• Careers and Employment Outlook

    Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow 9 percent between 2008 and 2018. Growth in this occupation is due in large part to increasing call volume due to aging population.

    Job prospects should be favorable. Many job openings will arise from growth and from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation because of the limited potential for advancement, as well as the modest pay and benefits in private-sector jobs. In addition, full-time paid EMTs and paramedics will be needed to replace unpaid volunteers. Emergency medical service agencies find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain unpaid volunteers because of the amount of training and the large time commitment these positions require. As a result, more paid EMTs and paramedics are needed.

    Earnings of EMTs and paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location of their jobs, as well as their training and experience. Median hourly wages of EMTs and paramedics were $14.10 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.13 and $18.28. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.08, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.77. Median hourly wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of EMTs and paramedics in May 2008 were $12.99 in other ambulatory healthcare services and $15.45 in local government.

    Statistics on employment, training and earnings can be found at the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.