How Much Does a Paramedic Make?
So perhaps you’ve always been interested in being a paramedic, or maybe you’ve just recently gotten interested in it. You’ve started looking into the requirements for becoming a paramedic in your state. At some point in your thinking, you inevitably start wondering – How much does a paramedic make? Is it worth all the effort you will be committing yourself to?
Like a lot of life’s questions, the answer depends on a number of things. Are you going to start as a paramedic or are you in one of the states that requires you have a certain number of hours as an EMT before you can qualify as a paramedic? EMTs are usually paid at a lower rate than paramedics. What section of the country are you interested in? Who will be employing you? The answers to these questions will determine what the level of pay would be. So let’s take a look at each of these questions and see how they might impact how much you could be making as a paramedic.
What’s Required to become a paramedic?
Requirements vary by state. Most states have multiple certification/licensing levels including, but not limited to the following: Emergency Medical Responder – EMR, Emergency Medical Technician – EMT, and Paramedic – the highest level of certification. To see the difference between an EMT vs a paramedic, read here.
A good place to start looking at the specific minimum requirements for the certification levels in your state is the website www.emt-national-training.com; or you can do an internet search on your state using words like “Paramedic Requirements”. But you will also want to find out about actual approved training programs and what they cost. Searching for “Required Training for paramedics” and your state should get you a list of sites that tell you what a training program will cost and how much time you will spend in it.
As an example, in Indiana the minimum requirements include 450 hours of classroom lecture time according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security – the state department responsible for setting paramedic training requirements in Indiana. However, a typical approved training program requires about 1,100 hours and costs $4,100; that’s according to Indianapolis’ Saint Vincent Hospital – which offers one of the approved paramedic programs. Check your state’s programs for specific costs and requirements.
So how much does a paramedic make?
The good news is that, nationally, paramedics can make very good money. According to the Careerbuilders.com’s salary database the national average salary is $64,865. However, the area of the country you work in could change those averages considerably. For instance, if you work in Indiana that average is $50,235, while Arizona comes in at $44,846. California paramedics average $60,842, while New York comes in at $57,500. Florida’s par comes in at 54,800. While Idaho comes in at a whopping annual salary of $70,000!
These are average salaries – half the paramedics earn less than the average, half earn more.
As you can see, location alone can have a large impact on the salary for a paramedic. However, location is not the only thing that impacts salary.
Who you work for Makes a difference
Who you work for can also have an impact on how much you make. Paramedics can be employed by state governments – national average annual salary is $50,620, local governments – national average is $38,400, hospitals – national average is $34,170, or for ambulatory health care services – national average is $31,000. Those figures come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011 report.
Of course, these averages will also vary by city and region of the country – higher in Idaho and lower in Arizona, as an example. If we did not mention your state, go to Careerbuilder.com and plug in “paramedic” for the job classification and then click on the “salary information” link and you will get an idea of what the average salary is in your state.
The Bottom Line
How much does a paramedic make? The answer is anywhere from minimum wage to a really good annual income, depending on what part of the country you will be working in and what type of employer you will be working for.