10 Alternative Jobs for EMTs & Paramedics in 2019

10 Alternative Jobs for EMTs & Paramedics in 2019

Learn What Other Jobs You Can Get with EMT-B or Paramedic Certification

10 Alternative Jobs for EMTs & Paramedics in 2019

Becoming an EMT or Paramedic is a strong career choice. EMS is a growing field and jobs are plentiful across the country. Furthermore, you help people every single day and there are plenty of opportunities to grow within the field.

For example, some EMTs may choose to advance their skillsets to become a Paramedic. Others take it a step further and go from EMT to doctor. Your potential as a medical first responder can go so much further than riding in an ambulance. EMTs and Paramedics can branch out as EMT instructors, police medics, military medics, firefighters, and crew management.

But as with any career, an EMT or Paramedic may reach a point in their careers where they may want to pursue something entirely different.

Reasons for switching careers can include:

A bigger paycheck – EMTs earn a good salary depending on where they work, with salaries ranging from the mid-30’s to mid-60’s and higher. But life changes—starting a family for instance—can motivate a person to seek higher compensation.

Regular hours – EMTs and Paramedics work long shifts. They may work 24 hours at a time in some cases. That schedule can work well for some, but others may find themselves craving more a traditional nine-to-five job.

Safety – All EMS jobs come with some level of risk. Emergency situations can be unpredictable and some EMTs may be required to work in uncertain conditions. Although this level of unpredictability can be exciting for new EMTs and Paramedics, with enough time, they can also take an emotional or physical toll. For this reason, many first responders eventually seek out careers that are a little more safe and secure.

Burnout – EMTs and Paramedics may experience burnout for numerous reasons. Sometimes they reach a point where they have to do something different or make a drastic change in their life to overcome these challenges and achieve a better quality of life.

The important thing to remember is that there’s no shame for an EMT or Paramedic to seek out alternative career paths. If it’s time to move one, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t!

The good news for EMTs is that all the hard work you put into EMT training and the time you spent studying for the EMT exam isn’t wasted. Your skills and training as an EMT can potentially open doors to many other career opportunities.

What Other Jobs Can an EMT or Paramedic Do?

Below are just a few careers that might be a great fit for a person with EMT training and certification.

1. Emergency Room Technician

Emergency Room Technician

An emergency room technician is similar to an emergency medical technician in that both are often the first line of defense after an illness or injury. The main difference is where they work. While an EMT travels to the patient, an ER tech works in a hospital’s emergency room—meaning the patients come to you.

Where Do Emergency Room Technicians Work?

Emergency room technicians can work in hospital or clinic emergency rooms

How Much Do Emergency Room Technicians Make?

The average hourly wage for an emergency room technician is $14.49 (payscale.com)

The average salary for an emergency room technician is $33,795

Emergency Room Technician Job Outlook:

Strong (10% growth)

Emergency Room Technician Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: ER Technician certificate or comparable training (such as EMT certification).

2. Medical Equipment Repairer

Medical Equipment Repairer

EMTs check their rig before every shift. Why? Because they know that everything, especially medical supplies, can break. As a Medical Equipment Repairer, you move from facility to facility fixing those broken pieces of medical equipment. For equipment of average complexity—hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, for example—additional education may not be required, and your training as an EMT gives you a familiarity with the equipment you’ll be fixing.

Where Do Medical Equipment Repairers Work?

Medical Equipment Repairers rotate between offices and healthcare facilities.

How Much Do Medical Equipment Repairers Make?

The average hourly wage for a medical equipment repairers is $25.34 (BLS)

The average salary for a medical equipment repairers is $52,710

Medical Equipment Repairer Job Outlook:

Average (4% growth)

Medical Equipment Repairer Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Associate degree or on-the-job training.

3. Physician’s Assistant

Physician’s Assistant

A career as a physician’s assistant (PA) comes with a lot of responsibility. For this reason, additional training is required. However, your work as an EMT makes you a prime candidate when applying for those courses. A physician’s assistant works side-by-side with doctors, surgeons, and nurses as part of a medical team. Their job is to help to diagnose, treat, and examine patients. In some rural or underserved communities, a PA may even serve as the primary physician on days the MD is absent.

Where Do Physician’s Assistants Work?

Physician’s Assistants typically work in hospitals or in a doctor’s office

How Much Do Physician’s Assistants Make?

The average hourly wage for a physician’s assistant is $52.13 (BLS)

The average salary for a physician’s assistant is $108,430

Physician’s Assistant Job Outlook:

Very Strong (30% growth)

Physician’s Assistant Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Master’s degree, previous experience with patients preferred.

4. Surgical Technologist

Surgical Technologist

A Surgical Technologist is a member of the surgical team who works alongside the medical team but doesn’t take part in the surgery itself. This includes sterilizing equipment, disinfecting the room, swabbing patients before and after a procedure, counting supplies after surgery (to make sure nothing was left behind), and occasionally handing surgeons instruments during a procedure. As an EMT, many of these responsibilities will already be familiar to you and could potential speed up your training.

Where Do Surgical Technologists Work?

Most surgical technologists work in hospitals

How Much Do Surgical Technologists Make?

The average hourly wage for a surgical technologist is $23.58 (BLS)

The average salary for a surgical technologist is $49,040

Surgical Technologist Job Outlook:

Strong (9% growth)

Surgical Technologist Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Surgical Technologist certificate.

Learn More: How to Become a Surgical Technologist

5. Health Information Technician

Health Information Technician

Rather than work directly with patients, Health Information Technicians spend most of their days at a desk, organizing and reviewing patient information. This can range from medical history to billing to insurance reimbursement. Experience as an EMT can help move an applicant to the front of the list, as familiarity with procedures and medical terms is an advantage.

Where Do Health Information Technicians Work?

Health information technicians typically work in clinics, private practices, and hospitals

How Much Do Health Information Technicians Make?

The average hourly wage for a health information technician is $21.16 (BLS)

The average salary for a health information technician is $44,010

Health Information Technician Job Outlook:

Strong (11% growth)

Health Information Technician Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Postsecondary certificate, though some might need an associate degree (certification is often required). Some medical training, such as EMT certification, might also be preferred.

6. Contract Medic

Contract Medic

Plenty of private companies choose to have their own EMS services on hand rather than wait for first responders. These include concerts, amusement parks, hotels, cruises, and festivals. Many times, these jobs are contractual—meaning an EMT may work gig to gig—though some offer full-time employment.

Where Do Contract Medics Work?

Contract medics can work for entertainment venues, cruise ships, amusement parks, or hotels

How Much Do Contract Medics Make?

The average hourly wage for a contract medic is $28.00 (ZipRecruiter)

The average salary for a contract medic is $58,362

Contract Medic Job Outlook:

Good (7% growth)

Contract Medic Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: EMT (or Paramedic) certification.

7. Emergency Dispatcher

Emergency Dispatcher

As an EMT, you’re already very familiar with the job of a dispatcher. Dispatchers receive 9-1-1 calls and route them to the appropriate crews to address the emergency. One of the most important responsibilities of a dispatcher is to collect as much information as possible in order to relay the pertinent facts to the first responders. Therefore, having solid communication and organizational skills are key for this role. For an EMT, this job is a natural fit, as you already know the exact information first responder will need to do their job upon arrival.

Where Do Emergency Dispatchers Work?

Emergency dispatchers either work out of a dispatch center for a single agency (i.e. police, fire, ambulance, etc.) or in a larger communications center serving multiple types of emergency services.

How Much Do Emergency Dispatchers Make?

The average hourly wage for an emergency dispatcher is $20.81 (BLS)

The average salary for an emergency dispatcher is $43,290

Emergency Dispatcher Job Outlook:

Average (6% growth)

Emergency Dispatcher Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: High school diploma.

8. Offshore Medic

Offshore Medic

The men and women who work on oil rigs have dangerous jobs. They are prone to injury and, to complicate matters, they’re usually hours away from land (and the nearest hospital). So having a medic on board to provide initial emergency treatment is absolutely necessary. An offshore medic works hard and can expect to spend two weeks at a time on the rig, working 12-hour shifts. But the pay is often more than generous, making the hard work worth it.

Where Do Offshore Medics Work?

Most offshore medics work on offshore oil rigs

How Much Do Offshore Medics Make?

The average hourly wage for an offshore medic is $35.00 (ZipRecruiter)

The average salary for an offshore medic is $72,451

Offshore Medic Job Outlook:

Very Strong (23% growth)

Offshore Medic Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Paramedic certification or nursing degree.

9. Industrial Medic

Industrial Medic

An Industrial Medic is an EMT who works in a factory. Many industrial companies, such as car manufacturers, always need a first responder present in case of an injury or illness on the factory floor. The job responsibilities of an Industrial Medic are the same as an emergency medical technician. The main difference is that patient responsibility is restricted to the number of company employees.

Where Do Industrial Medics Work?

Industrial medics work in factories, industrial centers, and manufacturing plants

How Much Do Industrial Medics Make?

The average hourly wage for an industrial medic is $23.00 (ZipRecruiter)

The average salary for an industrial medic is $47,905

Industrial Medic Job Outlook:

Good (7% growth)

Industrial Medic Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: EMT (or Paramedic) certification.

10. Laboratory Technician

Laboratory Technician

EMTs are prized by many medical research scientists and clinical laboratories due to their experience handling patients and assessing risks. Laboratory technicians are responsible for collecting and analyzing samples, operating laboratory equipment, and logging data. They may also be asked to consult with doctors on their findings.

Where Do Laboratory Technician’s Work?

You can find lab technicians working in hospitals, medical laboratories, and private practices

How Much Do Laboratory Technician’s Make?

Lab techs earn an average hourly wage of $25.91 (BLS)

The average salary for a laboratory technician is $53,880

Laboratory Technician Job Outlook:

Strong (11% growth)

Laboratory Technician Job Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, typical minimum requirements include: Associate or bachelor’s degree.

These are just a handful of the many alternative careers for EMTs and Paramedics. Some jobs are similar to a EMT/Paramedic, while others are very different, but all of them prize and respect the hard-work and training that they possess.

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