10 cities where EMS providers earn more than the average wage

EMS1 has uncovered several areas where EMS salaries are actually higher than average


By Megan Wells, EMS1 Contributor 

While most EMS professionals didn't get into the line of work for the pay, a higher salary can go a long way to improving a person's quality of life, arguably making them more effective, professionally, too. And a profession that saves lives every day should be worth more than minimum wage, right?

EMS1 analyzed 450 areas to see how paramedic and EMT wages measured up to other occupations. Only 24 areas pay EMS professionals more than the average wage for all occupations. We've listed the top 10 areas paying the largest difference, and included an interactive map detailing which areas are above the mark when it comes to paying EMS providers. A full methodology can be found below. 

HERE ARE THE TOP 10 AREAS WITH THE MOST FAVORABLE DIFFERENCE IN PAY:

1. Tacoma, Washington    

  • EMS average salary: $77,770.00    
  • All industry average salary: $48,320.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $29,450.00

2. Pueblo, Colorado

  • EMS average salary: $62,080.00    
  • All industry average salary: $41,950.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $20,130.00

3. Des Moines, Iowa    

  • EMS average salary: $62,210.00
  • All industry average salary: $47,170.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $15,040.00

4. Fremont, Nebraska    

  • EMS average salary: $46,640.00
  • All industry average salary: $37,160.00
  • Difference in annual wage: $9,480.00

5. Bellevue, Washington

  • EMS average salary: $66,170.00
  • All industry average salary: $59,060.00
  • Difference in annual wage: $7,110.00

6. Everett, Washington

  • EMS average salary: $66,170.00
  • All industry average salary: $59,060.00
  • Difference in annual wage: $7,110.00

7. Federal Way, Washington    

  • EMS average salary: $66,170.00    
  • All industry average salary: $59,060.00
  • Difference in annual wage: $7,110.00

8. Renton, Washington    

  • EMS average salary: $66,170.00    
  • All industry average salary: $59,060.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $7,110.00

9. Seattle, Washington    

  • EMS average salary: $66,170.00    
  • All industry average salary: $59,060.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $7,110.00

10. Lewiston, Idaho

  • EMS average salary: $45,650.00    
  • All industry average salary: $39,380.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $6,270.00

Here are the six cities that would make the Top 10 if Washington state was excluded from the data: 

  1. Henderson, Nevada
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Lawrence, Kansas
  4. Homer, Alaska
  5. Kenai, Alaska
  6. Ketchikan, Alaska

Full methodology:

  • We used the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data, to identify the mean wage in 450 metro areas for all occupations.
  • BLS collects wage data over the course of a three-year period that samples nearly 1.2 establishments and allows for a detailed estimate of salary data based on geography, industry, and occupation. (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm)
  • Using the same set of data we identified the mean wage for paramedics and EMTs (which are bundled in the same category) for the same 450 metro areas.
     

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