EMS Education Tips

5 Reasons You Won’t Get a Job as an EMT

Here are five things that will make it really hard to become certified and ever employed as an EMT or paramedic.

1. Felony conviction for abuse

Any felony conviction is bad. But a felony conviction for child, sexual or elder abuse makes it especially unlikely you will ever be employed as an EMT.

2. Drug or alcohol offenses

A conviction for driving under the influence, drug possession or drug diversion will make it highly unlikely you will be licensed to practice as a paramedic.

3. No high school diploma

If you didn’t finish high school or haven’t earned a GED you are not likely eligible for an EMT training program. EMT courses require minimal knowledge and aptitude in basic math, reading comprehension and writing. Of the barriers to becoming an EMT this one is the easiest to overcome. Complete your education and a world of options opens to you.

4. Not a legal resident

Employment requires proof of legal residency. If you are not in the United States legally becoming an EMT and working as an EMT is likely to be impossible.

5. Medicare or Medicaid fraud

If you have been convicted of or involved in defrauding the Medicare or Medicaid programs you are on the list of OIG excluded individuals. A history of fraudulent billing is toxic to your future as an EMS provider, in any capacity.

Also check out 5 reasons you should NOT become an EMT on

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.