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.

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Paramedic Salary Information

Some paramedics work on a voluntary basis 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 (

Paid paramedics and their lower-level counterparts known as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), earned a median hourly wage of $14.91, or $31,020 per year, as of May 2012, according to the BLS. The lowest-paid 10% of EMTs and paramedics made $9.70 an hour or less, while the highest-paid 10% earned in excess of $25.74 per hour.

The average salary of paramedics may differ based on employer type. For example, paramedics working for the local government earned a mean hourly wage of $18.89 as of 2012, whereas those working in other ambulatory health care services earned $14.97, according to BLS estimates. Paramedics employed by general medical and surgical hospitals and physicians offices also tended to earn more, with a mean hourly wage of $16.77 and $16.52, respectively.

In addition, BLS reports show that salary can vary by location. As of 2012, paramedics and EMTs working in Washington D.C. received the highest pay rate in the country, with a mean hourly wage of $25.45, followed by Alaska at $24.79.

Paramedic Employment Trends and Future Outlook

The BLS projected the job market for paramedics and EMTs to grow by 23% from 2012-2022, which is much faster than the average for all jobs. Violence, natural disasters, car crashes and other emergencies will continue to create demand for paramedics and EMTs. A growing aging population, and subsequent increase in age-related health emergencies like stroke and heart attack, is also likely to increase the demand for emergency medical services.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics