ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Your Life Depends on It: The Average US Paramedic Salary

Updated on November 8, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

If you’re injured in a car accident or suffer a heart attack at home, you can depend on paramedics to provide emergency services and rush you to a hospital, where doctors can treat your medical conditions. These emergency workers are often the first helpers to arrive on the scene. Their average U.S. salaries vary by employers and locations.


The primary responsibility of paramedics, who are also known as EMTs or emergency management technicians, is to stabilize an injured person so doctors can treat him at medical facilities. They respond to 911 calls for help and must quickly assess patient conditions. Then, they determine a treatment, which can include bandaging a wound, administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and dispensing medications.

As of May 2011, paramedics averaged $34,030 per year, or $16.36, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Annual salaries rose fell below $19,880 or rose above $53,050, which equaled an hourly range of $9.56 to $25.50.


Paramedics receive three levels of formal training in classrooms, hospitals and ambulances.

  • EMT-Basic introduces medical treatment and how to assess patient conditions in about 100 hours. It teaches the use of mobile equipment, dealing with cardiac and traumatic emergencies, and clearing obstructed airways.
  • EMT-Intermediate requires 1,000 hours for learning complex equipment, intravenous fluids and the use of some medications.
  • Paramedics need 1,300 hours, which may take up to two years to complete. This level of education includes stitching wounds and administering medications intravenously.

All states mandate a license before any level of EMT can practice, which typically requires the educational background and passing an exam with written and practical components. Many states grant the license only to those without a criminal background.


Almost half of the nation’s 229,340 paramedics worked for other ambulatory health care services, such as ambulance companies, where they made a mean $30,980 per year, or $14.90 per hour.

  • Local government contained a third of the positions, averaging an annual $38,400, or $18.46 hourly.
  • The highest wages were in support activities for mining at a mean $59,770 yearly, or $28.74 per hour.
  • Other heavy and civil engineering ranked second for pay at a mean $51,720 per year, or $24.86 per hour.


Areas with large populations boasted the best opportunities for paramedics:

  • The two most populous states of California and Texas showed the most jobs at 16,110 and 14,630 respectively. Average pay in the Golden State was $36,490 yearly, or $17.54 hourly, while the Panhandle State showed means of $31,910 annually, or $15.34 hourly.
  • The third most populous city of Chicago, Illinois, held the most positions of any metro area, at 8,600, with mean wages of $50,900 yearly, or $24.47 hourly. The most populous city of New York ranked second with 7,590 paramedics averaging an annual $39,910, or $19.19 per hour.
  • For rural areas, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, had 470 jobs at a mean $23,000 per year, or $11.06 per hour. Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was nest with 310 positions averaging an annual $30,360, or $14.59 hourly.

As for highest pay, the District of Columbia topped the state list with means of $50,140 per year, or $24.11 per hour. For cities, it was Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, averaging an annual $68,050, or $32.71 per hour. And in rural areas, Southwest Alaska was on top with mean pay at $60,290 yearly, or $28.99 hourly.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)