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Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics evaluate and provide emergency medical care to those with illnesses or injuries. They treat patients at the location of the crisis and also while transporting them to the hospital. They provide vital care to those injured by automobile accidents, slips and falls and those suffering from heart attacks, strokes and other ailments. Emergency treatment is provided under the direction of doctors.

Responsibilities of EMTs and Paramedics

While transporting patients to a medical facility, one EMT drives while another monitors the patient's vital signs and provides care. Some EMTs are part of a helicopter flight crew. All EMTs should be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Determine if a patient has pre-existing health conditions
  • Report observations and treatments provided to patients to emergency department personnel
  • Stock supplies
  • Follow medical protocol and guidelines
  • Make sure equipment is functioning properly
  • Decontaminate the interior of the ambulance if the patient had a contagious disease
  • Report working on a patient who had a contagious disease to the appropriate authorities

The specific responsibilities of emergency medical technicians and paramedics are determined by their qualifications and training.

EMT-Basic personnel are trained to care for patients at accident scenes and while transporting them to medical facilities under medical direction. They have the skills to assess a patient's condition and manage cardiac, respiratory and trauma emergencies. EMT-Intermediate personnel have more advanced training.

EMT-Paramedics are able to give the most extensive pre-hospital patient care. They can give drugs to their patients orally and intravenously, and they are trained to interpret electrocardiograms, use monitors and other types of sophisticated equipment, and are allowed to perform more-advanced medical procedures. The procedures that EMT-Intermediates and paramedics are allowed to perform vary by state.

EMT and Paramedic Job Characteristics

EMTs and paramedics play an important role in the world of health care, and there are a number of key skills that the job demands.

  • They must be good team players, as they frequently work as team members with police and firefighters.
  • The job is often stressful and strenuous, involving kneeling, bending and lifting, sometimes in perilous conditions.
  • They run the risk of exposure to diseases.
  • They need to work well under pressure.
  • EMTs and paramedics employed by hospitals often work 46 to 60 hours a week.
  • Those who work for private ambulance services usually work between 45 and 50 hours a week.
  • Those employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week.
  • In general, EMTs and paramedics often have irregular working hours.

EMT and Paramedic Salary Information

In 2014, about 40 percent of EMTs and paramedics were employed by private ambulance services and about 30 percent were employed by local governments, public ambulance services, fire departments and emergency medical services. About 20 percent worked in hospitals or responded to calls with ambulances or helicopters.

  • Total Employed: 235,760 in 2014
  • Job Growth: 23% from 2012-2022
  • Average Salary: $35,110 in 2014

Private ambulance services should provide the best opportunities for employment. Local governments and independent, third-service rescue squad departments pay higher salaries and better benefits, so competition for jobs from those employers will be keen. Those with advanced education and certifications have the best job prospects.

Education, Certification and Licensing for EMTs and Paramedics

Candidates for emergency medical technician education programs typically need a high school diploma. Training is provided at progressive levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic. Coursework is usually combined with training in ambulances and emergency rooms.

All states require that EMTs and paramedics be licensed, although the requirements vary. Most EMTs will need to pass a practical and written national exam in order to get the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification they'll need to be licensed. Some states have their own exam in addition to the national one. EMT and paramedic candidates also need to pass a special driving course as well as a background check. EMTs and paramedics typically have to get recertified every two years.

Major Employers of EMTs and Paramedics

  • Private ambulance services
  • Hospitals
  • Local governments
  • Fire departments

Resources for EMTs

  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EMS Division
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians

Sources:

  1. National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, Nov. 12, 2015, http://www.naemt.org/
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EMS Division, Nov. 12, 2015, http://www.ems.gov/
  3. National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Nov. 12. 2015, http://www.nremt.org/
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, EMTs and Paramedics, Nov. 14, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Nov. 11, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292041.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
EMT and Paramedics

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in EMT and Paramedics jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 640 $27,060
Birmingham 640 $27,060
Dothan 300 $42,280
Montgomery 260 $26,690
Mobile 250 $28,160
Muscle Shoals 190 $26,080
Florence 190 $26,080
Tuscaloosa 150 $25,880
Huntsville 130 $38,240
Gadsden N/A $25,900
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 190 $56,010
Fairbanks 50 $48,820
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 2300 $31,350
Mesa 2300 $31,350
Phoenix 2300 $31,350
Tucson 410 $43,760
Flagstaff 260 $35,400
Prescott 230 $31,390
Kingman 80 $35,620
Lake Havasu City 80 $35,620
Yuma 30 $32,970
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 440 $26,510
North Little Rock 440 $26,510
Little Rock 440 $26,510
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 5120 $29,930
Long Beach 5120 $29,930
Los Angeles 5120 $29,930
San Francisco 2700 $41,660
Hayward 2700 $41,660
Oakland 2700 $41,660
Ontario 1870 $31,550
Riverside 1870 $31,550
San Bernardino 1870 $31,550
San Diego 1700 $26,830
Carlsbad 1700 $26,830
Roseville 950 $39,770
Sacramento 950 $39,770
Arden 950 $39,770
Arcade 950 $39,770
Fresno 650 $32,500
Modesto 270 $37,570
San Jose 270 $47,250
Sunnyvale 270 $47,250
Santa Clara 270 $47,250
Vallejo 260 $45,050
Fairfield 260 $45,050
Visalia 190 $29,070
Porterville 190 $29,070
Bakersfield 190 $34,380
Redding 100 $45,810
Santa Cruz 60 $61,100
Watsonville 60 $61,100
Lodi N/A $29,410
Stockton N/A $29,410
Santa Rosa N/A $34,490
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 1860 $41,610
Lakewood 1860 $41,610
Denver 1860 $41,610
Colorado Springs 440 $32,140
Boulder 270 $35,980
Fort Collins 190 $40,070
Pueblo 100 $66,350
Grand Junction 70 $35,490
Greeley 30 $41,090
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 770 $49,830
West Hartford 760 $43,370
Hartford 760 $43,370
East Hartford 760 $43,370
Norwalk 610 $54,020
Bridgeport 610 $54,020
Stamford 610 $54,020
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 330 $30,540
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 2560 $28,610
Fort Lauderdale 2560 $28,610
West Palm Beach 2560 $28,610
St. Petersburg 2040 $28,240
Clearwater 2040 $28,240
Tampa 2040 $28,240
Kissimmee 670 $37,150
Sanford 670 $37,150
Orlando 670 $37,150
Jacksonville 610 $27,030
Tallahassee 450 $30,630
Pensacola 450 $32,250
Brent 450 $32,250
Ferry Pass 450 $32,250
Cape Coral 400 $39,020
Fort Myers 400 $39,020
Port St. Lucie 350 $25,520
Winter Haven 210 $26,830
Lakeland 210 $26,830
Ocala 210 $28,410
Crestview 200 $24,250
Fort Walton Beach 200 $24,250
Destin 200 $24,250
Ormond Beach 200 $32,940
Deltona 200 $32,940
Daytona Beach 200 $32,940
Titusville 180 $28,940
Melbourne 180 $28,940
Palm Bay 180 $28,940
Marco Island 170 $35,520
Naples 170 $35,520
Immokalee 170 $35,520
Sarasota 160 $28,260
North Port 160 $28,260
Bradenton 160 $28,260
Gainesville 60 $32,570
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 4000 $34,010
Roswell 4000 $34,010
Atlanta 4000 $34,010
Gainesville 690 $28,330
Albany 250 $29,540
Savannah 230 N/A
Rome 230 $30,840
Clarke County 210 $28,320
Athens 210 $28,320
Valdosta 150 $27,660
Warner Robins 130 $28,180
Dalton 130 $29,730
Brunswick 80 $28,600
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 480 $34,490
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 540 $27,960
Rockford 260 $28,150
Springfield 250 $25,330
Urbana 190 $29,160
Champaign 190 $29,160
Bloomington 160 $26,570
Carbondale 100 $23,180
Marion 100 $23,180
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carmel 1730 $29,320
Anderson 1730 $29,320
Indianapolis 1730 $29,320
Fort Wayne 460 $32,810
Goshen 140 $26,900
Elkhart 140 $26,900
Terre Haute 130 $23,680
Kokomo 80 $37,180
West Lafayette N/A $25,850
Lafayette N/A $25,850
Muncie N/A $34,540
La Porte N/A $35,750
Michigan City N/A $35,750
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 300 $36,620
Des Moines 300 $36,620
Cedar Rapids 250 $29,520
Dubuque 160 $24,830
Cedar Falls 90 $34,940
Waterloo 90 $34,940
Iowa City 40 $30,400
Ames 40 $44,770
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 370 $32,840
Topeka 300 $18,960
Lawrence 50 $50,150
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 220 $36,450
Lexington 220 $36,450
Bowling Green 170 $28,890
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 590 $39,250
New Orleans 590 $39,250
Bossier City 380 $26,480
Shreveport 380 $26,480
Thibodaux 170 $38,020
Houma 170 $38,020
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lewiston 330 $38,050
Auburn 330 $38,050
Bangor N/A $30,460
Portland N/A $30,920
South Portland N/A $30,920
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 2940 $42,850
Columbia 2940 $42,850
Baltimore 2940 $42,850
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 250 $47,020
Pittsfield N/A $37,840
New Bedford N/A $38,800
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 2400 $30,170
Detroit 2400 $30,170
Dearborn 2400 $30,170
Flint 540 $24,590
Ann Arbor 450 $29,410
Grand Rapids 400 $33,910
Wyoming 400 $33,910
Saginaw 330 $29,480
Benton Harbor 310 $30,430
Niles 310 $30,430
East Lansing 260 $36,880
Lansing 260 $36,880
Muskegon 160 $28,920
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 530 N/A
St. Cloud 30 $30,560
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Gulfport 290 $38,540
Pascagoula 290 $38,540
Biloxi 290 $38,540
Hattiesburg 110 $19,970
Jackson N/A $30,270
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 490 $24,970
Jefferson City 170 $33,450
Columbia 100 $31,960
Joplin 100 $35,100
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings N/A $41,420
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 840 $43,310
Henderson 840 $43,310
Las Vegas 840 $43,310
Reno N/A $40,320
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 130 $36,240
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hammonton 510 $29,460
Atlantic City 510 $29,460
Bridgeton 280 $38,500
Vineland 280 $38,500
Trenton 200 N/A
Ocean City 130 $26,620
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 600 $30,700
Santa Fe 100 $40,790
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1020 $34,010
Albany 1000 $35,120
Troy 1000 $35,120
Schenectady 1000 $35,120
Niagara Falls 650 $27,380
Buffalo 650 $27,380
Cheektowaga 650 $27,380
Syracuse 550 $31,150
Rome 210 $19,570
Utica 210 $19,570
Binghamton 190 $30,860
Fort Drum 160 $33,030
Watertown 160 $33,030
Glens Falls 100 $32,340
Elmira N/A $40,940
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1230 $33,390
Winston 740 $29,780
Salem 740 $29,780
High Point 640 $29,840
Greensboro 640 $29,840
Asheville 570 $36,420
Morganton 440 $28,380
Hickory 440 $28,380
Lenoir 440 $28,380
Wilmington 310 $34,930
Greenville 270 $30,080
New Bern 130 $27,830
Jacksonville 90 $37,330
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 200 $19,730
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 1760 $30,970
Elyria 1760 $30,970
Columbus 1220 $25,370
Toledo 660 $31,030
Akron 600 $27,900
Dayton 530 $28,790
Massillon 510 $27,940
Canton 510 $27,940
Springfield 270 $27,400
Mansfield 80 $31,180
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 690 $31,390
Oklahoma City 640 $31,610
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem N/A $34,660
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 2460 $30,680
Hazleton 840 $27,810
Scranton 840 $27,810
Wilkes 840 $27,810
Barre 840 $27,810
Carlisle 640 $28,780
Harrisburg 640 $28,780
Hanover 510 $31,640
York 510 $31,640
Lancaster 470 $29,740
Johnstown 430 $25,890
Erie 300 $25,190
Williamsport 150 $25,980
Gettysburg 80 $23,310
Chambersburg N/A $27,690
Waynesboro N/A $27,690
Reading N/A $29,430
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
San Juan 1630 $21,920
Carolina 1630 $21,920
Caguas 1630 $21,920
Ponce 100 $17,740
San Germ�n 50 $17,760
Aguadilla 50 $17,780
Isabela 50 $17,780
Mayag�ez 50 $18,040
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1040 $31,030
Anderson 860 $30,380
Mauldin 860 $30,380
Greenville 860 $30,380
North Charleston 600 $32,210
Charleston 600 $32,210
Spartanburg 350 $28,450
Florence 330 $28,520
Bluffton 120 $29,000
Beaufort 120 $29,000
Hilton Head Island 120 $29,000
Sumter N/A $24,140
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 150 $30,240
Sioux Falls 140 $27,640
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 1720 $30,840
Murfreesboro 1720 $30,840
Davidson 1720 $30,840
Nashville 1720 $30,840
Knoxville 720 $25,300
Johnson City 350 $26,730
Jackson 190 $30,540
Morristown 90 $30,340
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 4890 $38,490
Arlington 4890 $38,490
Fort Worth 4890 $38,490
The Woodlands 3860 $31,820
Sugar Land 3860 $31,820
Houston 3860 $31,820
San Antonio 1520 $29,860
New Braunfels 1520 $29,860
Austin 1140 $39,840
Round Rock 1140 $39,840
Mission 650 $27,540
McAllen 650 $27,540
Edinburg 650 $27,540
El Paso 460 $32,250
Beaumont 410 $35,180
Port Arthur 410 $35,180
Lubbock 390 $26,200
Corpus Christi 300 $27,810
Sherman 280 $27,010
Denison 280 $27,010
College Station 230 $34,100
Bryan 230 $34,100
Amarillo 190 $36,030
Abilene 120 $25,100
Odessa 100 $35,250
Harlingen 90 N/A
Brownsville 90 N/A
Wichita Falls 80 $26,460
Longview 40 $27,250
Laredo N/A $28,790
Tyler N/A $31,390
Temple N/A $33,650
Killeen N/A $33,650
San Angelo N/A $38,960
Victoria N/A $40,020
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1230 $36,630
Clearfield 170 $34,810
Ogden 170 $34,810
Provo 140 $20,750
Orem 140 $20,750
St. George 130 $24,990
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 140 $29,440
Burlington 140 $29,440
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 830 $29,900
Lynchburg 260 $27,740
Charlottesville 170 $32,300
Harrisonburg 110 $32,400
Waynesboro N/A $26,610
Staunton N/A $26,610
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 1360 $72,300
Tacoma 1360 $72,300
Bellevue 1360 $72,300
Bremerton 230 $39,590
Silverdale 230 $39,590
Tumwater 170 $59,640
Olympia 170 $59,640
Richland 140 $47,260
Kennewick 140 $47,260
Spokane 130 $47,440
Spokane Valley 130 $47,440
Mount Vernon 120 $46,270
Anacortes 120 $46,270
Wenatchee 60 $31,670
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 350 $23,530
Vienna 160 N/A
Parkersburg 160 N/A
Morgantown 100 $31,220
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 1440 $29,270
West Allis 1440 $29,270
Waukesha 1440 $29,270
Madison 660 $19,840
Wausau 210 $34,010
Green Bay 180 $31,580
Eau Claire 100 $38,890
Fond du Lac 90 $39,380
Janesville 90 $40,100
Beloit 90 $40,100
Appleton 80 $23,100
Racine 80 $30,190
Neenah N/A $31,870
Oshkosh N/A $31,870
Sheboygan N/A $32,100
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Casper 70 $36,150
Cheyenne 30 $34,960

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for EMT and Paramedics

To find out more about building a career as Emt And Paramedics, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
EMT and Paramedics

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Medical Office 101,440 49% $27,300
Government 59,240 28% $32,470
Hospital 40,310 19% $30,890
Office Services And Staffing 2,210 1% $29,260
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for EMT and Paramedics.

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