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Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Salary by State

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EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) are an integral part of the healthcare industry and provide immediate patient care during emergencies. The career of these professionals is very hectic and demanding. Many a time, they also have to work on weekends, holidays, and nights. If you are considering becoming an EMT, you might be thinking that how much does EMTs get paid for their duties and what is the starting salary of these professionals. Well, this article will facilitate you with answers to all your questions.

EMT Salary: A Quick Look

  • As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), EMT yearly salary was $35,400 while the EMT salary hourly was $17.02 (as of May 2019).
  • The average hourly salary of these professionals as per com (as of Feburary 10, 2021) was $18.02.
  • EMTs earned between $33,605 and $41,699 per annum. Their average annual income was $37,233 (as of Feburary 10, 2021, according to com).
  • The EMT Intermediate salary, according to com, was $36,423 per annum and $15.12 per hour (as of Feburary 10, 2021).
  • The advanced EMT salary, as of Feburary 10, 2021, was $52,846 per annum, according to com.

The percentile wages for Emergency Medical Technicians are as follows:

Percentile10%25%50% (Median)75%90%
Annual Wage$21,240$25,850$32,670$42,710$56,310
Hourly Wage$10.21$12.43$15.71$20.53$27.07

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2016)

From the above table, it can be concluded that:

  • 10% of EMTs took home an annual salary less than $21,240 and hourly wages less than $10.21 whereas the remaining 90% of EMTs were paid an annual salary more than $21,240 and hourly wages more than $10.21.
  • 25% of Emergency Medical Technicians earned an average yearly and hourly wage less than $25,850 and $12.43, respectively. The remaining 75% of Emergency Medical Technicians earned an average yearly and hourly wages more than $25,850 and $12.43, respectively.
  • The average annual and hourly income of 50% of professionals was less than $32,670 and $15.71, respectively, while the average annual and hourly pay of the remaining 50% of professionals was more than $32,670 and $15.71, respectively.
  • 75% of EMTs took home less than $42,710 per annum and $20.53 per hour, while the remaining 25% of EMTs managed to take home more than $42,710 per annum and $20.53 per hour.
  • 90% of professionals made less than $56,310 per year and $27.07 per hour whereas the remaining 10% of EMTs made more than $56,310 per year and $27.07 per hour.

How much do EMTs Make Annually?

EMTs working in different states of the United Nations were paid different mean hourly and yearly salaries. Take a look:

Name of the StateMean Annual SalaryMean Hourly Salary
New Hampshire$38,030$18.29
New Jersey$37,460$18.01
New Mexico$34,250$16.47
New York$41,140$19.78
North Dakota$31,960$15.37
North Carolina$34,150$16.42
Rhode Island$37,820$18.18
South Carolina$32,970$15.85
South Dakota$29,900$14.38
West Virginia$30,870$14.84

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2016)

EMT salary ranged between $28,670 and $65,320 per annum. Alabama was the least paying state for these professionals while Washington was the highest paying state.

Factors Affecting Salary of EMTs

The salary of EMTs is affected by various factors. Some of them are as follows:

1. Education and Certifications

Candidates with higher education and advanced certifications are paid more salary than those with basic knowledge and certification. In order to get a hefty paycheck, pursue associate or bachelor’s degree and complete EMT-Paramedic certification.

2. Geographical Area

EMT salary varies from state to state. Even the wages of professionals working in different cities of the same state may differ.

3. Employer

The employer with whom you choose to work greatly impacts the salary. EMTs may get lucrative salary by working with hospitals and government agencies.

The below-given table depicts the top EMS agencies that paid good median yearly wages for EMTs and paramedics:

Name of the EMS AgencyMedian Annual Salary
Ambulance services$30,800
Local government (excluding hospitals and education)$35,620
Hospitals (local, state, and private)$35,990

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2017)

4. Work Experience and Hierarchical Level

The more work experience you have, the higher will be your salary. Likewise, your designation also impacts your salary. EMTs at the top level are paid more than the EMTs at the entry-level. The wages of Emergency Medical Technicians at different levels were as follows:

Hierarchical LevelAnnual Salary
Entry Level$10,000-$30,000
Upper Middle$50,000-$80,000

Information Source: (as of October 31, 2018)

5. Work Shifts

EMTs who work in night shifts and during weekends are paid more than those who work in day shifts.

6. Additional Skills

Your skills are directly proportional to your paycheck. Professionals with knowledge of CPR and other relevant skills can earn a lucrative salary package.

How to Increase your EMT Salary?

According to the BLS, as of May 2016, the mean hourly wages and an average annual salary of EMTs and paramedics were $17.36 and $36,110, respectively. As a matter of fact, with this salary, it’s difficult to maintain a reasonable living standard. However, there are many ways by which Emergency Medical Technicians can increase their pay.

1. Overtime

You can do overtime to earn extra income. As per a report, one out of every three EMTs did overtime in the year 2014 and earned 1.5 times their usual 40 hours salary.

2. Complete Higher Education and Certification

Consider pursuing higher education or undertaking paramedic certification course to acquire a top professional designation. Paramedics are paid more than EMTs.

3. Move to Another City or State

Geographical location is a significant factor which is considered while determining the salary of any profession. EMT salary is no exception. Some states (see the list of top 5 paying states in the US below) and cities pay an outstanding annual and hourly wages to EMTs. If you want to get a salary hike, you may relocate to a city/state that pays a high salary.

4. Choose the EMS Agency Wisely

Your salary directly depends on the agency with which you work. Private ambulance companies generally hire fresher or less experienced candidates and pay the lowest wage.

On the other hand, government agencies such as state ambulance services, state police departments, and fire departments hire employees with higher education and advanced certifications. These agencies pay lucrative salary packages and other non-monetary perks to their employees.

EMT Side Jobs

One of the ways to supplement EMT income is to take up side jobs. The following side jobs offer flexible schedules as well as lucrative paycheck to these professionals:

1. PALS, CPR, and ACLS Instructor

Depending on how many topics they teach and how many students are in the class, PALS, CPR and ACLS instructors may earn an average $200-$400 (about $40-$100 per hour). They also have the opportunity to make $100 – $1,000 or more for a single training session.

2. Postal, UPS, and FedEx Services

Postal services offer flexible work schedules and significant benefits to employees. You can work as a Customer Service Representative, Courier/Messenger, Aircraft Cargo Handler, etc.

3. Firefighter

Firefighters suppress and extinguish the fires, rescue people from dangerous fires and provide them basic first aid. These professionals can earn the median annual and hourly salary of $49,080 and $23.60, respectively.

4. Real Estate Agent

As a real estate agent, you can earn 5-6% of the sale price of the home as commission. Although it’s a flexible job, it takes time to build clients to make money. If you want to opt it as your side job, you may complete real estate degrees or classes from online programs or colleges.

Apart from the above-mentioned jobs, EMTs can take any of the following positions:

  • Carpentry
  • Part-time jobs in emergency departments, transfusion clinics, phlebotomy, etc.
  • Physical Fitness Trainer
  • Groundskeeper or Landscaper
  • Electrician – Cable/Satellite Installation

Best Paying EMT Jobs by State

The below table showcases the list of highest paying states (as of May 2017) for firefighters in the USA:

StateAnnual Mean WageHourly Mean Wage
District of Columbia$57,900$27.84

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2016)

Among the top 5 paying states for EMTs were Washington, District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, and Connecticut. With an annual mean salary of $65,320 and mean hourly wages of $31.40, Washington was the highest paying state in the USA for EMTs.

Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles to EMTs

The below table showcases the hourly average wage of professionals having similar job titles to EMTs:

Job TitleAverage Hourly Salary
EMT-B Salary$13.35
Paramedic EMT Salary$18.69
Patient Care Technician$12.95

Information Source: (as of November 11, 2018)

Job Growth

The BLS has predicted a growth of 15% in the employment of Emergency Medical Technicians/Paramedics from 2016 and 2026. This increase is faster than the average rise of jobs for all occupations. By 2026, there will be 285,400 job vacancies for these professionals. Increase in the older and middle-aged population; age-related health emergencies; natural disasters, car crashes, and other emergencies; improvement in specialized medical facilities; etc., are some of the reasons that will lead to a massive demand of EMTs.

EMTs generally work with police officers, registered nurses, firefighters, medical assistants, and physicians. They have ample career opportunities and may get jobs in hazardous materials, quality management, wilderness EMS, ambulance services, fire departments, rescue services, etc.

If you are looking the job change in healthcare sector then check the medical assistant salary and job growth status.