If you’re considering a course in the paramedical field, there’re two options. One is to become an Emergency Medical Technician or EMT. The other is to work as a paramedic.
Very often, people are confused between an EMT and a paramedic, though the two are distinct professions that require different educational qualifications. In fact, most people broadly refer to both EMTs and paramedics simply as ‘paramedics.’ In a way, they’re correct because both do somewhat similar jobs.
However, there’s a big difference between what a paramedic makes and what an EMT earns when it comes to hiring and paying salaries. That’s because the two require different skills, though some of these are matching.
Therefore, in this article, I will discuss how much do EMTs and paramedics make every month or every year.
Let’s start by discussing the differences in educational qualifications between an EMT and a paramedic.
Difference Between EMT and Paramedic
In simple words, an EMT is a much simpler job than a paramedic. To become an EMT, you require six months to one-year studies of a pre-hospital care course available from either private institutes or colleges.
In stark contrast, you would require two years to three years of studies at a college to complete a paramedic degree at a good college. This depends on whether you’re doing the course full-time or part-time.
To become an EMT, you will learn only basic life support skills and first aid, among others. However, to work as a paramedic, you will require all the skills that an EMT has and advanced life support too. A paramedic also learns a bit of medicine, though the degree itself falls way too short of a doctor’s educational qualifications.
However, both require certificates and licensing from the nearest authority to work as an EMT or paramedic. In brief, a paramedic can work as an EMT easily. But, an EMT cannot work as a paramedic, because they won’t have the necessary skills, qualifications, and certifications.
Income of Paramedics and EMTs
Now that you know the difference in skill levels and educational qualifications of an EMT and a paramedic, let’s look at the differences in pay packages also because the annual income of an EMT is different than that of a paramedic.
According to various websites such as Salary.com and Payscale.com, a fresher EMT can expect to start at $25,000 per year. The income goes up along with experience. By the end of two years of working, an EMT can expect salaries between $28,000 and $30,000 per year.
In comparison, paramedics earn a bit higher. A fresher paramedic would usually earn between $30,000 and $32,000 per year. A paramedic with two years of experience will usually earn about $35,000 per year, depending on the nature of the work.
Pay for EMTs and Paramedics by Region
While these are the pay scales for EMTs and paramedics, we also have to consider the fact that this income is much below the national US average of $51,000 per year.
At the same time, EMTs and paramedics don’t get low salaries everywhere in the US. In fact, salary depends on the place as well as the state where you work as an EMT or paramedic.
According to certain websites, an EMT can earn $17.35 and $23.41 per hour or roughly $36,000 to $48,000 per year, depending on experience and educational qualifications. In contrast, a paramedic can earn between $25.67 and $37.31 per hour or nearly $53,000 to $77,000 per year in a state such as Colorado.
Pay Difference According to Workhours
Furthermore, the pay of an EMT and a paramedic can also depend on the number of hours they put in daily. Generally, an EMT and paramedic are required to complete a straight, eight-hour shift. Their work is usually in shifts, with each day of 24 hours divided into three equal shifts.
Paramedics and EMTs that work at an odd hour, meaning from midnight to 6 am, can expect higher pay per hour than those who work during daylight or evening hours.
For both, EMTs and paramedics, this difference in working at odd hours can fetch at least $12,000 more per year, depending on the place and type of hospital or duty.
Part-Time Income of EMTs and Paramedics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that EMTs and paramedics earn more money by working part-time after their eight-hour shifts. They earn about $16,000 per year extra by working outside regular work hours.
There’re as many as 20 part-time jobs that EMTs and paramedics are qualified to do. This includes medical transcriptions, working as a part-time phlebotomist, and lab attendants, among other jobs. However, this income depends on the actual number of hours and efforts of the EMT or paramedic.
The difference between how much an EMT or paramedic earns is fairly significant; therefore, if you’re planning on entering this field, better study for a paramedic course.