How Much Money Do EMTs Make?

EMTs, or Emergency Medical Technicians, are vital to our society. According to Miami Dade College, an EMT is the first person to arrive at the scene of an emergency. They are the people who can help save a life by ensuring the person in need is sent to the right place, whether that be a hospital, emergency room, or clinic. They are also the first to assist in medical care, helping a person while they are transported to their destination, often in an ambulance, per Indeed.

But the role of an EMT extends far beyond helping someone in need. They are also tasked with operating and maintaining the ambulance or emergency vehicle they use, keeping up with medical ethics to ensure each and every patient is given the correct and true treatment, filling out paperwork for injured patients who aren't able to themselves, and are tasked with forming professional connections with other medical staff like doctors, nurses, and hospital staff (via Indeed). Being an EMT comes with a lot of responsibility and is a very rewarding career. If you are interested in becoming an EMT, here's how much you can expect to make.

EMTs salaries are unfortunately quite low

An EMT is an essential, and often high-stress, job. Unfortunately, the money doesn't often correlate to the intensity of the position. According to The Balance Careers, the average EMT salary is about $35,400. The highest-paid EMTs make about $59,860, while the lowest paid can make as little as $23,490 or less. Often, EMTs are paid hourly, and that hourly rate is often determined by where you live. For example, EMTs who live in Florida make about $19 an hour, while in New York, you could make about $23 an hour, per Indeed.

There are a few reasons for the low pay, despite the demanding nature of the job. According to Money, EMTs are not considered essential workers. They are also often funded by the local government and get just a small amount of the budget compared to police officers and firefighters. Another big reason for the low pay is that it doesn't take much in terms of schooling to get a job as an EMT. Here's what it does take.

How to become an EMT

If you do not see college in your future or are looking for a career change that doesn't require a college degree, you may want to consider the EMT route. Most EMT jobs only require a high school diploma, per The Balance Careers. If you want to enhance your role and become a paramedic, an associate's degree is required.

When it comes to training, there are three different levels: basic, intermediate, and paramedic. Each level requires more training than the level before. For an EMT-basic, you will need to be trained on how to assess a patient's issues and basic emergency skills. At the intermediate level, you will learn that plus how to give fluids, certain medications, and how to use advanced airway devices. The paramedic level requires more schooling and more training. The biggest difference between an EMT and a paramedic is what they are able to do. According to Medical Technology Schools, a paramedic can give patients drugs, handle pacemakers, and insert IVs, while an EMT cannot. Both EMTs and paramedics must be licensed in their state and pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. Being an EMT is extremely rewarding, and while the pay is low, the feeling you get from saving lives and helping others can make up for it.