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Why would you want to be a paramedic?

EMS providers share why they recommend the profession


In this June 26, 2021, file photo, a paramedic with Falck Northwest ambulances treats a man experiencing heat exposure during a heat wave in Salem, Ore.

AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File

We can be our own biggest critics, but also our own best recruiting tool.

In the EMS1 “What paramedics want in 2022” report, 3,213 EMS providers were surveyed about job satisfaction, effective leadership, safety and innovation. Of those more than 3,000 respondents, when asked “How likely are you to recommend EMS as a career to others?,” 50% responded with a score of 7 or above in the 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely scale). Twelve percent of respondents responded with 10/10 – I will recommend this field.

Below, find a sampling of the reasons they included with their top scores.

Nature of the work

Autonomy, experience and never the same day twice – paramedics enjoy the exciting nature of the work which is always changing but based on human connections. Here’s what the EMS Trends Survey respondents had to say.

“Unpredictable, never the same day twice, rewarding.”

“High purpose and develop a well-rounded healthcare experience”

“EMS has given me all that is good in my life. EMS has helped form my work ethic, has given me a sense of pride and has provided me with a core group of friends that I can depend on. No other job allows you to be the person who helps control chaos while holding someone’s hand and when not on a bad call you can sit and have a cup of coffee with your partner and solve the world’s problems.”

“I still after 11+years think I have the best job on the planet. It’s a job that is human connection and vulnerability-centric and that has led me to have an overflowing amount of fulfillment and pride in what and how I preform at work. I will do this job in one way or another until I am physically incapable.”

“Opportunities, diversity and shiftwork without needing excessive education.”

“I have very rarely not wanted to go to work on any given day. Schedules are flexible and can be changed with relative ease. Not stuck in an office all day, never boring. Lots of interaction with new people and occasional high excitement!”

“EMS is the perfect introduction to healthcare. Anyone considering a career in healthcare should consider starting in EMS. Hopefully, people will choose to stay in EMS long-term. Every day is different. You aren’t tied to a windowless office or hospital, you see so many different people every day and get to be the connection between the public and different aspects of healthcare and social services. Add on to that the autonomy to perform life-saving medical interventions at the time and place people need it most and EMS is the most exciting career.”

“EMS has been my career for 18 years and I have always promoted it and now teach it. I don’t think enough younger people know that it’s an option for a very rewarding career without needing a 4-year degree and being in debt to work.”

“Based on the individual it could be a turning point for many in their own lives. To give back to the community and be able to step outside with education to share and give to others in many different forms – what a way to live life!”


Ask anyone in healthcare or public safety why they joined their profession and a calling to help people is usually at the forefront. Here’s what EMS Trends Survey respondents said about the rewarding nature of EMS.

“I love my job. At the end of the day no matter how long and stressful it was I can go home and feel like I was able to help someone even if it was just holding their hand on a transport because they were scared.”

“It is the most honorable career a person can ask for. You get to help people when they need it the most.”

“There’s no greater feeling than to know that you took part in helping someone to get better or recover from injuries or illness.”

“EMS has offered me opportunities to serve my community, challenge myself during some of the most intense situations, and to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. It has been a difficult, physically and mentally challenging career, but the rewards have been worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears!”

“If you have service in your soul, then this job is extremely rewarding.”

“Service gives purpose.”

“A career of serving those who otherwise might be left neglected.”

“I believe that working in EMS is very rewarding in that you help others regardless of the race, ethnicity, background, etc. You are able to see the difference you make in other people’s lives whether that be helping them in life threatening situations or just educating them on how to better take care of themselves or others they are helping. This job isn’t about the money but the selflessness in helping others who need it.”

“It is a rewarding profession. We get to help people in their worst time and with any luck, make it a little better.”

“Amazing opportunity to have a positive impact people having their worst days. I get to do things some people only read about. The close-knit community and peer support is outstanding. Best job ever!”

Opportunities for career growth

Many EMS Trends Survey respondents noted that opportunities for advancement and transitioning into higher levels of care have improved over time for EMS, and have never been as varied as they are today.

“I would recommend EMS as a career because of the wide amount of experience you gain medically, socially and psychologically. It helps to discipline you in many aspects of your life, especially as a young adult entering the working world.”

“Service to others, autonomy of practice, work life balance.”

“EMS is, in my opinion, one of the most rewarding and contributory areas of medical service, regardless of the discipline. It holds as many varied professional opportunities as any other area of paraprofessional, nursing or medicine.”

“Challenging, varied, rewarding, necessary service to my community, room for advancement opportunities across the country.”

“I feel EMS is a great profession and allows ample room for advancement. Although the work can be hard, it is very satisfying.”

“I feel the pay is finally improving and it affords you to transition into higher levels of care.”

“I hire EMTs and paramedics every day. There has never been as open a career pathway from untrained to licensed paramedic with room for advancement into supervision and management as there is today. All paid for by employers. A great option for those seeking a career that would not have thought it possible before. especially people from traditionally marginalized communities without access to a traditional college experience.”

“Great career field. As much work as a person would hope for and wages are increasing.”

“Very rewarding career field and has many pathways to additional opportunities.”

“EMS is a good stepping stone into other branches of public service. The training and experience gained will last a lifetime.”

Why do you recommend EMS? Add your comments below and share this article with the future first responders in your network.

This article was originally posted Oct. 27, 2022. It has been updated.

Kerri Hatt is editor-in-chief, EMS1, responsible for defining original editorial content, tracking industry trends, managing expert contributors and leading execution of special coverage efforts. Prior to joining Lexipol, she served as an editor for medical allied health B2B publications and communities.

Kerri has a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University, in Philadelphia. She is based out of Charleston, SC. Share your personal and agency successes, strategies and stories with Kerri at