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Emergency medical technician-paramedic.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS (EMTS) AND PARAMEDICS RESPOND TO SITUATIONS such as automobile accidents, heart attacks and natural disasters. They provide the immediate medical attention required, and care for the sick or injured before or during transportation of the patient to a medical facility. Typically, EMTs and paramedics are dispatched through the 911 system and often work with police and fire departments.

The Workplace

EMTs and paramedics may be employed by fire departments, hospitals or private ambulance services. The work is very physically and mentally demanding. Not only do EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather conditions, but they must do so quickly, often bending, kneeling and lifting patients. They may have to respond to situations where acts of violence or natural disasters have occurred. In spite of the challenges, many have found the job to be equally rewarding since they are able to help others-sometimes even save their lives.

Educational Requirements

Formal training and certification is required to become an EMT or paramedic. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have a certification procedure, and maintaining certification requires reregistering, usually every two years, along with meeting a continuing education requirement. There are various levels of progression in EMT training, beginning with EMT-basic and going up to the EMT-paramedic level. With even more training and education, EMT-paramedics can become supervisors, operations managers or executive directors of emergency services.



According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of EMTs and paramedics in May 2004 were between $23,130 and $27,720, although the highest 10 percent earned more than $43,240. EMTs and paramedics who are part of fire and police departments do receive benefits such as pension plans.

Job Outlook

Like most other health care jobs, EMTs and paramedics will continue to be in demand. The Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that employment of EMTs and paramedics is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2014, as our population increases, and aging baby boomers become more likely to have medical emergencies.

Explore More

To learn more about the job of EMT-paramedic and the training and education required, here are some Web sites to visit.

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians

National Academies of Emergency Dispatch
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Title Annotation:CAREER CURVE
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2008
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