EMTs and paramedics go through a rigorous preparation for licensure that includes state-approved training, a criminal background check, and completion of national certifying exams.
People who want to pursue a career in Emergency Medical Services should be able to work under stressful situations with a cool head. As a first responder, you will be called upon to take leadership in chaotic situations, calmly assess circumstances and make appropriate decisions regarding patient care prior to and during transport to the hospital. You need to be physically fit as you will be carrying heavy loads, climbing stairs while carrying equipment, and perhaps hiking into remote locations where rescue and medical attention may be required. Expect to work nights, weekends, and holidays, especially in the early stages of your career.
Those who are most successful in Emergency Medical Services have a professional commitment to the care of others, are dedicated to life-long continuing education, and place the needs of the patient ahead of their own. It is a profession where every day is different, challenging and demanding of your very best. It is more than a job, it is a lifestyle of service and preparedness.
EMTs earn between $21,682 and $37,251. Paramedics earn between $28,217 and $44,470. With benefits, average total income equals $53,658. Many EMS providers work overtime as part of their contracts that substantially adds to their annual salary. EMTs and paramedics work for private or public ambulance services, as first responders, in hospitals, and as medical staff for mining, filmmaking, and other industries. Experienced providers can expand their career choices into education, management, critical care, or other related fields.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics anticipates better than average job growth in the Emergency Medical Services, with an approximate increase in positions of 28% between 2008 and 2018.