Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) FAQs

Do I need a high school diploma to register for this program?

Although it’s not necessary to possess a high school diploma or equivalent to register for this program, it is recommended that you complete a high school course of study prior to enrolling, as it’s likely to be required by potential employers. Click here to see how DCC can assist you with your high school equivalent.

How old must I be to become an EMT?

Students must be 18 years old by the last day of the month they are taking their NYS exam.

Do I need to have prior experience to register for this program?

No prior experience is necessary.

Are there any pre-admission or testing requirements?

There are no pre-admission or testing requirements. 

How do I register for this program?

Registration can be done in person at either Dutchess main campus or Dutchess South, online, or by phone with a credit card.

How much time outside of class is required for reading and homework each week?

Generally students should allow for 15-18 hours each week for outside reading and additional assignments. In general, it is advisable to spend 2 hours per every lecture hour, and 1 hour per every lab hour. We have open lab sessions available multiple times during the week for additional practice.

How important is attendance?

Attendance is required, as the course is fast-paced. Any missed lab time must be made up in open lab, and classroom time must be made up per the instructor’s requirements.

What if I belong to a volunteer fire/EMS agency, can I be reimbursed for tuition? 

The student is responsible for full payment at the start of class. Upon successful completion of the class, many volunteer agencies may reimburse you for your tuition.



Do you offer a clinical/externship?

There is a clinical requirement built into the course, where students are required to complete 10 hours of emergency department observation time. There also may be an opportunity to observe on an ambulance.

Will I be able to interact with actual patients during the class?

Yes, part of the requirement for passing this course is ten hours of Emergency Department observation time. 

Are there requirements for the hospital clinicals?

Yes. Each student must have a physical exam and up to date immunizations on file with the DCC Health Office, as well as passing a background check and drug screening.

Are the clinical requirements covered by the tuition?

No. The student is responsible for the associated fees. The drug screening and background check together cost about $100.


How do I become certified as an EMT?

Upon successful completion of the EMT class, students are eligible to take the NYS Practical Skills Exam. After passing that, they may sit for the NYS Written Exam. They will be certified after passing the written exam. 

What is the certifying agency?

New York state is the entity that issues completion cards after successfully passing the practical skills and written exams.

What are the costs for the certification exam?

For exams taken at Dutchess South, there is no additional cost. If the student wishes to do onsite scoring, there is an additional $20 fee.

Do you offer the certification exam on campus?

Yes, for traditional testing, the exam is offered at Dutchess South. For onsite scoring, there are a variety of locations available, for example in the Albany area or New York City.

How soon will I know if I have passed?

It usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive the certification after taking the written exam. Another option is to enroll in onsite scoring, which will give you results immediately after taking the exam. This requires pre-registration, and usually spots fill up quickly. If you are interested, the instructor can give more information on this the first day of class.

Is certification necessary to work in the industry?

EMT certification is required by most ambulance agencies to work on the ambulance.

Will there be additional training requirements after I am certified?

Newly certified EMTs will be able to function as a first responder, volunteer, or paid staff after state certification.

How long is my certification active?

EMT certification must be renewed every three years.

How do I keep my EMT certification active?

There are two ways. One is to enroll in an EMT refresher class and recertify. The other is to enroll in the continuing medical education (CME) program, which requires a specific number of CME hours, and recertify by attending classes which cover specific areas of the curriculum. Many of these CME classes are offered free by local hospitals and EMS and fire agencies.

Do I need to be certified in CPR prior to taking this class?

No, per NYS, all students will be taking CPR as part of the course.