taught important skills like patient assessment, airway management, spinal immobilization and wound care. After completing EMT training in Virginia, candidates will be competent at taking vital signs, the primary assessment, getting a SAMPLE history, handling traumas, medical emergencies and scene management.


Virginia EMT programs are offered through colleges, universities, technical schools and other EMT training programs located throughout the commonwealth. 


A good Virginia EMT program will prepare candidates to respond to emergency situations and provide life-saving care and transportation to the sick and injured. 


Prerequisites: Virginia EMT & EMR School


  • EMT classes in Virginia require students to proficiently speak, read and write English.
  • Students can begin Virginia EMT training at 16 years old. Students under 18 years old will need a parents signature for EMT class enrollment.
  • Virginia EMT students must be CPR certified before the first day of class. Here is a list of 8 Virginia Office of EMS approved CPR courses. Two accepted courses are the AHA Healthcare Provider and ARC BLS for Healthcare Providers.
  • A Virginia EMT will need to be mentally and physically capable of performing the required cognitive and psychomotor skills.
  • A clean and professional appearance will be required from Virginia EMT students.
  • EMT classes in Virginia require that students in class, at clinicals, on duty or caring for patients are not intoxicated. This includes any drugs or substances that can impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle or provide patient care.
  • Applicant has not been found guilty or convicted of any crime that violates state EMS regulations. (These crimes are similar to most other states.)
Lincoln Statue Richmond Virginia
Lincoln Statue Richmond, Virginia


Prerequisites AEMT & Paramedic School: Virginia

Must have all the Virginia EMT and EMR prerequisites listed above along with the following.

  • Applicants must be 18 years old by start of class.
  • Must have an EMT certification or higher.
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED.


EMT Certification: Virginia

The Office of Emergency Medical Services is the Virginia State agency responsible for maintaining a statewide EMS system. According to the National Registry of EMTs, there are currently 14,155 National Registry certified personnel in Virginia. 


King Neptune Statue Virginia Beach
King Neptune Statue Virginia Beach

In order to get a Virginia EMT certification, candidates will need to complete a Virginia training program and then pass both National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician exams. After passing the cognitive and psychomotor exams, the candidate becomes certified by both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the NREMT.


The Virginia EMT certification is a state license to work as an EMT and the NREMT certification is a national certification.



Virginia Psychomotor Exam

The Psychomotor exam is a hands on practical test of the student’s skills. The topic of the National Registry psychomotor exam will be introduced to students by their Virginia EMT training instructor. EMT training in Virginia will prepare students for the NREMT psychomotor exam and instructors will explain how to set up a test date and time at the end of EMT training.


Once you complete an EMT program in Virginia, it’s recommended to obtain your Letter of Test Eligibility for the psychomotor exam as quickly as possible. This letter can be found at the Virginia Office of EMS website through the EMS Portal.


Your Letter of Test Eligibility will verify that your EMT instructor reported that you successfully passed the course. It also has a date of expiration and it shows your EMS provider number.


Virginia EMT & EMR Psychomotor

You may need the EMS provider number to use the consolidated testing site (CTS) process and register for a psychomotor testing location. 


Virginia EMT candidates need to bring their Virginia Office of EMS Letter of Test Eligibility with them to the testing site on the day of their psychomotor exam. Psychomotor testing done at a Virginia CTS also requires a government issued photo ID. The only exception is for Virginia EMT test candidates who are under 18 and still in High School. They will allow these student candidates to use a high school ID. To summarize, bring a photo ID and an eligibility letter with you to your psychomotor exam.


Here is a page with links to helpful videos of Virginia psychomotor exam stations. The videos are separated by EMR and EMT stations and I highly recommend checking them out to prepare for the Virginia EMT psychomotor exams. You can also go to our 7 Tips to Pass the Psychomotor Exam page for more help. 


Here is one of the exam videos you will find on page recommended above.

Virginia Paramedic & AEMT Psychomotor

Virginia AEMT and paramedic candidates will need to obtain a Test Eligibility letter from the Virginia Office of EMS after completing schooling. The letter is available on the Virginia Office of EMS website by accessing the EMS Portal. Next, AEMT and Virginia paramedic applicants can find available exams by going to the NREMT website and searching Virginia.


The National Registry provides dates and locations for psychomotor exams near you, along with the instructions for registration.


All candidates will need to bring a photo ID and their state issued Letter of Eligibility to the testing site on the day of their exam.

Tomb of the Unknowns Arlington


Virginia EMT Cognitive Exam

The National Registry of EMT cognitive exam is a computer administered written test. Virginia EMT candidates can go online at the NREMT website and register for a testing date after completing school. The National Registry of EMT will provide applicants with an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. Once the Virginia EMT applicant has an ATT letter, the next step is to log into the Pearson Vue website and set up a testing date and location.


The NREMT cognitive exams are different for each level of testing. For example, the Virginia paramedic exam will be a computer adaptive test with anywhere from 80 to 150 questions, while the AEMT exam will be a linear computer based test with exactly 135 questions. For more details, check out our NREMT exam page.


Under 18 Years Old Cognitive Exam

For Virginia EMT applicants who are under 18 years old, they will need to make sure to apply for the Cognitive Exam correctly. Sixteen or seventeen year-olds will want to register for the “assessment” cognitive exam rather than the normal cognitive exam. This will make the application process simple at age 18. If you can’t find the “assessment” option, the NREMT may have changed it. Call the NREMT and let them help you schedule your cognitive exam over the phone.


Here are the instructions for upgrading your Virginia EMT certification to a national certification once you turn 18 years old.


Marine Corps War Memorial Arlington VA
Marine Corps War Memorial Arlington, VA


The Virginia Office of EMS

For more information about EMT and paramedic programs in Virginia, contact the Virginia Department of Health Office of EMS at the following address or by calling the numbers below.

1041 Technology Park Drive
Glen Allen VA 23059

804-888-9100 (Main Office)
804-888-9120 (Training Office)
804-371-3108 (Fax)


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