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Online EMS & Paramedic Degrees and Careers

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are on the front line helping those in emergencies such as car accidents, medical emergencies, child birth, and disasters or crises where medical attention is quickly needed. An EMT & paramedic deliver emergency care and help care for the patient while being transported to the nearest hospital emergency room or trauma center.

Education & Career Opportunities in the EMT & Paramedic Profession

EMT degree programs are typically not necessary for employment. Instead, you need at least a high school diploma in order to apply for an EMT & paramedic training program. Training is available in three step levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic.

EMT basic level training involves coursework in emergency skills and managing common trauma, cardiac and respiratory emergencies, plus hands-on training in an ambulance or emergency room. Intermediate level training varies by state but generally requires 30 to 350 hours of training. To become a paramedic requires more advanced training and requires courses in anatomy and physiology; these courses are typically held in community colleges or a technical school. At the end of the program, the graduate must pass an examination to become a certified paramedic. All 50 states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects EMT & paramedic jobs to grow 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is as fast as the average for all occupations in the U.S. Growth should be due to aging baby boomers, and the increased use of ambulances to transfer patients from one hospital to another. Growth should also come in municipalities that phase out of using volunteer EMTs & paramedics because of the difficulty in recruiting and retaining unpaid workers.

What you get paid working as an EMT & paramedic depends on where you work in the U.S., and your experience. According the BLS May 2009 report, the median hourly wage of an EMT & Paramedic Earnings was $15.80, translating to a mean annual salary of $33,020.

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