EMTs and paramedics essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $31,020
- 2011, number of jobs: 232,860
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 33 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award
EMTs and paramedics; what they do:
Doctors aren’t the only professionals who save lives on a regular basis; emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics regularly respond to emergency situations and care for sick and injured individuals sometimes facing a life-threatening situation. EMTs and paramedics arrive and act quickly at emergency situations; they stabilize individuals enough to transport them to the hospital for further care.
Upon arrival, an EMT or paramedic must quickly and accurately assess someone’s situation and needs, then distribute the appropriate care, which could be anything from bandaging a small wound to CPR. EMTs and paramedics also must properly strap patients to backboards in order to keep them safe during transportation.
Following every interaction with a patient, EMTs and paramedics must write up a patient care report, recording all medical care they administered to the patient and explain the need for medical care.
EMTs and paramedics frequently drive ambulances and may work as part of a helicopter’s flight crew. An EMT career and a paramedic career include working with police and firefighters, who respond to the same emergency situations.
Responsibilities of an EMT or paramedic vary depending on the state they work in and how much training they have completed. The three levels of titles: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic.
EMTs and paramedics job titles:
- Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT – B)
- Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (Firefighter/EMT)
- Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate (EMT – I)
- Fire Fighter First Responder
- First Responder
- Flight Paramedic
EMTs and Paramedics Education, Certification and License Requirements
Individuals interested in an EMT career or a paramedic career need to have a high school diploma, or equivalent, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, and a state license.
People interested in an EMT career or a paramedic career can obtain formal training from technical institutes, community colleges, and other facilities specializing in emergency care training.
EMT-Basics have the least amount of training, while paramedics have the most amount of training. Paramedics may obtain their training through a community college, earning an associates degree.
EMTs and paramedics must take a course and become certified to drive an ambulance.
EMTs and paramedics programs cover subjects such as:
- Patient assessment – trauma and medical
- Cardiac management
- Ventilator management
- IV techniques
EMTs and paramedics may be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) on four different levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate 1985, EMT-Intermediate 1999, and Paramedic. Some states have their own certification and may use different titles for the same positions.
EMTs and paramedics must obtain a state license, the requirements vary by state.
EMTs and Paramedics Job Outlook
Forecast: 33 percent employment growth for EMTs and paramedics from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Emergencies, such as car crashes, natural disasters, and violence, are only expected to increase with the rise in population, increasing the demand for EMTs and paramedics. The aging population increasingly need the services provided by EMTs and paramedics. Smaller population areas continue to need part-time and volunteer EMTs and paramedics.
Some EMTs and paramedics are hired by companies building ambulances, working as consultants to help suggest ideas for making the vehicles safer for EMTs and paramedics riding in them while attending to patients.
EMTs and Paramedics Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $31,020
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $40,680
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $24,560
- Ambulance Services
- Local government agencies
- Hospitals; state, local, and private