Pennsylvania EMT and Paramedic Careers - PA
Of the nearly 208,000 emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics counted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008, 13,220 of them worked in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania—accounting for .232% of the working population and the fourth highest concentration of these emergency medical service (EMS) workers in the nation. Johnstown, PA was second only to Ocean City, NJ for the highest metropolitan concentration in the United States. (657 of every 10,000 employees in Johnstown were EMTs or paramedics and earned an average of $20,580.). Statewide in 2008, EMTs and paramedics earned an average of $29,490. (Paramedics can earn considerably more than EMTs, but the initial training and recertification is tougher.) There is extensive Pennsylvania EMT training required for this field. To become a paramedic in Pennsylvania, one must become certified as an EMT first.
Pennsylvania endures the dual problems of serving major urban areas as well as rural agricultural regions. Add to this fiscal woes that started even before the 2007-2009 recession and service quality can suffer. A 2002 Philadelphia Business Journal article reported that the high cost of malpractice insurance has been encouraging doctors to leave the state and has helped close maternity units and hospital-based paramedic services. Three hospitals, one of which lost nearly half a million on its paramedic unit, shut down their services early this century, blaming the closure on a combination of malpractice costs, inadequate financial reimbursement for services and increased competition.