Alternative Careers for Paramedics

Jan 19, 2020

People interested in working as a paramedic are often compassionate, helpful, and have good problem-solving skills, which are traits that can be utilized in many similar careers. This article covers five professions that are also appropriate for paramedics.

Alternative Career Options for Paramedics

Those who desire to pursue a career as a paramedic will find alternative professions in the healthcare field that may interest them. The jobs highlighted below are just a sampling of careers that also utilize interpersonal and communication skills.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Physician Assistant $108,610 31%
Registered Nurse $71,730 12%
Medical Equipment Repairer $49,210 4%
Medical Assistant $33,610 23%
Surgical Technologist $47,300 9%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information about Alternative Careers for Paramedics

Physician Assistant

Those considering a career as a paramedic may also want to consider a career as a physician assistant since both involve diagnosing and treating patients. As a physician assistant, you will serve on a healthcare team consisting of physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals. Physician assistants conduct patient examinations, order tests as needed, analyze the results, and provide patients with medication or methods to manage their illness or injury. They primarily work in physicians' offices or hospitals and need a master's degree, with some physician assistants having prior experience as a paramedic.

Registered Nurse

Like paramedics, a career as a registered nurse often requires compassion when working with patients. As a registered nurse, you will oversee all aspects of patient care. Your job duties may include creating and maintaining patients' medical records, administering various treatments, ensuring patients respond well to therapy, and providing patients and their families with support and instruction on proper care once they are discharged. Registered nurses typically work in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities and must have a bachelor's degree and be licensed.

Medical Equipment Repairer

Those interested in a career as a paramedic may also be interested in a career as a medical equipment repairer because both require good communication and problem-solving skills. These repairers are responsible for ensuring medical equipment is in good working condition. You will do so by installing equipment, performing maintenance or testing, and showing medical personnel the proper operation of equipment. Medical equipment repairers often work for professional/commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers and will need an associate's degree, with the option to pursue certification through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

Medical Assistant

Those who would like to pursue a career as a paramedic may also like a career as a medical assistant because both are supportive roles in patient care. As a medical assistant, your focus will be to support physicians by handling various clerical and clinical assignments. Job responsibilities for this career include taking a patient's medical history, performing basic medical tasks such as monitoring blood pressure or administering medication, and coordinating the scheduling of appointments. Medical assistants work in either physicians' offices or hospitals and usually earn a postsecondary certificate.

Surgical Technologist

A career as a surgical technologist is similar to a paramedic since they both require physical stamina and good attention to detail. A surgical technologist's role is to assist surgeons before and during operations. They do so by prepping the operating room with sterilized tools, preparing patients for surgery, and assisting during operations by providing surgeons with the needed tools. Most surgical technologists work in hospitals and must complete a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate's degree.

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