Being an emergency medical technician (EMT) is a rewarding career path with a respectable salary. The field of advanced emergency medical technician is blowing up and there is plenty of room to grow. You’ll have the chance to serve those truly in need and make a positive impact on your community. Are you wondering how much a paramedic makes? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the typical emt salary and how to become a paramedic.
Basic EMT Job Responsibilities
Paramedics are tasked with providing medical care to critically injured patients in life and death situations. They work closely with firefighters and police to help patients get quickly and safely to the hospital for additional care. These include:
- Respond to 911 calls
- Take vital signs
- Gather patient’s medical history
- Perform medical assessments
- Provide life support to critically sick and injured patients
- Assist in emergency childbirth
- Help manage burns
- Perform CPR
- Safely operate ambulances
- Complete patient care reports and document patient treatment
- Coordinate with other emergency workers
- Restock used supplies
What Is The Typical EMT Salary?
As of December 2019, the average salary is $35,800. The total compensation, including health insurance, paid time off (PTO), retirement and yearly bonuses can range from $32,230 to $40,040 for a paramedics salary. However, this amount is not set in stone. Salaries for EMTs vary widely depending on many factors including their level of training, national experience and the company they work for.
What Factors Influence EMT Salary?
- Where you live. EMT salaries range greatly depending on the state where you live. First responders who live on the West Coast tend to make more money. However, the cost of living is also higher.
- Your education. Another factor that determines your EMT salary is your education level. At the minimum, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent and complete basic EMT training. If you have an associates degree or higher, you can make more money as an advanced medical tech or paramedic.
- The type of agency that employs you. Private ambulance companies typically have the lowest rates of pay. Hospitals generally pay more than private ambulance companies. Government agencies, such as fire departments and state police departments, usually pay the highest. Newer EMTs may start off working for private ambulance companies while more experienced ones might work for hospital-owned ones or state or federal governments.
- Overtime pay. Many EMTs work overtime, which can be a significant source of funds. Employees usually earn anywhere from 1.5 to 2 times their normal pay when working over 40 hours per week.
What state pays EMTs the most?
Here are the five states where EMTs and paramedics have the highest EMT salaries.
- Washington, DC – In the District of Columbia, they make an average of $58,110 per year.
- Washington – The average mean wage for paramedics and EMTs and Washington is $68,970 per year.
- Alaska – The average annual mean wage for EMT in Alaska is $48,420 per year.
- Connecticut – Connecticut is the fourth highest- paying state for EMTs. In Connecticut are in an average of $47,810 per year.
- Maryland – The next highest paying state for EMTs is Maryland. The average annual EMT and paramedic salary in Maryland is $46,010 a year.
What Are Some EMT Jobs on the side?
There are plenty of side positions available where they can make extra money. EMTs usually work 12 to 24-hour shifts with three to four days off in a row. This scheduling can make it easy to take on a second job. Here are some of the best side jobs for EMTs.
- CPR Instructor – Teaching CPR classes makes a lot of sense for emergency medical technicians since they already know the ropes when it comes to CPR. CPR instructors make an average of $29 per hour in the U.S.
- Personal trainer – Being a personal trainer on the side makes a lot of sense for EMTs since they have to stay in excellent shape anyway. Personal trainers usually have flexible schedules and make an average salary of $21 to $35 per hour.
- Rideshare driver – Being an Uber or Lyft driver is another great part-time gig for an EMT. Lyft drivers can make $35 per hour, while Uber drivers make up to $25 per hour.
- Special event EMT – Many companies hire EMTs to provide EMT services at special events, such as sporting events. Special event EMTs can make between $150 to $500 per day.
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How Do You Become An EMT?
Now that you know the EMT Salary, have you decided that this career path is right for you? If so, then you’ll need to know how to become an EMT. Here are the steps:
- Complete EMT basic training (EMT-B) – The first step is to complete an EMT basics course. This course takes between six months to two years to complete. To enroll in EMT basic training, you’ll need to be 18 years old or older and have a high school diploma or GED. Basic training consists of 120 to 150 hours of coursework in medical assessment, emergency procedures, and lifesaving techniques.
- Pass background, medical and drug testing – Before becoming a certified EMT, you’ll need to pass a background check. Medical and drug testing screens are also typically required due to the nature of the job.
- Pass a certification exam – The final step in becoming an EMT and getting those great emt salaries is to pass a national or state certification exam. This examination is administered through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). It includes both practical (psychomotor) and written (cognitive) sections. The exam can be taken up to three times. If you fail, you must wait at least 15 days before re-taking the test.
Advancement Opportunities for EMTs
After you become an EMT, you can further your career by becoming an EMT- Intermediate or paramedic.
The EMT Intermediate (EMT-I) training involves the addition of training hours. EMT- I training builds on the skills learned during the EMT basic training. You’ll learn to administer IV fluids, intubate patients and use more advanced medical equipment.
A paramedic is the highest level of training and their salary reflects that. Most paramedics complete both EMT basic and EMT-I training. Most paramedics have at least an associates degree from a community college. Coursework should include classes in physiology and anatomy. Paramedics earn an average of $42,000 to $50,000 a year salary depending on education and years of experience.
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