Paramedics are often the first to arrive at scenes of emergency. They care for the wounded and sometimes critically ill people in emergency settings. Oftentimes they will work in situations where people's lives are hanging in the balance. They must be able to focus within a scene of chaos. They also need to be able to perform their jobs quickly and accurately under pressure. A typical day of work for paramedics may include the following:
Responding to emergency calls for assistance
Assessing how badly a patient is wounded and what the treatment should be
Replacing supplies and cleaning equipment
Creating a patient care report that details the care that the patient received
Applying restraints to keep patients safe during the ambulance ride
Assisting with transporting the patient to the ambulance and from the ambulance to the hospital or other facility
Following instructions from their supervisor and relying on their extensive training
Candidates who enjoy working with people and can stay emotionally strong in very high pressure situations will like working as a paramedic. They sometimes work directly with doctors and nurses.
Paramedic Job Education Requirements
Paramedics must complete a postsecondary emergency medical technology program that leads to an associate's degree. Before being admitted to such a program, candidates will need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification. Some of the instruction in the postsecondary program will take place in a hospital or emergency setting.
Paramedic Job Market
There are currently over 239,000 people employed as paramedics in the United States, and more than 55,000 new paramedic jobs will be created by 2022. That 23 percent job growth shows that job opportunities for paramedics are growing at a much faster average rate than most other occupations. Paramedics are in high demand, and more jobs will continue to be added each year. Age-related medical emergencies from a growing elderly population are part of the reason why this field will continue to grow.
Paramedic Job Salary Information
The average salary for paramedics is $31,020 per year, with the salary for some under $20,180. Some paramedics earn over $53,550, so there is room for growth in many of the positions. This position earns more than others in the field, like an ambulatory care nurse. Paramedics can also earn more if they are willing to travel to work in areas where they are in high demand. Paramedics must work a full-time schedule that often includes overtime. It can include overnight work and weekends.