How Much Does a Paramedic Make?
Paramedics are responsible for providing emergency medical services to patients and transporting them to emergency rooms or hospitals. Paramedic salaries may differ greatly depending on employer type, geographic location and years of work experience.
Paramedic Salary Information
Some paramedics work on voluntary bases and receive no pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), unpaid paramedics are most likely to work in rural or small metropolitan areas, where the workload may be smaller and only necessitate responding to a handful of emergency calls each month (www.bls.gov).
Paid paramedics and their lower-level counterparts known as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), earned a median hourly wage of $14.60 and a mean annual wage of $33,300 as of May 2010, according to the BLS. The lowest-paid ten percent of EMTs and paramedics made $9.48 an hour or less, while the highest-paid ten percent earned in excess of $24.70 per hour.
The average salary of paramedics may differ based on employer type. Paramedics working for the local government tend to be among the industry's most richly compensated. Mean hourly rates for those in these positions stood at $17.77 as of May 2010, compared with a mean hourly wage of $14.70 for paramedics and EMTs employed by ambulatory service companies. In addition, salary can vary by location. Paramedics and EMTs working in Washington D.C. received the highest pay rate in the country, with a mean hourly wage of $23.97.
PayScale.com reports that the majority of paramedics specifically earned between $10.69 and $22.52 per hour as of October 2011. However, when factoring in overtime and bonuses, most paramedics earned total annual salaries between $24,621 and $60,679.
Paramedic Employment Trends and Future Outlook
The BLS projected the job market for paramedics and EMTs to grow about as fast as average at a rate of nine percent in the decade between 2008 and 2018. The growing trends of hospital overcrowding and hospital treatment specialization, which often forces paramedics to transport patients to hospitals located farther away from accident scenes, and thus, spend more time with patients, may contribute to job growth. A growing aging population may also increase the demand for emergency medical services.
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