With an EMT certification, you will be trained and experienced in dealing with medical emergencies, and basic life support. So, are you wondering what world of opportunities this can open up for you? Then you’re in the right place.
Being an EMT can be an incredibly rewarding job, but it can also be a lot of hard work and stress. As an EMT, you will most likely be working shifts, or have to work long hours, so maybe you’re ready for a change.
Luckily for you, there are a range of different job roles that you can go into after becoming an EMT, and there are many opportunities out there for you. So, what jobs can you get with an EMT certification?
Our guide will help you uncover the roles that are perfectly suited to your skills. But first, what exactly does an EMT role entail?
What Is An EMT?
An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician, who is equipped with the experience, training and skill to help in medical emergencies.
They can offer patients urgent care such as life support, CPR, and first aid assistance in order to preserve life until an ambulance arrives and takes the patient to a nearby hospital or treatment facility.
As a result, an EMT is often the first to arrive and respond to an emergency call, as they are meant to preserve and stabilize life by helping patients suffering from medical emergencies.
These people will then call an ambulance, or even drive patients themselves in their own emergency vehicles, and take them to a hospital for further or advanced medical treatment.
EMTs can also be trained firefighters, as they will most often respond to emergency calls the quickest. However, you can be a qualified EMT and nothing else, or you can train further to become a Paramedic.
EMTs can work in a variety of roles and healthcare environments from fire departments, to ambulances, helicopters, and police departments. They may also be employed by emergency departments or private healthcare facilities.
They are very skilled and trained, as they would have to complete a certification course with a minimum of about 150-170 training hours before being assessed and tested to become an EMT.
As a result, they are able to assess patients, determine life threatening injuries or illnesses, and help administer life saving treatment and medication before transporting the patient into urgent care facilities.
With so many responsibilities, EMTs can easily transfer the skills they gained from their role and move into another job if they want to. So what jobs are available for certified EMTs?
What Jobs Can You Get As A Certified EMT?
As an EMT, you can become a firefighter, and emergency dispatcher, a contract medic, offshore medic or an emergency room technician. There are so many options and opportunities available to you.
With even more training and education, EMTs can even become a physician’s assistant, biological technician, crime lab technician, health information technician or even a surgical technologist.
To help you find your perfect career, we will take a look at some of these roles in more depth and detail.
One of the more popular roles to get into with an EMT certification is a firefighter role. Firefighters are no longer needed as much just for fighting fires, so nowadays, they will also respond to all manner of emergencies as extra pairs of helping hands.
On average, over 65% or more of the calls that firefighters respond to are for the emergency medical service. It is for this reason that a lot of firefighters are also trained EMTs, and even sometimes paramedics.
To become a firefighter, your EMT certification will be a huge asset and stepping stone for you, as most fire departments want people to be EMT trained.
However, you will also have to perform as a firefighter, working in fire suppression, search and rescues and dealing with HazMat situations and fire alarms. Therefore, you will need additional training, but this will be provided by the fire department.
As an EMT/firefighter, you can expect around $24 per hour, and a salary of about $47,500 per year.
The Emergency Dispatcher role can be very interesting for an EMT as it is the person who would normally call the EMT and tell them to respond to an emergency. The Dispatcher is the person who handles 911 calls and sends the right emergency service to handle the situation.
An Emergency Dispatcher would need to remain calm and gather the right information in order to assist the public, and send emergency services to care for them. This job is often available from individual emergency services, or is part of a hub or networking communications services.
As an EMT, you would know exactly what information to gather from the public, and who to send to that emergency. An Emergency Dispatcher would be paid around $20 an hour or about $40,000 a year.
Emergency Room Technician
An ERT is a little different to an EMT, as the EMT works outside of the hospital and transports the patients into a hospital, whereas an ERT will work inside the emergency room, where the patients will be brought to them.
An Emergency Room Technician will need to have an EMT certificate, be able to provide basic first aid, CPR and life support.
Therefore, your EMT certification can be transferred to this role, and will help you save and stabilize patients hugely. However, an ERT has a constant flow of patients coming to them, so this role can be very busy and stressful.
An ERT will be paid around $31 an hour or about $64,000 a year if the role is salaried.
An Industrial Medic is a very similar role to an EMT, but you would be based inside a factory instead. This is because there are often many injuries due to the occupational hazards of working in a factory, with a lot of heavy machinery and risks.
To become an industrial medic, you will only be required to have a basic EMT certification, but you can train to be a paramedic to enhance your skills, technique, employment prospects and your earning potential.
In this role, you would only carry out EMT work within the company and in the factory setting. You would not be required to answer emergency calls or respond to medical events. This role will pay about $24 per hour or about $48,000 a year when salaried.
An Offshore Medic is also similar to an EMT role, and an Industrial Medic role, but you would be based on an oil rig. This would be a lot harder than normal EMT work, and you may need to be more highly trained, but you would be compensated for this.
An Offshore Medic tends to work 12 hour shifts, with one shift on and one shift off. However, Offshore Medics can sometimes work for up to 3 months at a time on an oil rig.
But, there are perks, because every week you work on the rig, you will get one onshore to chill out and relax. A typical offshore medic job often will pay about $33 an hour or $70,000 a year when salaried.
A Contract Medic again is similar to the previous medic roles, however, not all businesses and companies will require medics on call all of the time, so they may hire medics on a contract basis for a certain period.
For instance, if a business hires out a venue for an event, concert or sporting event, then they may hire out medics on a contract basis just for that event or period.
As it is hired for a specific purpose, sometimes these roles can pay a little better than normal EMT jobs, however, the role is temporary and you have to keep finding jobs to go to. On average, a Contract Medic would be paid about $28 an hour or $59,000 per year.
Crime Lab Technician
You would probably need a degree as well as your EMT certification in order to become a Crime Lab Technician. However, this is not always mandatory, and EMTs make great Crime Lab Technicians as they are trained and experienced in dealing with people.
A Crime Lab Technician would work in a lab, and would test methodologies to gain evidence for police departments and law enforcement agencies. These people tend to work in laboratories or hospitals.
A Crime Lab Technician will probably earn around $38 per hour of $80,000 per year when salaried.
A Biological Technician would need to be a very highly skilled research assistant, who is able to provide new forms of medical help to patients. They will be in charge of collecting samples for research purposes, and conducting laboratory tests for this scientific research.
An EMT certification may be able to help you gain this role, as there are no specific requirements, however a degree can help greatly. This role would typically be inside a hospital, research facility or in a university, where new treatments can be developed.
A Biological Technician can earn around $24 per hour or $50,000 per year.
You would have to qualify as a Surgical Technologist for this, but an EMT certification would help speed up this process greatly as you already have some medical knowledge. This role would assist the surgical team during surgeries and help with patient care.
Most of these roles are found in hospitals and pay around $24 an hour or $50,000 a year.
Your EMT qualification would help you become a Physician’s Assistant, but you would also need some sort of post-graduate training in order to become one. This can take around 3 years of extra training to complete, but you would be the direct assistant to a Physician.
This role would take place in a hospital or clinic, and you would be compensated for your education. On average, a Physician’s Assistant could earn about $53 an hour or $108,000 per year.
Health Information Technician
This is more of an administrative job, where you would analyze and organize patient information and details. This may be for insurance purposes, or to find out medical information.
An EMT would be great in this role as they would already be aware of the terminology used and have a medical background.
A Health Information Technician would practice in clinics, hospitals and surgeries, and could earn around $22 per hour or $48,000 a year.
It is important to note that some of these career paths may require you to undertake more training or certification in order to gain the role. In these cases, being an EMT before applying is seen as a benefit and asset, as your skills can be transferred and progressed in those roles.
In addition, keep in mind that hourly rates, salaries and wages can vary between employers, locations, and your personal circumstances.
Some employers may pay much more or less for the role depending on various factors, and the information above is more of a guide or what to expect in the basic sense.
Will I Get Paid Overtime As An EMT?
Yes, as EMTs are employed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), they will be paid overtime if they work outside of their normal contract hours. The average overtime rate should be around 1.5 times their normal hourly rate.
However, some employers will try not to pay more in overtime, so you need to be careful and watchful that you are paid what you are owed for working overtime, and nothing less.
Do EMTs Make A Lot Of Money?
A lot of money is subjective. What a lot of money is to some people may be different for other people. That being said, on average, an EMT working full time on an ambulance can probably earn around $33,000 to $52,000 a year.
The lowest end of the scale will be an entry level role, whereas the high end of the scale will be the most experienced and highly trained EMTs, who may work for private companies and hospitals.
To summarize, as an EMT, you are not limited to that one role for the rest of your life. You can use your EMT certification to gain other roles and opportunities if you wish to.
The skills and experience that you have gained as an EMT can be transferred and used in other roles such as a firefighter or a medic.
In addition, you can gain extra qualifications in conjunction with your EMT cert, to become a Physician’s Assistant or a Surgical Technologist, where you would have better salary options and hourly rates.