How Much Do EMTs Make?

emt job descriptionEmergency Medical Technicians or EMTs provide emergency care to individuals who are sick or injured. They usually respond to 911 calls and provide ambulatory services. People’s lives depend on the EMT’s quick reaction and proper care in emergency medical settings, as well as in the transport of patients from the place of incident to the nearest hospital.

EMTs must be available to work in emergency situations, which means they work full time and often during weekends, holidays, and overnight. It is common for an EMT to work in a 12-hour or 24-hour shift. Depending on the type of EMT skill level, the medical services done on patients vary.

EMT Salary

How much do EMTs make? The average EMT salary is a year or an equivalent of $16.50 per hour. The upper 10% of EMTs earns an average of $58,640 while the lower 10% earns an average of $22,760.

emt salaryEMTs often work full-time and most of them have to work during weekends and holidays. About 1 in every 3 EMTs work over 40 hours every week. There are several different ways to become an EMT.

An EMT starting salary depends on the skill level, the industry, and the state.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Washington FlagWashington1.00$27.81$57,850
Hawaii FlagHawaii 1.13$23.55$48,970
Illinois FlagIllinois2.02$22.87$47,580
Alaska FlagAlaska1.34$22.32$46,430
Nevada FlagNevada

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
State Government0.06$26.35$54,800
Medical – Diagnostic Laboratories0.01$25.15$52,320
Junior Colleges $23.86$49,620
Colleges/Universities- and Professional Schools0.01$20.17$41,950
Iron – Steel Mills / Ferroalloy Manufacturing0.04$19.58$40,720

EMT Job Description

what does an emt doWhat does an EMT do? EMTs provide emergency medical care for those who are injured or sick. They respond to emergency situations, perform emergency medical services, and transport patients to the hospital or medical facility.

Among the duties of an EMT include responding to 911 calls for those needing emergency medical assistance, performing CPR or dressing wounds, assessing a patient’s condition and providing a course of treatment, using equipment such as backboards and restrains when transferring patients, creating a patient care report, document the care given to the individual, and maintaining the ambulance, equipment, and supplies.

When transferring patients, one EMT drives the ambulance and another monitors the condition of the patient. EMTs also transfer patients from 1 hospital to another, and also assist in helicopter transfers. When handling patients with contagious diseases, EMTs have to report the case to the doctors and decontaminate the ambulance.

There are 3 different level of EMTs: the EMT/Basic, Advanced EMT or EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic.

EMT/Basic – EMTs under this skill level care for and provide emergency medical services, and have the skills to manage respiratory, trauma, and cardiac emergencies.

EMT Intermediate – EMTs under this skill level have all the skills of an EMT Basic plus more advanced medical procedures like administering intravenous fluids and medicines.

Paramedic – EMTs under this skill level provide more extensive pre-hospital care, give medication intravenously or orally, interpret EKGs, and use other more complex equipment.

There are 239,100 jobs for EMTs and 48% of them works in ambulant services while 30% works in the government and 17% works in hospitals.

They work indoors and outdoors and under all types of weather. The work that an EMT does is physically demanding. Kneeling down, running, and lifting patients is a common demand of the job. Most EMTs work in metropolitan areas and those in smaller cities often work as volunteer EMTs for fire departments and hospitals.

EMTs also have a higher rate for injuries and illnesses than the national average. They are often exposed to individuals with severe medical conditions such as contagious diseases and they are at a greater risk for acquiring Hepatitis B or AIDS. They also work with the police or fire department during disasters and are exposed to dangerous situations. Some patients may also be mentally ill or combative and can be violent.

These risks for injuries and illnesses can be reduced by waiting for the police to clear the area and by wearing gloves and other necessary gear to prevent the spread of diseases.

EMT Job Outlook

The projected increase in employment for EMTs is at 15% from 2016 to 2026. About 37,400 jobs are seen to be created during these years. This is much higher than the national average and it’s due to the foreseen demand in emergency medical needs for the aging population and to the development of specialized medical facilities.

Growth in the middle aged and senior citizen population will lead to an increase in the number of age-related emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes. New technologies in the field of medicine will also see more patients being transferred from one medical facility to another.

EMT Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama1.889$14.26$29,670
Alaska FlagAlaska1.337$22.32$46,430
Arizona FlagArizona1.442$16.94$35,240
Arkansas FlagArkansas1.871$14.48$30,130
California FlagCalifornia1.073$17.17$35,720
Colorado flagColorado1.477$18.84$39,180
Connecticut FlagConnecticut1.966$20.38$42,390
Delaware flagDelaware3.084$17.77$36,960
Florida FlagFlorida1.269$15.46$32,150
Georgia FlagGeorgia2.305$15.24$31,690
Hawaii FlagHawaii1.129$23.55$48,970
Idaho FlagIdaho1.542$15.19$31,600
Illinois FlagIllinois2.023$22.87$47,580
Indiana FlagIndiana1.962$14.83$30,850
Iowa FlagIowa1.675$16.04$33,370
Kansas FlagKansas1.91$14.09$29,310
Kentucky FlagKentucky2.513$14.13$29,390
Louisiana FlagLouisiana1.501$17.24$35,850
Maine FlagMaine2.948$15.69$32,630
Maryland FlagMaryland1.831$19.02$39,550
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.003$19.18$39,890
Michigan FlagMichigan1.625$15.01$31,220
Minnesota FlagMinnesota1.55$18.80$39,110
Mississippi FlagMississippi1.9$15.48$32,210
Missouri FlagMissouri2.165$16.11$33,520
Montana FlagMontana1.639$14.23$29,590
Nebraska FlagNebraska1.183$15.63$32,520
Nevada FlagNevada1.03$21.10$43,890
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire1.542$17.33$36,040
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey1.983$16.99$35,340
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico1.843$16.80$34,950
New York FlagNew York1.749$19.13$39,780
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina2.506$15.69$32,630
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota1.959$14.01$29,130
Ohio FlagOhio1.992$14.74$30,660
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma2.123$14.59$30,340
Oregon FlagOregon1.209$18.25$37,960
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania2.312$15.32$31,870
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island1.419$19.85$41,280
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina2.899$15.08$31,370
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota2.19$13.72$28,550
Tennessee FlagTennessee2.659$15.85$32,970
Texas FlagTexas1.449$16.84$35,020
Utah FlagUtah1.72$16.48$34,270
Vermont FlagVermont1.761$14.79$30,770
Virginia FlagVirginia1.392$15.46$32,150
Washington FlagWashington0.995$27.81$57,850
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia3.552$13.15$27,350
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin1.997$13.89$28,900
Wyomin FlagWyoming2.286$15.63$32,500

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Seattle / Bellevue / Everett, – WA – Metropolitan Division 0.83$30.71$63,890
Chicago / Joliet / Naperville, – IL – Metropolitan Division 1.82$28.18$58,610
Santa Cruz / Watsonville, – CA 0.70$27.56$57,330
Olympia, WA 1.57$27.54$57,270
San Francisco / San Mateo / Redwood City, – CA – Metropolitan Division 0.64$26.71$55,560

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Northwestern Washington – nonmetropolitan area 1.45$28.20$58,670
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska, nonmetropolitan area1.20$27.50$57,210
Central Washington, nonmetropolitan area3.04$25.67$53,390
Eastern Washington – nonmetropolitan area0.89$25.56$53,160
Nantucket Island / Martha’s Vineyard, nonmetropolitan area3.95$24.51$50,980

EMT Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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