What Can You Earn As A Certified EMT

There are so many accidents that occur daily, and then there are those so-called ‘accidents waiting to happen, which inevitably do happen at some point down the line. This is a by-product of not just man’s accidental nature and the very definition of what an accident is, but it’s also a culmination of what we as humans surround ourselves with. When you put some thought to it, we humans are accidents waiting to happen; how many deaths each year are as a result of a motor car collisions, and then there’s the case of the common household being one of the most dangerous places to be, thanks to all the dangerous tools and utensils we keep around the house but take for granted. Knives in the kitchen, tools in the garage (power tools as well as something like garden shears), all those electrical appliances, and who could forget the common bathroom floor – combine some moisture with soap and a clean tiled floor and you have your proverbial accident in waiting.

So clearly we’re in perilous danger as we speak, and we all know of how clumsy even the best of us can be – evidently the equation is not stacked in our favor. All we seem to know how to do is cope with whatever comes our way, and if that may be a serious accident or health and medical emergency, then there are paramedics on standby to aid the cause. Now usually you’d look to the doctors for this type of assistance, but the people who get us to the doctors’ examining rooms and tables is invariably the Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic. Emergencies are, what they are, and by that definition it obviously requires some expediency and simultaneous assistance.

In countless instances it is these people who do the actual saving of lives because it’s on their immediate actions, instincts and training that people depend on most, so often; thus requiring a special skill set and a very particular type of person. Needless to say that apart from doctors, virtually everyone else in the medical fraternity is underpaid; EMT’s and Paramedics are no different. These public servants are on the virtual medical front lines, often putting their own lives in danger to save the stricken person but one would be hard pressed to find a EMT salary to match this kind of commitment and sacrifice.

EMT And Paramedic Workload Expectations

Considering the salary of an average EMT or paramedic, one has to look at the very sort of the work being done and what is required of them. Paramedics often encounter things such as:

  • All sorts of accidents (including household and motorcar)
  • Typical emergency health problems like heart attacks and seizures
  • Childbirth
  • Gunshot and stab wounds

The treatment of all this and more is performed to ensure that the patient is transported safely to the particular medical facility for further specialized treatment. Very often they work together or at least side by side with police and firemen and on many occasions have to perform medical procedures on site to stabilize the patient before transportation.

The role of the EMT or paramedic is also to transport the patient into the hospital or clinic and report their findings to the serving doctor, including vital signs and the extent of the wound/wounds as well as what procedures were already carried out prior to that point. All this expedites the process from initial emergency response to specialist care and treatment, resulting in more lives being saved. So, the EMT has to work with all types of people both civilian (patients) and professionals (doctors, firemen, police).

The Office Conditions And Working Times

Most are familiar with EMT’s and paramedics due to the number of medical shows on television, so it’s easy to decipher the type of working environment that the typical paramedic will work in; in or outdoors, through rain, snow or sunshine and any time of day or night. EMT’s work odd hours as it’s a 24 hour job, though between emergencies, it is known to be a tad boring in some places as they’re inevitably waiting for that accident to happen, thus all this presents its own kind of challenges with customary stresses too. One also tends to forget or underestimate the amount that EMT’s see, and the traumatic experiences that their job presents.

With all these requirements and duties, what training is needed to be done?
A simple high school diploma is required to enroll into a Paramedic training program and the subjects on offer usually include treatments for:

  • Bleeding
  • Fractures
  • Obstructions in the airway
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Emergency childbirth

They’re also trained in operating certain medical equipment and instruments like suction devices, splints, oxygen supply systems, and stretchers. There are written and practical examinations that aspiring emergency medical technicians will be required to pass under state law – such is the basic EMT training.

What Is The Emergency Medical Technician Salary?

The EMT salary mostly depends on the area or specific location of their work, and of course their level of training and experience. The average paramedic and EMT salary and hourly wages were around $14 almost 4 years ago. The annual salary in the USA for emergency medical technicians and paramedics is just under $30 000, equating to $2500 a month. It’s then up to the individual to decide whether or not that salary is worth the sacrifice of every paramedic; nevertheless the earnings would undoubtedly increase with more experience and a higher level of training. Of course there’s plenty of overtime opportunities where the EMT salary ranges between $14 and $32, with an added and similar bonus incentive.

Average EMT Salary:

Certification Hourly Pay Annual Pay
EMT-B $11.76 $28,038
EMT-I $14.95 $36,845
Paramedic Certification $23.77 $65,000


Potential Job Growth Opportunities

EMT SalaryGenerally the growth expectation in this job sector is regarded to be the same as all other jobs in terms of job availability and demand, though if the health sector does get its act together as it begrudgingly looks to be doing, then those job opportunities could increase over time with an already aging population. Countries with a good healthcare sector should hence have a higher mortality rate, meaning the population is more likely to grow, and thus have a higher propensity for emergencies.

Recently though, hospitals have experienced an increase in ‘traffic’ hence they’ve been more busy and in many instances have turned ambulances onto different hospitals due to overcrowding. This is a general problem across the board and has resulted in a slowing of the treatment process time. What this means is that it takes longer for the afflicted patient to get from wherever they were to the hospital for treatment, meaning they spend, on average, a longer time with the paramedics and/or EMT’s. So with this general increase in time spent with the paramedics, it also means that there are effectively more, or a higher statistical percentage of ‘occupied’ ambulances driving around, requiring more ambulances and hence, more EMT’s and paramedics.

Furthermore many EMT’s eventually move to associate fields or use the EMT program to prepare them for careers in nursing or any other medical role. Others too may deviate toward the medical assistant or even teaching and training jobs.

States With The Highest Employment Level:

State Employment Hourly Pay Annual Pay
California 15,220 $17.37 $36,140
Texas 15,010 $15.23 $31,680
New York 13,370 $17.75 $36,910
Pennsylvania 12,760 $14.64 $30,460
Illinois 10,450 $18.54 $38,560


EMT Salary Prospects

So, what can we expect to see in the way of increases in earnings for paid paramedics? Well as we’ve seen, the job is a very taxing one, with long and unpredictable hours as well as potentially traumatic challenges, so it undoubtedly takes its toll; for this reason there’s been a downturn in volunteers, thus paid EMT’s have become something of a sought after commodity. Of course this gives them much more leverage in terms of higher salaries as the demand for emergency medical technicians and paramedics will only increase with time.

Industries With The Highest Paying Wages:

Industry Hourly Pay Annual Pay
State Gevernment $24.02 $49,960
Waste Treatment & Disposal $23.97 $49,860
Amusement & Recreation Industries $23.41 $48,700
Colleges, Universities, Schools $20.74 $43,140
Home Health Care Services $20.31 $42,240

States With The Highest Paying Wages:

State Hourly Pay Annual Pay
Distric of Columbia $23.97 $49,870
Alaska $23.10 $48,050
Hawaii $23.04 $47,920
Oregon $21.43 $44,570
Washinton $20.93 $43,530


The Value Of A Paramedic

Not many will be able to put a price on a paramedic but as we’ve seen they can often be looked down upon by others in the medical fraternity, despite this, the general consensus is that they are indispensable. The need for both paid and volunteer EMT’s and paramedics will increase and so too, logically, should the salary, though most wouldn’t hold out for too much. The emergency medical technician salary is mostly determined by their medical knowledge, as is everyone’s in the medical sector, hence doctors get paid the most because they are the most knowledgeable in their field. Although with the unpredictable nature of the work and unique challenges that so often presents itself on the front lines for medical response units, they are certainly candidates for a risk and service versus reward (salary) review. If the situation is not looked at, and especially since we’re in a recession, more and more EMT’s and paramedics will seek employment in other fields, continuing to drain this one, putting a further strain on the industry and fraternity.

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