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Average EMT Salary Nationwide

Hourly salary range
By States
Range: /hr - /hr
Average Salary: /hr

Overview and Basic Information


Most folks can go their entire career without making a life-or-death decision at work. Most emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can’t go a single day without making one.

When someone calls 911 to the scene of an emergency, first responders jump into action. EMTs are the first responders who provide basic medical care in emergency situations. Patients’ lives can depend on the quick reaction and skilled care given by an EMT.

Example EMT Job Description

We’re hiring an EMT who will provide basic life support and patient transport to local hospitals. The EMT will work with paramedics to stabilize patients and coordinate their hospital or other medical facility reception. Our employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, positively represent the company and successfully complete continuing education to keep state licensure. Ideal candidates are physically fit, knowledgeable about emergency care and have outstanding people skills.

Typical Job Duties Include:

  • Safely and proficiently operating ambulances and other emergency vehicles

  • Responding to calls from 911 dispatchers

  • Assessing patients’ conditions and responsiveness

  • Evaluating the nature and extent of emergency situations

  • Assisting other emergency medical personnel such as paramedics

  • Communicating patients’ vital statistics to healthcare facilities

  • Maintaining vehicles, stations and communication and medical equipment

  • Completing patient care reports and other documentation


  • High school diploma, GED or equivalent

  • Current EMT certification

  • Valid state driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record

  • CEVO ambulance certificate

  • Outstanding communication and people skills

  • Physically strong to help transfer patients

  • Professional manner and appearance

Common Questions About EMT Jobs

How much does an EMT make?

The median annual wage for EMTs and paramedics (half earned more, and half earned less… basically the middle ground) was $34,320 in May 2018. The lowest 10% made less than $22,000, and the highest 10% made more than $58,000.

What are the education requirements?

Most basic EMT jobs require a high school diploma or GED, as well as EMT certification and ambulance driver training. Basic EMT certification can take 6 months to 2 years. You can usually find courses at community colleges or technical schools. You'll learn medical skills such as monitoring vital signs, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to perform EKGs and electrocardiograms. After that, you have to take a test to get a state certification or get national certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

Career paths for EMTs

As an EMT-basic, you can continue your education to become an EMT-intermediate and then a paramedic. Some EMTs have even gone to nursing school or to med school to become a doctor or physician’s assistant.

The future of EMTs

Emergencies, such as car crashes and acts of violence, as well as an aging population, will continue to require the skills of EMTs and paramedics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that EMT jobs are expected to increase by 15% from 2016-26, which is higher than average across all industries.

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