PROS / EMTs and paramedic jobs are in the upper range for overall availability.
CONS / This medical career's salary range is the lowest.
VERDICT / An EMT and paramedic career is an interesting option to consider if you like a fast-paced environment.
Emergency medical technicians, commonly referred to as EMTs, and paramedics are a vital part of emergency response services. Workers in this medical career are usually the first medical responders on the scene of an accident or similar emergency. Because of the high stress of such situations, they need to be able to respond to such stress effectively; their medical care is often the difference between life and death for many patients.
This health care job sees a variety of medical emergencies and needs to be able to work long hours. Because they work closely with a variety of community members, a secondary language can be helpful. They also need to be able to lift fifty pounds or more, as they often need to move patients and heavy equipment, such as stretchers. You also want to consider your tolerance of blood and bodily injury. As EMTs are first on the field, they often encounter large, untreated injuries on patients from emergencies, such as car accidents.
EMTs are also needed to work in a variety of weather and environmental conditions because accidents can happen at any time. They may need to respond during rain or snowstorms, and they may have to perform quick treatments on the side of busy freeways or in personal homes. This work environment puts them at higher risk for diseases and injuries.
The overall salary range for this medical career is the lowest out of the comparable undergraduate careers in medicine, although the low wage end is a little short of being the lowest overall. You can begin working in this field with a postsecondary certificate.
Program lengths and requirements vary from school to school. All states also require EMTs to be licensed. You also have the choice to continue your education and become a paramedic. These programs generally give you an associate degree level of education and require you to complete EMT training first. You may also have the opportunity to take training to qualify to drive an ambulance.
EMTs and paramedics work primarily for ambulance services employed by county or state emergency services. Many also work for government bodies or for hospitals directly. Shifts are around the clock, so you can expect to work odd hours, weekends and some holidays, especially when starting out. Most EMTs work full time.
EMTs and paramedics are medical careers that respond to high-stress, emergency medical situations. Their pay on average is lower than most other medical careers, but they have a fair job-availability rate, and you can begin working in the field quickly with a postsecondary certificate. If you are looking for an entry-level medical career that gives you a wide variety of medical experience, then this career in medicine is an interesting option.