EMT stands for emergency medical technician. The national median EMT salary in the United States is reported to be about $31,000 per year or about $ an hour. The top ten percent of EMTs earn a salary of about $50,000 or more per annum which is about $ or more per hour. The bottom 10 percent of EMTs earn about $24,000 or less per annum or about $ or less an hour. The middle 50% of emergency medical technicians reported wages between $27,000 and $36,000 per annum or between $ and $ per hour.
There are a few factors that may play a part in how much and EMT earns. One such factor is the number of hours worked. Most EMTs work on a fulltime basis and a few work as volunteers. Some also work extended hours. Generally the more hours you work, the higher the salary. Work experience may also play a part. Those with several years of experience on the job might earn more than those with just a few years. Another factor is education. Generally those with advanced qualification and training will earn more than those with basic training.
EMTs might also have benefits in addition to their basic salary. Benefits offered by employers often include social security, healthcare benefits, paid time off, disability, pension and 401K. EMTs don’t normally receive bonuses as part of their pay package. When all these benefits are added to their base salary, the median total remuneration package for an EMT can be as high as $47,500 per year on average.
Job description of an EMT
Emergency medical technicians are normally the first medical practitioners to arrive at the scene of an emergency. Such scenes can be motor accidents, natural disasters and medical emergencies in private homes and workplaces. We have all seem them on TV either in the news or being glamorously portrait by Hollywood in movies. EMTs are basically anywhere an emergency is needed. You will see them in ambulances, fire trucks and helicopters rushing to rescue or provide emergency care when it is very much needed.
So what exactly do EMTs do? They are trained to provide initial medical care to patients in an emergency situation. When an EMT arrives at the scene of an emergency, their first duty is to access the scene for safety. They make sure the scene is safe for themselves and their victim so as not escalate the situation. The next step is to access the patient. This may involve accessing the extent of the patient’s injuries or taking vital body readings such as temperature, blood pressure and pulse. After accessing the patient, their next step is to provide first aid if necessary. They might stop a bleeding or administer emergency medication. The EMTs next move is to prepare the patient for transportation to a medical facility. They specially trained to handle patients so as to not cause further injury and unnecessary discomfort. In preparing patients, they may use splinters to secure broken limbs or use neck braces in the case of spinal injuries.
They usually go with the patient during transport and continue to administer emergency treatment until the patient is handed over to a physician. EMTs are usually the ones that handle all medical treatments until the patient is handed over to a medical facility. They inform the physician about the medical emergency of the patient they are handing over. This may involve describing the extent of injury to the patient and any treatments they have already administered.
What is the difference between an EMT and a paramedic?
People are often confused about the difference between these two types of emergency medical services (EMS) providers. The thing is there isn’t much difference in what they do. The main differences is in their level of training and scope of responsibilities (what they are allowed to do). An EMT training usually has a duration of about 120 – 150 hour whiles a paramedic training usually requires about 1,200 – 1,800 hours of training. EMTs are trained in the basic skills of EMS whiles paramedics receive training in the basic and advanced skills of EMS. Despite the use of “basic” in their training, EMTs still receive extensive training in providing emergency care and handling patients.
Another difference is that EMTs are not allowed to give any form of treatment that involves breaking the skin. This means no injections. Paramedics have more advanced skills and are highly trained in subjects such as anatomy, cardiology, physiology, medical procedures and medication.
How to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
To become an EMT, you must go to and finish a formal training program. Every state also requires licensing of all EMTs. The requirements to get a license differ from state to state.
For most EMT training programs, the pre-requisite for enrollment is that you have a high school diploma or its equivalent plus a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification. You can obtain formal training in EMS from community colleges, technical/vocational institutes and other educational facilities accredited to offer emergency care training.
There are two levels of EMT training. We have the EMT-Basics and EMT-1 (also referred to as Advanced EMT).
EMT-Basics requires about 100 hours of training and includes training in patient’s condition assessment, how to handle trauma and cardiac emergencies and how to use field equipment.
EMT-1 training can last for up to 1,000 hours and involves the EMT-Basics training plus advanced training in other topics such as the administering of intravenous fluids and some medication.
After formal training, you should acquire certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The process involves the completion of a formal training program and writing and passing a written and practical exam administered by the body. All states require EMTs to be licensed. In most states obtaining an EMT certification is enough to get a license. In some states, you might be required to pass a state exam.
Verdict on EMT Salary
An EMT salary is not a high one but then again the training to become one isn’t long at all. The job can be very stressful as you encounter a lot of traumatic scenes. So if you are someone the squirms at the sight of blood or broken limb, this is not the profession for you. I think an EMT salary can be better.