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EMT Salary

 EMT Salary – EMT Training 

An EMT salary can vary greatly based on a number of factors. Some things that can affect the salary of an EMT is geographic area, level of certification, hours worked, hours of overtime worked, experience level, and the type of EMT job. This page will go over some specific EMT salary information and help you get an idea of what a salary will be in your area at your level of training.


Let’s start with very broad salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Occupational Employment and Wages Report from May of 2016 the National estimates for the Mean Annual EMT Salary is $36,110 and Mean Hourly Wage is $17.36.


These numbers refer to the average (Mean) salary of all levels of certified EMT (Basic EMT, Advanced EMT / EMT Intermediate, and Paramedic).

EMT Job Description 


The exact job description varies based on certification level and workplace. For example a Paramedic has different duties than those in a Basic EMT job description and a Paramedic Firefighter will be different from a Paramedic working as a Emergency Department Technician.


For more information on the different jobs available and duties required see our EMT Jobs page.


Overall duties of Emergency Medical Technicians include rapid patient assessment of the sick or injured, administering medical interventions as needed and providing patient transport, all while providing good patient care.


It is all the responsibility of the EMT to maintain their own equipment and vehicle up to standards, which means cleaning equipment after each patient.


Some examples of EMT interventions are to monitor vital signs, apply oxygen, dress and bandage wounds, splint injured extremities, positioning patient for circulation, and initiation of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).


Some common calls EMT’s will have to respond to while on duty are chest pain, shortness of breath, overdoses, pregnancy complications, hypotensive episodes, sepsis, falls, assaults, car accidents, loss of consciousness, and trauma calls.


The EMT scope of practice covers medical and trauma incidents so an EMT needs to be able to handle any situations professionally.

EMT Yearly Salary


According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics from 2016:

Average Annual EMT Salary – $36,110
Average Hourly EMT Salary – $17.36


As of May 2016 there were approximately 244,960 paid EMT’s and Paramedics. This table can give you an idea of where the EMT salary in your area compare to the national average.


 Percentile Wage Estimates For EMT Salary (all levels of EMT)
Percentile 10% (Lowest) 25% 50%
75% 90% (Top)
Hourly Wage $10.21 $12.43 $15.71 $20.53 $27.07
Annual Wage $21,240 $25,850 $32.670 $42.710 $56,310

The hourly wages tables shows that:

• 10% of EMTs earn a salary less than $10.21 per hour, therefore if your EMT salary is this much it means 90% of EMT employees are making a higher salary.

• Half of EMTs earn more and half earn less than $15.71. This is the Median EMT salary measured by hourly wage.

• 90% of EMTs earn less than $27.07 an hour. Therefore if your EMT salary is this much, only 10% of employees are making a higher EMT salary.


• The Median annual EMT salary is $32,670, with 50% of EMTs making more than this amount and 50% making less than this amount.


State EMTs Employed Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
 Top Paying States for EMT Salary (all levels of EMT)
Washington 3,540 $31.40 $65,320
District of Columbia 1,440 $27.84 $57,900
Alaska 330 $26.10 $54,290
Hawaii 840 $23.89 $49,680
Connecticut 3,280 $22.27 $46,320


The Table above shows the top five states that pay the highest average EMT salary. This includes all levels of EMT (Basic EMT, Advanced EMT/ EMT Intermediate, and Paramedic).


When comparing one state’s EMT salary to another, it’s important to keep in mind factors such as how expensive it is to live in each state. For example if an EMT salary is 10% higher in another state it may seem like a better place to work as an EMT than where you live.


However, if the cost of living is 25% higher, than in reality EMTs in that state may have 15% less money to spend than an EMT does where you live.


The state with the highest paid average EMT salary is Washington with $65,320 a year at a rate of $31.40 an hour and an estimated 3,540 total EMTs employed in the state.


Of the top five highest paying states for EMT salary Alaska, employs the fewest amount of EMTs with only 330 in the state. The EMT yearly salary in Alaska is $54,290 at an hourly rate of $26.10.

EMT Basic Salary


There is a lot of information to find about salaries, but it can be challenging to find specific information on the EMT Basic salary. According to Payscale as of August 2017 the hourly wage for a Basic EMT in the United States ranges from $9.77 – $16.38.


This means the Median Basic EMT pay in the United States is about $12.19 an hour.


One thing to know about EMS jobs is that employees tend to work 8, 10, 12, and 24 hour shifts which means that overtime pay can be a significant part of an EMT-B’s paycheck.


Overtime pay rates in the United States range from $13.49 – $23.36 and can help increase the overall annual earnings for Basic EMTs willing to put in extra hours. (It’s always a good idea at EMS job interviews to ask about overtime policy to make sure the company allows overtime hours.)


It’s not unusual for EMT’s of all levels to work 60 – 80 hours a week. I worked two 24 hour shifts and a 12 hour shift each week which is a pretty common schedule. 


Total EMT Basic salaries in the United States range from $20,670 – $40,284. The company EMT works for, geography (City and State working in), and years of experience are the biggest factors affecting pay rates.


The national average EMT-B salary is about $31,029 but will vary significantly depending on location within the United States.

Advanced EMT Salary and EMT Intermediate Salary


Finding information on an Advanced EMT salary is more challenging than other levels of EMT training.


AEMT is a newer set of standards that have not completely gone into effect yet and in some states and there are fewer jobs available for these Emergency Medical Technicians. For this reason, there is salary information for Intermediate EMTs here too.


AEMT/ EMTI jobs are not as numerous as other EMT jobs and they are not offered in all the same areas as Basic EMT and Paramedic jobs. For this reason, it’s important to check if your area employs Intermediate or Advance EMTs before pursuing an education to get certified.


Data updated in August of 2017 on Payscale shows that the average EMT salary of an EMT Intermediate (EMTI) ranges from $10.14 – $19.36 an hour with a median hourly rate of $14.04.

EMT Salary Dollar Signs Green Background

All levels of EMT commonly work overtime hours which increase their salaries significantly. Keep in mind it’s not uncommon for an AEMT to work 60 – 80 hours a week. I worked as a Basic EMT while going to school and worked at least two 24 hours shifts and one 12 shift every week.


Overtime pay for EMTI professionals in the United States ranges from $13.68 – $29.87. Total EMT Intermediate salary in the United States ranges from $24,284 – $44,143 annually with an average of about $34,100.


As of August 2017, an Advanced EMT (AEMT) working in the United States with 1-4 years of experience has an average salary of $43,500.


However more experience translates into more pay with Advanced EMTs. An AEMT with 10 – 19 years experience has an average salary of around $67,500 in the United States.

Paramedic Salary


Paramedics must go through a more difficult EMT Program than other levels of EMT and then have to successfully pass the NREMT Paramedic exams. (For detailed information on these difficult exams see our National Registry Paramedic page.)


There are multiple sources for finding information about a Paramedic salary in the United States which all have similar pay rates listed. According to Payscale the national average for the salary of a Paramedic is $40,895 as of August 2017.


The Paramedic salary hourly rate ranges from $12.70 – $22.72 with a Median hourly wage of $16.99. Keep in mind that Paramedics, like all other levels of EMT, frequently work 60-80 hours a week so overtime adds significantly to their total income.


This may sound intimidating, but it’s not unusual for a Paramedic to work 8, 10, 12 and 24 hour shifts which makes it easy to accumulate overtime hours quickly. For example, a work week of two 24 hour shifts and a 12 hour shift offers a lot of time off and still allows for a 60 hour work week.


According to Payscale overtime for a Paramedic salary range from $17.85 – $35.14 an hour. The total annual pay for a Paramedic salary can range from $29,214 – $59,806 with an average pay of $40,895 a year.


This is a wide range in salary because factors such as years of experience, state and city working in, company working for, and type of position held effect pay rates. Some examples are that Paramedics in Houston make a significantly higher salary than Paramedics working in Orlando or Los Angeles.


Also newer Paramedics with less than 5 years experience can expect to earn an average Paramedic salary of around $37,000. While Paramedics with 5 to 10 years of work experience will earn an average of $41,000 a year and this pattern continues with more experience equaling more pay as a Paramedic.


Here is a table summarizing the above information about different types of EMT salary:

EMT Salary Comparison
License Average Hourly Rate Overtime Hourly Range Average Annual Salary
EMT Basic $12.19 $13.49 – $23.36 $31,029
EMT Intermediate $14.00 $13.68 – $29.87 $34,100
EMT Paramedic $16.99 $17.85 – $35.14 $40,895


EMT Career Path


For many people working as an Emergency Medical Technician is only the beginning of their career in the medical field. I started as an EMT-B and it led to me working as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the Intensive Care Unit, Critical Care Unit and Cardiac Critical Care Unit (ICU/CCU). I never planned on becoming a RN, but becoming an EMT opened up my career path.


EMT training and experience makes you a professional who responds appropriately to high stress situations. Emergency medical responders handle critical life and death decisions every shift which makes them uniquely qualified for other positions in the healthcare field.


Basic EMTs, Intermediate EMTs, and EMT Paramedics can all continue their education and increase their annual EMT salary significantly.


Some related career opportunities may only require a minor certification and others may require years of specialized education. Being part of the medical field opens up a wide range of diverse career opportunities, but this list will focus more on Emergency Medicine within the healthcare industry.


Keep in mind that being an EMT does not limit you to only working in Emergency Medicine. Many students going to medical school to become Medical Doctors (MD) are required to spend some time working as an EMT.


Working as an EMT can be a life-long career or the first step into the constantly expanding healthcare field.


Job Title Salary Additional Training Needed
Related Career Fields Table
1. Security Officer EMT $28,368 May need Security Officer Certification.
2. Emergency Room Technician $29,894 None. May need to obtain certifications after being hired. See EMT Jobs for more info.
 3. Firefighter EMT  $46,870 Fire Training, Obtaining position in Fire Department can be difficult.
 4. Register Nurse (RN)  $61,246  Complete Nursing School.
5.  Emergency Department RN  $64,293  Complete Nursing School.
 6. Critical Care RN $68,170  Complete Nursing School.
7.  Firefighter Paramedic $50,956  Fire Training needed. Getting hired in a Fire Department can be difficult.
 8. Tactical Paramedic  $83,300 EMT-T TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care), other training for specific jobs. Ex: SWAT.
 9. Offshore Paramedic  $86,500 Offshore Safety Certification, Helicopter Underwater Egress Training, etc.


EMT Job Outlook


The job outlook for EMT-B, AEMT/EMTI, and EMTP is very good. This is a growing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) occupation that is in high demand. Becoming an EMT makes you a member of the medical field, and joining the healthcare profession makes you a valuable employee that is in high demand. 



The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a projected growth rate of 24% for EMTs and Paramedics from 2014 to 2024. This is much higher than the 7% average job growth rate.


Emergency Medical Technicians can feel confident about finding a job immediately after completely school and getting certified. (For information on certification see our EMT Certification page.)


Updated Paramedic and EMT Salaries Infographic from Feb. 2018:

Infographic Paramedic & EMT Salary
Updated Paramedic and EMT Salaries from Feb. 2018

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→ For help creating a resume check out our EMT Resume Samples page.

→ Want to know the difference between EMTs and Paramedics check out EMT vs. Paramedic.


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