For detailed information on the differences between EMTs and paramedics, see the
Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, EMTs and paramedics have irregular working hours. The working environment for this rewarding and challenging field includes:
For realistic information on job duties and working conditions, check out:
Beyond the general duties listed, specific responsibilities of EMTs and paramedics depend on their level of qualification and training. To determine this, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians registers emergency medical service (EMS) providers at four levels. Some states, including Texas, also offer their own certification.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook details working conditions, training, employment and job outlook for EMT and paramedic occupations. Job opportunities include working with:
- Private ambulance services
- Fire departments
- Police departments
- Emergency 911 services
EMTs and Paramedics
Advancement beyond the EMT-paramedic level usually means leaving fieldwork. An EMT-paramedic can become a supervisor, operations manager, administrative director or executive director of emergency services.
Some EMTs and paramedics become instructors, dispatchers or physician assistants, while others move into sales or marketing of emergency medical equipment. A number of people become EMTs and paramedics to assess their interest in health care and then decide to return to school and become registered nurses, physicians or other health workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook details working conditions, training, employment and job outlook for firefighting occupations.
Firefighters work in a variety of settings, including:
- Airport fire teams
- Chemical plant and other industrial site fire teams
- Emergency medical service (EMS) units
- Hazardous materials units
- National park and forest fire teams
- Urban and rural fire departments
Between alarms, firefighters clean and maintain equipment, conduct practice drills and fire inspections, and participate in physical fitness activities. They also prepare written reports on fire incidents and review fire science literature to keep abreast of technological developments and changing administrative practices and policies.
Prospective firefighters are expected to face keen competition for available job openings. Applicants with the best opportunities are those who are physically fit and score the highest on physical conditioning and mechanical aptitude exams. Those who have completed some firefighter education at a community college and have EMT certification will have an advantage in the job search.
Salaries and Projected Job Growth
While projected job grown for emergency medical technicians and paramedics is about 9 percent across the nation through 2016, it’s estimated to reach 28 percent in Texas.
According to America’s Career Infonet, salaries for the following occupations in Texas are:
|Job||Median Hourly Rate||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Through 2018|
|EMTs and paramedics||$13.47||$28,000||+26%|