How to Become an Emergency Medical Technican or Paramedic

Overview & Salaries

Median salary:

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:

Management, dispatch, and transportation

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need a bachelors’s degree in paramedic or EMT services and pass a state-approve licensing exam. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree can be useful in helping you stand out during the hiring process. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

(all information above provided by the EMT or Paramedic page in the 2012 BLS)

Discover the Best Places to Become a Paramedic

California has the greatest number of employment opportunities for paramedics, with 16,680 positions currently being filled by these professionals. The state offers a yearly average salary of $35,310, though not the highest in the nation. The highest annual mean wage can be found in Illinois, where paramedics make $49,340 yearly and have access to 12,890 positions in the field.

Salaries and Employment Information by State for Paramedics

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Emergency Medical Services. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Paramedic

Why Paramedic

They are the first ones we call in an emergency and often the first on the scene in life and death situations. For emergency medical professionals, getting up and going to work each day can be a matter of life or death for someone.  And as the American population continues to age, these first-responders are continually under stress with the increased number of age-related emergencies. This is why the need for emergency medical professionals is growing faster than most other industries.

Recommended Paramedic Courses

  • EMS Management
  • Introduction to Paramedicine
  • Paramedic Airway and Patient Management
  • Paramedic – Cardiology
  • Paramedic – Medical Emergencies
  • Paramedic – Trauma
  • Emergency Medical Technician with Defibrillation
  • EMT Basic
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Advanced Airway Management
  • EMS Operations

Degrees for Paramedic Careers

Before undertaking secondary-level courses to become an emergency medical professional, students need to receive a high school diploma (or GED) and pass cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.

Associate’s Degree
Intensive studies in EMT-Paramedic courses at this level prepare students for entry level roles in the emergency medical field, often they are teamed up with experienced professionals to enhance their on-the job training.

Students are also required to complete a state certification course after graduation.

Certificate Program
Most certificate programs are designed for varying levels of experienced professionals looking to advance their skills and careers.