EMT and Paramedic Salary

What are EMTs and paramedics?

EMT and paramedics are mobile medical personnel who provide care to sick and injured individuals in emergency situations. Duties of an EMT or paramedic may include examining patients, taking vital signs, bandaging wounds, creating reports as a record of the medical services performed and safely transporting patients away from the scene of the emergency to a fully equipped care facility for further treatment.

What are EMTs' and paramedics' salaries?

Median annual EMT and paramedic salary numbers were reported as being generally lower than the nationwide average in 2012, but the highest ten percent of earners in the field all took home more per year than the median wage for all occupations. Geographical location, job experience, job title, union membership and regional occupational demand may all factor in when determining individual EMT and paramedic salary figures.

Job TitleBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics - U.S.$20,420$31,270$54,710
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Is it difficult to find a job as an EMT or paramedic?

Faster than average rates of EMT and paramedic employment growth are projected between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Several reasons for this rapid growth are suggested by bls.gov, including an increase in the elderly population and a rising number of specialized medical care facilities that require EMTs and paramedics to assist in the transfer of patients whose conditions require specific treatment.

Job TitleProjected 2012-2022 Growth
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics - U.S.23%
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Is there room for advancement as an EMT or paramedic?

A typical individual on the EMT and paramedic career track usually starts out as an EMT, also known as an EMT-Basic, and can move up to the EMT-Intermediate level by gaining experience on the job and completing instructional courses in the performance of more advanced medical procedures. EMTs can then become paramedics after further training, which includes learning how to use sophisticated equipment to monitor patient condition.

EMT and paramedic experience can also be combined with additional training to lead to related careers in emergency response, such as firefighting and police work, or positions in the medical field like nursing or physician assisting.

Do EMTs and paramedics need to be licensed or certified?

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certifies EMTs and paramedics at multiple levels of skill. Candidates must complete a certified education program and sit for a national exam before each level of certification can be awarded. Most EMTs and paramedics also take an emergency vehicle driving course before being allowed to drive an ambulance on the job.

All states make it necessary for EMTs and paramedics to be licensed, and licensure requirements vary. NREMT certification is often enough to earn a license, but candidates in some states must sit for an equivalent state exam regardless of their certification status.

Sources:
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292041.htm

EMTs and Paramedics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm

National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

EMT & Paramedic Schools

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