What Is the Average Salary of an EMT?

Do you perform best while under pressure? Are you interested in saving human lives as a first responder? Do you wonder what the average annual salary is for an emergency medical technician? If you answered yes to these questions, read on to learn about a career as an EMT, including salary information. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

An emergency medical technician (EMT) responds to medical emergencies, identifies the nature of the health need, and provides care in transport to a medical facility. Specific job duties may include identifying wounds, dealing with injuries resulting from falls, treating heart attacks, providing medical services at the scenes of automobile accidents, or even delivering babies. As an EMT, you'll provide emergency care to patients and transportation to a hospital. During the ambulance ride, EMTs are responsible for stabilizing patients. Once you arrive at the hospital, you'll deliver the patient to a professional emergency room team that can address the medical issue.

There are three levels of EMT training: EMT - Basic, EMT - Intermediate, and EMT - Paramedic (also referred to simply as paramedics). EMTs - Basic assist with respiratory, trauma, and cardiac emergencies. EMTs - Intermediate must complete basic training in addition to intermediate training and hold additional responsibilities. Finally, paramedics perform procedures such as interpreting EKGs and administrating medication intravenously or orally.

Important Facts About EMTs

Required Education High school diploma, or equivalent and CPR accreditation
Professional Certification Given by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
Licensure Mandatory through the nation; requirements vary by state
Similar Occupations Firefighters, air traffic controllers, physicians assistants, police officers, detectives, registered nurses

Salary Information

Salaries earned by EMTs and paramedics may vary depending on the location of the job and the experience held by the individual. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by all EMS (emergency medical services) workers in May 2014 was $31,700. States employing EMTs and paramedics with the highest salaries included the Washington state, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii, per the BLS. Employers offering the highest wages in May 2014 included state governments, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and junior colleges. Ambulatory care services employed the highest number of EMS workers, who averaged salaries of $32,270 annually in 2014.

According to PayScale.com, the majority of EMTs - Basic earn between $19,481 and $37,840 a year, as of September 2015. EMTs - Intermediate earn between $20,843 and $42,139 annually, per the site, and paramedics earn salaries ranging from $20,968 to $49,898 a year, as of September 2015.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, the employment of EMTs and paramedics is expected to increase by about 24% between 2014 and 2024. Job prospects are expected to be good, especially in metropolitan areas and in other areas with a growing aging population. Part-time and volunteer EMS workers will be needed in smaller, more rural regions. If you acquire specific specialization or certification in a treatment area, then you'll increase your opportunities for advancement and higher pay.

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