The average paramedic salary for one working in the middle 50% should be between $34,000 and $45,000. This is also an hourly pay range between $17 and $21. Therefore, the median annual salary for a paramedic is about $39,000, or $19 per hour. Paramedics working in the lowest 10th percentile should expect an average salary of about $30,700 or less ($15 or less per hour). However, paramedics working in the top 10th percentile can expect a comfortable salary of about $49,000 or higher. This is equivalent to an hourly rate of about $24 or higher.
Many factors will determine the differing salaries for paramedics. Geographic location, employment type, and experience are just three of these factors. Metropolitan areas tend to pay paramedics a higher salary. Better experience is a factor for improved salary in every job field. Employment type is one of the most important factors for paramedics’ salaries. Those paramedics working in ambulances tend to have lower wages. Paramedics working for state or local government facilities should expect the highest wages overall.
The average total compensation package for a paramedic after benefits is about $57,700. Paid benefits from an employer might include health care, paid time off, social security, and pension to name a few.
Job Description of a Paramedic
Paramedics are typically the first responders to emergency 9-1-1 calls. Since paramedics are usually the first health care professionals to arrive, they are responsible for assessing the patient’s condition, making a quick and knowledgeable diagnosis, and treating the patient before hospital admission.
Some treatments and tasks performed by paramedics in these situations may include resuscitating or stabilizing patients, administering IV drips, drugs, and oxygen, applying spinal and traction splints, and using equipment such as defibrillators to care for patients in an emergency situation. Since injuries and illnesses can happen to anyone at any time, paramedics have an extensive list of responsibilities. The priority: do the best possible job to save a life.
How to Become a Paramedic
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Paramedics are the highest educated EMTs on the scene, and the level of training involved is rigorous, to say the least. First, an aspiring paramedic must be certified as an EMT-B; this is the lowest level of EMT. The programs for this certification can be found in community colleges and similar institutions. The program will usually last about six months. A state certification test must next be completed.
Oftentimes, people will gain experience working as EMTs before continuing the rigorous training process to becoming a paramedic. Some paramedic programs even require six months or more of experience as an EMT before one can be enrolled.
To officially become a paramedic, one must next complete a two year paramedic training program. This program can be found in community colleges. The program will give students classroom instruction as well as clinical experience in the medical field. The specific state licensing exam for the state the paramedic wishes to work in must be passed at the end of this program. Students are now considered certified paramedics.
Paramedic Salaries in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
Paramedics working outside of the United States may see even higher wages in some other first world countries. For instance, the average annual income for a Canadian paramedic is C$53,000. The same paramedic in Australia will make about AU$56,700. These are higher salaries than the averages found in the United States.
Closer to a U.S. salary are the salaries given to paramedics working in the United Kingdom. These professionals should see the average annual income of about £25,400. This is equivalent to almost $41,000 in the United States.
Verdict on Paramedic Salary
The career path of a paramedic can be an exciting and exhilarating ride. Paramedic training should last for about three years, which is significantly less than many other health care professionals. Yet, paramedics may see a higher starting salary than many other medical assistants, nurses, and EMTs. Furthermore, there will always be something new going on in the job of a paramedic. No two emergencies will be the same. It can be an adventurous career, and it can give the right person the opportunity to save lives.