What jobs can I get? How much can I get paid?
Degrees and certificates in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Education program may lead to the following jobs or careers:
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
Entry Hourly Wage
review current job openings and contact your advisor to review your options. All data gathered for Dallas/Fort Worth. Source: Dallas College Labor Market Intelligence
EMT and paramedic training can be used in many careers where emergency medicine is required, including work in:
- Emergency 911 services
- Private ambulance services
- Fire departments
- Police departments
What’s the Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic?
The biggest differences between emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics are education and training, as well as the scope of what they are allowed to do. EMTs usually receive about 200 hours of training, while paramedics receive more than 1,000 hours of training.
An EMT is the first level of EMS education. EMT training can lead to and is a necessary prerequisite to enter the Paramedic education program.
EMT and Paramedic training may apply to other work than emergency medicine in the field. A Paramedic can become a supervisor, operations manager, administrative director or executive director of emergency services.
Some EMTs and Paramedics become instructors, dispatchers, nurses, physician assistants or other health care professionals. Others may move into sales or marketing of emergency medical equipment.
Why Is This a Good Career Bet?
As a large segment of the population — aging members of the baby boom generation — becomes more likely to have medical emergencies, demand is increasing for EMTs and paramedics. Those with advanced education and certifications will have the most favorable job prospects, as patients demand higher levels of care before arriving at the hospital.
CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, projects job growth increase of 29% for EMTs and paramedics, and 18% for firefighters, who often carry these certifications.
Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, EMTs and paramedics have irregular working hours. The working environment for this rewarding and challenging field includes:
- Working both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather
- Kneeling, bending and heavy lifting of patients and equipment
- Exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis-B and HIV
- Making quick decisions in life-and-death situations
- Receiving unpredictable reactions from patients who are stressed and in pain
- Communicating effectively to determine what is wrong and how to proceed with treatment
For realistic information on job duties and working conditions, check out:
Beyond the general duties listed, specific responsibilities of EMTs and Paramedics depend on their level of qualification and training. To determine this, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians registers emergency medical service (EMS) providers at four levels. Some states, including Texas, also offer their own certification.
First responders (Emergency Care Assistants — ECA) are trained to provide basic emergency medical care because they tend to be the first people to arrive at the scene of an incident. Many firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers have this level of training.
EMT represents the first component of the emergency medical technician system. An EMT is trained to care for patients at the scene of an accident and while transporting patients by ambulance to the hospital under medical direction. An EMT has the emergency skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies.
EMT-Advanced (EMT-A) has more advanced training that allows the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of manual defibrillators to give lifesaving shocks to a stopped heart and the application of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergencies.
Paramedics provide the most extensive prehospital care. In addition to carrying out all of the above procedures, Paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations and use monitors and other complex equipment.