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Home > Topics > EMS Management
October 14, 2011
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EMS 101
by EMS1 Staff

EMT Salary: How to make more money

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT hourly wages as of 2010 range between $9.48 and $24.70 an hour

By EMS1 Contributors

If you're an Emergency Medical Technician, you know that you're never going to get rich on your EMT salary. However, you're a trained professional in a high stress job who handles critical life and death issues on a daily – if not hourly – basis and you'd like to be compensated at the highest level possible. If you want to know how to make more money as an EMT, you should start investigating what the national averages are so you estimate how your rate of pay compares. This article will help you do so.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT hourly wages as of 2010 range between $9.48 and $24.70 an hour, with the average hourly wage at $16.01. That translates to an annual EMT salary of $19,710 at the low end and $51,370 at the top. The average salary for EMTs is $33,300 per year.

EMTs can usually earn additional pay through working overtime and receiving yearly performance bonuses.

EMT salary ranges depend largely on the state in which you're working. Metropolitan areas generally have the highest rate of pay, but they can also have the most competition for jobs and the highest cost of living, which are important factors that must be taken into consideration. The states that pay the highest EMT salaries are Alaska and Hawaii. The highest paying cities are Seattle and San Francisco.

Search jobs by state

Another factor in EMT salary levels is your level of training and professional designation. Training requirements and designations vary from state to state, but generally they are EMT-B (Basic), EMT

Intermediate and Paramedic, with the latter being the highest level of EMT training. Since an EMT-B can earn from $33,000 to $51,000 a year and a Paramedic can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 a year, one way to make more money as an EMT is to increase your training and designation.

To transition between an EMT-B and a paramedic, you must complete an additional one to two years of training, depending on your state's licensing requirements.

Another consideration in gauging EMT salary rates is the agency you work for. Private ambulance companies generally have the lowest rates of pay and state governments have the highest. State government jobs include fire departments and state or city-run ambulance services. Also, some State Police departments and the National Park Service are staffed with EMTs who respond to emergency medical situations.

Hospitals also employ EMS workers to transport patients in when they require critical care such as IV pump infusions and ventilator management while moving from one medical facility to the next.

They also sometimes use EMTs in place of nurses. EMT salary rates at hospitals are usually in the mid to upper ranges of pay.

Another option for increasing your EMT pay is to train to become a registered nurse. RNs earn anywhere from $38,000 to $70,000 a year.

Although an EMT salary isn't going to buy you a mansion and a Mercedes, as an emergency health care professional you do have the satisfaction of knowing that the service you're providing is vital to the health and safety of your community.



About the author

EMS 101 articles are intended to educate a non-emergency medical services audience about the emergency medical services profession. These articles are written by EMS1 staff members and EMS1 contributors, and cover a wide range of topics from EMS protocols all paramedics & EMTs should follow to an overview of the necessary requirements for becoming a paramedic.
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