Paramedic- Requirements, Salary and Future Outlook

Paramedics are medical professionals who provide advanced level of out-of-the hospital care to the injured or ill patients. Most of these workers work in emergency response vehicles and ambulances, and mobile units. Some others may assume hospital-based roles. Aspirants can practice their profession only if they are registered with the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council). If you also want to choose paramedic as your vocation, and want to know about requirements, procedure, salary, employment and future outlook of this career, you can get every detail right here. Read on to acquaint yourself with the basic details before entering this field of health care sector.

Requirements


Skills Required

  • The ability to work with people belonging to dissimilar cultures, backgrounds and religions.
  • Excellent physical stamina so as to lift equipments and patients.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Remarkable teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Calm and caring attitude.
  • Willingness to help others.
  • Decision making skills.
  • Enthusiasm to learn new things.
  • The ability to take initiatives.

Other Requirements

  • 18 years of age.
  • A high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Clear a background check.
  • Driving license.
  • Get certified in CPR.
  • If English is not your first language, you must score 7 in IELTS.
  • Qualify an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Qualify occupational health screening (manual dexterity and normal color vision are imperative), medical evaluation which includes eye tests (spectacles are allowed), and fitness test.

How long does it take to become a paramedic?

It generally takes 18-24 months to become a paramedic. There are two routes to realize your dream of becoming a paramedic. These are:

  • Complete a course (diploma, foundation degree and B.Sc. level) in paramedic science offered by an approved university; or
  • Apply for a job within an ambulance trust as a paramedic student and get trained while working.

A certificate course in EMT-Paramedics needs you to complete 1,000 or more hours of curriculum in physiology, anatomy and advanced medical skills, along with extensive field and clinical experience. In addition to didactic coursework, this program offers you hands-on program in ambulances and emergency rooms. It prepares you to transport the ill and injured patients to a medical facility, provide advanced first aid, manage cardiac and respiratory emergencies, and perform medical procedures like intubation, IV fluid administration, defibrillation and cardiac monitoring.

Associate of Science in Paramedic is a 2-year program that prepares you for management-level jobs in the pre-hospital settings. This degree also inculcates theoretical studies and practical program.

Procedure

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1. Obtain EMT-Basic Certificate

You first need to acquire the certificate of EMT-Basic before you move to the next advanced level, i.e. paramedic. In California, EMT-B level is known as EMT-1. This coursework teaches critical skills that are required to handle life-threatening emergencies. You can enroll for program at your nearby hospital, local community college or ambulance service.

2. Find a Job

A working experience of 1-2 years will boost your career. Therefore, as soon as you complete your EMT-B program, look for a job. You can be better prepared for paramedic classes, if you work on an ambulance for a minimum of 1 year.

3. Take Preparatory Classes

Before getting admission in paramedic program education, you must complete 10th grade reading comprehension and undertake classes in algebra, ECG (electrocardiography), physiology and anatomy. Aspirants must also obtain CPR and BLS (Basic Life Support) certification during or prior to the program program.

4. Enroll in a Paramedic Program Program

While enrolling in program program (part or full time), make sure that it is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). In addition, compare the cost and quality of education with other programs.

5. Clear the National Registry Exam

You will have to pass the National Registry examination, in order to get registered as an EMT-P. This exam comprises of two sections – written and practical. It is mandatory to qualify both the sections.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), top paying states for paramedics, in May 2016 were:

State

Annual Mean Wage

Hourly Mean Wage

Washington

$65,320

$31.40

District of Columbia

$57,900

$27.84

Alaska

$54,290

$26.10

Hawaii

$49,680

$23.89

Connecticut

$46,320

$22.27

The median annual salary of Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics in the US in the same year was $32,670. As of July 2017, the average pay of paramedics was $42,557 as per indeed.com. When compared to the average salary of medical assistant, paramedics earn somewhat more. But, their income is less than those of clinical social worker, mental health counselor and physical therapist assistant. According to June 2017 reports of salary.com, a typical paramedic in the US earns $40,440 per annum.

Employment

The states with highest employment in this field, as per the May 2016 reports of the BLS were:

State

Employment

Employment per 1000 jobs

Annual Mean Wage

Hourly Mean Wage

Texas

18,630

1.59

$35,870

$17.24

California

18,110

1.13

$37,770

$18.16

New York

14,740

1.62

$41,140

$19.78

Illinois

12,610

2.14

$41,840

$20.12

Pennsylvania

11,770

2.05

$33,480

$16.10

Being the largest state of the United States, Texas employs a huge number of paramedics. California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania are other states that have witnessed numerous openings for these workers, in May 2016. Several private and public emergency providers including fire and police departments, military, law enforcement agencies, private ambulance services hospitals and public safety departments serve as the major employers for paramedics.

Current Employment Trends and Future Prospects

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At present, there are frequent openings for both full-time and part-time paramedics in smaller metropolitan and rural areas, and this demand is expected to amplify in the future. As per the forecasts of the BLS, the job opportunities for EMTs and paramedics are going to hike by 24% between 2014 and 2024. This growth can be attributed to rising number of car crashes, natural disasters and violence. Some other factors that are likely to augment the demand of emergency services are increase in age-related ailments such as heart attack and stroke, a large number of workforce that will retire in the upcoming years, easy access to specialized medical services and growth in the population of elderly. Common career paths for paramedics include nurse case manager, physician assistant and registered nurse- emergency room.

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