Paramedicine Career: Employment Info & Requirements

Paramedicine refers to the area of emergency healthcare outside the hospital. It is manned by paramedics. Learn about the duties, necessary education and training, career prospects and earning potential for this job to see if being a paramedic is the right career for you.

Career Definition of a Paramedical Professional

Paramedicine professionals, or paramedics, respond to emergency situations and are often the first medical help a sick or injured person receives. They use their extensive training to assess a patient's condition and provide life-saving care while that patient is being transported to a medical facility. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), (www.bls.gov), an increasing number of metropolitan fire departments are requiring paramedic certification for firefighters.

Field of Education Technical training in the emergency medical field
Job Skills Calm and quick-thinking, empathy for others, stamina for long hours
Median Salary (2017) $33,380 (for EMTs and paramedics)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for EMTs and paramedics)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Those wishing to become a paramedicine professional usually will need to complete training as an emergency medical technician and have at least one year of work experience. The average training course for a career in paramedicine lasts 1,200 hours, with the time divided between classroom learning and field experience. Accredited programs can be found in many community colleges across the country. Paramedicine professionals must be licensed by the state in which they work.

Required Skills

It is obvious that to have a successful career in paramedicine, one must be able to stay calm and think clearly in emergency situations. Other valuable skills are interest in science and medical technology, empathy for others, and the ability to work long hours.

Career and Economic Outlook

The BLS reports that growth in this occupation is favorable and that the majority of job opportunities should continue to come from private ambulance services. BLS statistics indicate that job opportunities for paramedics and EMTs are expected to increase by 15% from 2016 through 2026. The BLS also states that the median salary for EMTs and paramedics was $33,380 in May 2017. Those with the highest level of education and those employed by independent rescue departments will enjoy the highest wages and most generous benefits.

Alternate Career Options

Additional career choices for this profession may include:

Firefighter

Firefighters are first responders who use their knowledge of fire and how it behaves, firefighting tools and methods, and first aid to provide emergency help at the scene of a fire, accident or disaster. They set up and use firefighting equipment such as hoses, pumps, ladders, tools, and special breathing apparatus to fight fires and rescue trapped people. They may provide first aid to victims at the scene, write incident reports, and offer fire safety education and training to their community. The required education for a firefighter varies by locality; some fire districts require only a high school diploma while others might require post-secondary education in fire science. Aspiring firefighters typically need a driver's license; other common requirements are a physical and written test, interview, and emergency medical technician or state firefighter certification. On-the-job training for new firefighters is extensive. The BLS predicts job growth of 7% from 2016-2026. Firefighters earned a median salary of $49,080 in 2017, per the BLS.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses use the knowledge they've gained from diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree programs in nursing to provide patient care. They may administer prescribed medical treatment, instruct patients suffering from illness or injury in at-home care, make observations about patients' condition, and discuss those observations with a physician. After completing an education program, registered nurses must take the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN. State licensing is also required. The BLS reports that job growth for registered nurses is expected to be 15% from 2016-2026 and that the median salary of registered nurses was $70,000 in 2017.


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