USA Career Guide- EMTs and Paramedics

Education needed to be EMTs and Paramedics in USA

Both a high school diploma or equivalent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification are prerequisites for most formal education and training programs. High school students interested in entering these occupations should take courses in anatomy and physiology. Formal training is offered by technical institutes, community colleges, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training.

EMT-Basic level training includes instruction in assessing patients' conditions, dealing with trauma and cardiac emergencies, clearing obstructed airways, using field equipment, and handling emergencies. Formal courses include about 100 hours of specialized training. Some training may be required in a hospital or ambulance setting.

Paramedics have the most advanced level of training. Paramedics will typically enroll and graduate from a program that lasts approximately 2 years. Community colleges and technical schools offer an associates degree. . Paramedic programs require about 1,300 hours of training and may take up to 2 years.

Licensing and Credentialing
In all 50 states and the U.S. Territories EMT's and Paramedics are regulated. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) provides national certification of EMTs and paramedics at four levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate (which has two levels, respectively called 1985 and 1999), and Paramedic.
The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed EMT or Paramedic is:
1) Complete an accredited course of study; usually from a college or university.
2) Pass a national exam
3) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.

Pay of EMTs and Paramedics in the USA

The median annual wage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics was $30,360 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,710, and the top 10 percent earned more than $51,370.

Job Outlook of EMTs and Paramedics in the USA

The BLS predicts employment in this field will grow as fast as the average for all occupations, employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020. Job growth will occur as a result of an aging population and increasing numbers of emergency medical calls. Demand will further increase as hospital emergency departments become more overcrowded, and patients spend more time under the care of EMTs and paramedics.
Emergencies such as car crashes, natural disasters, and violence will continue to create demand for EMTs and paramedics. There will also continue to be demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas.

Industrial Overview of  EMTs and Paramedics in the USA

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics held about 226,500 jobs in 2010. Almost half of paid EMTs and paramedics worked as employees of ambulance services in 2010. Others worked in hospitals or local government:

Ambulance services    48%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals    29
Hospitals; state, local, and private    17
In 2010, about 22 percent of EMTs and paramedics belonged to a union or were covered by a union contract.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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