Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic Salary
Median pay for Paramedics in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $12.95 per hour. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Although more than a third lack health benefits of any kind, the larger part do enjoy medical insurance, and more than two-fifths get dental coverage, too. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Paramedics. Making up 70 percent of those who took the survey, male Paramedics greatly outnumber their female counterparts. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedics are the medical personnel that hold perhaps the most vital position in emergency medical care. Without their expertise, far more people would die before even making it to a hospital for treatment. While EMTs/Paramedics are not usually technically medical doctors, they can be thought of much as mobile emergency doctors. They are trained in all fields of personal injury and medical conditions.Read More...
EMTs/Paramedics must be on the available at all times. They may have rotating shifts so that they work two full shifts and then have one off. Or their hours may be day or night, and sometimes switching back and forth between the two. EMTs/Paramedics spend the bulk of their time waiting for emergency calls at the hospital, in an ambulance, and on the road responding to an emergency call.
During an emergency response they must employ all medical techniques required to help the person in need of medical attention. They do not work alone but always work with at least one other, and often two other EMTs/Paramedics. This job requires several qualifications in order to be hired, and they may look like this:
1. Basic Life Support Health Care Provider card through American Heart Association.
2. Current EMT-B Certification in the state in which they seek employment.
3. Current EMT-I Certification in the state in which they seek employment.
4. Current certification to practice as a Paramedic in the state in which they seek employment.
The importance of the EMT/Paramedic cannot be understated. The fact is, there would be many more fatalities if this position did not exist. EMT/Paramedics are every bit as crucial as doctors but they don't always receive the recognition they deserve simply because they do not usually have doctorate degrees.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic Tasks
- Assess nature and extent of illness or injury to establish and prioritize medical procedures.
- Operate equipment such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) or complete endotracheal intubations.
- Administer oral or intravenous drugs.
- Administer complex first-aid treatment and life-support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital setting.
- Maintain vehicles and medical and communication equipment, and replenish first-aid equipment and supplies.
Common Career Paths for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic
At the upper end, Paramedics who move into a Physician Assistant role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Physician Assistants is a much higher $84K per year. Paramedics moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Emergency Room Registered Nurses or Registered Nurses. The median paychecks in those roles are $30K higher and $25K higher, respectively.
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Pay by Experience Level for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Paramedics, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $29K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $34K. Paramedics see a median salary of $36K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $38K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
For Paramedics, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 37 percent above the national average. Paramedics will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), Atlanta (+17 percent), Philadelphia (+13 percent), and San Diego (+8 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 19 percent below the national average. Employers in Detroit and Chicago also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).
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