EMS professional looking ahead

15 Alternative Jobs for EMTs & Paramedics in 2022

Discover the Jobs You Can Get with EMT or Paramedic Certification

EMS professional looking ahead

Becoming an EMT or paramedic is a great career choice. Demand for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals is multiplying. The pay is relatively high for the amount of education required, and you get the satisfaction of helping others daily. It’s an exciting, challenging, and rewarding role, and for many, it’s the job of a lifetime.

Your EMT or paramedic training and experience make you uniquely qualified and well-suited for various other jobs in emergency medicine, healthcare, and veterinary science. Your previous training can lay the foundation for continued education and re-careering into many related fields including Emergency Room Technician, Radiologic Technologist, Flight Paramedic, Registered Nurse and more.  This article explores 15 alternative jobs that offer a relatively seamless transition from EMT or paramedic.

Whether you’re considering a career change, or just want to explore your options, this article* may provide some valuable insights for maximizing your career success and happiness. The important thing to remember is that there’s no shame or defeat in pursuing an alternate career path. What’s right for one period of your life, might not be ideal for another. If it’s time to move on, then you should!

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?

Emergency Room Technician

1. Emergency Room Technician

Emergency Room Technicians (ERTs), or ER techs, are similar to emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in that both are often the first line of treatment after an illness or injury. The main difference between these two careers is their work environment and how often they treat patients. While an EMT works from an ambulance and can have gaps between emergency calls, and ER tech works in a hospital emergency room where they might have to manage a constant flow of sick or injured patients. Because they are mobile, EMTs carry limited equipment, supplies, and medicines, and have limited on-site support. By contrast, the ER techs will have an entire hospital filled with diagnostic equipment, treatment resources, and medical expertise.

How Much Do Emergency Room Technicians Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary* earned by Emergency Room Technicians in 2021 was about $63,000 or about $31 per hour. ERTs who earned salaries in the top 10 percent made more than $108,000 per year.

Emergency Room Technician Job Outlook:

You can expect similar career outlooks since emergency room technicians are typically trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or certified nursing assistants (CNAs). According to the BLS, employment for EMTs and paramedics is expected to grow faster than average, with a potential increase of 11% from 2020 to 2030. During the same time period, employment of nursing assistants is expected to grow 8%, which lines up with the average for all other occupations during that time period.

Emergency Room Technician Educational Requirements:

You need at least a high school diploma or GED to become an emergency room technician. However, most employers require completing a CNA or EMT program and at least six months to 1 year of relevant experience. Additionally, you must maintain current CPR certification and EMT licensure or CNA certification. Several community colleges and technical schools offer EMT, CNA, or ERT programs that combine classroom learning and clinical training. Common course topics include medical terminology, reading EKGs, inserting IVs, and phlebotomy. Because the roles are very similar, the transition from EMT to ERT can be relatively seamless.

Learn more: How to Become an ER Technician

 

Medical Equipment Repairer

2. Medical Equipment Repairer

As an EMT, you have experience working with a variety of sophisticated medical devices and equipment. You understand their purpose and function, and you have probably been tasked with maintaining their proper function. This experience may give you a valuable advantage as a medical equipment repairer.

Medical Equipment Repairers, or biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), handle the installation, repair, and maintenance for a wide range of medical equipment. The medical tools you will repair can range from electronic to hydraulic to electromechanical, including life-supporting equipment (defibrillators, ventilation machines), medical imaging equipment (x-rays, CAT scans), and occasionally dental and eye equipment. Medical equipment repairers typically move from facility to facility, fixing and maintaining medical equipment.

How Much Do Medical Equipment Repairers Make?

According to the BLS, the average annual wage for Medical Equipment Repairers was about $55,000 in 2020, or about $26 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $85,000 per year.

Medical Equipment Repairer Job Outlook:

According to the BLS, overall employment of medical equipment repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 6,300 openings for medical equipment repairers are projected each year, on average, over the next decade.

With a growing number of older adults and people living longer, doctors prescribe more medical tests and procedures that use new, complex equipment. In addition, many medical facilities are buying refurbished medical equipment in order to save money. As a result, medical equipment repairers will be needed to provide routine service to ensure the machines work properly.

Medical Equipment Repairer Educational Requirements:

Education The educational requirements for becoming a medical equipment repairer vary, depending on a worker’s experience and area of specialization. However, the most common education is an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Those who repair less-complicated equipment, such as hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, may learn entirely through on-the-job training, sometimes lasting up to one year. Repairers who work on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators, may need a bachelor’s degree. Because EMTs have experience working with patients and medical equipment, they have an advantage in the field of equipment repair.

Learn more: How to Become a Medical Equipment Repairer

 

Physician Assistant

3. Physician Assistant

A career as a physician assistant (PA) comes with a lot of responsibility. For this reason, a significant amount of additional education and training is required. However, your work as an EMT makes you a prime candidate when applying for those training programs. Physician Assistants work 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 when the Doctor is absent.

How Much Do Physician Assistants Make?

According to the BLS, the average annual wage for Physician Assistants was about $116,000 or $56 an hour. PAs in the top 10 percent of earners made more than $162,000 per year.

Physician Assistant Job Outlook:

According to the BLS,  overall employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. About 12,200 openings for PAs are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

The demand for healthcare services will increase as our population grows older and we live longer. This will increase the demand for doctors. Physician assistants can provide many of the same services as physicians, but PAs can be trained faster. In addition, as team-based healthcare models continue to become more common, PAs will have growing roles in all areas of medicine.

Physician Assistant Educational Requirements:

Physician assistants typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. Earning that degree usually takes at least 2 years of full-time postgraduate study. All states require physician assistants to be licensed. PA candidates applying to graduate school will typically have experience caring directly for patients. Having experience as an EMT or paramedic provides an advantage to students studying to become a physician assistant.

Learn more: How to Become a Physician Assistant

 

Surgical Technologist

4. Surgical Technologist

Surgical Technologists are members of the surgical team that works alongside the medical team but doesn’t take part in the surgery itself. Their role 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 an operation. As an EMT, many of these responsibilities will already be familiar to you and could potentially speed up your training.

How Much Do Surgical Technologists Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for Surgical Technologists was about $50,000 in 2020, or about $24 an hour. Surgical Technologists that earned salaries in the top 10 percent made more than $73,000 per year.

Surgical Technologists Job Outlook:

The BLS predicts that overall employment for surgical technologists is expected to be grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 9,000 openings for surgical technologists are projected each year.

Advances in medicine and technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. At the same time, the aging of the baby boom generation is expected to increase the need and demand for surgical procedures, which in turn increases demand for surgical technologists.

Surgical Technologist Educational Requirements:

Surgical technologists typically need a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree from an accredited surgical technology program. These programs are offered at community colleges and vocational schools, and some universities and hospitals.  Programs range in length from several months to 2 years.

Surgical technology education includes courses such as anatomy, microbiology, and physiology. Students learn about the care and safety of patients, sterilization techniques, how to set up technical or robotic equipment, and preventing and controlling infections. These are many of the same skills taught in EMT training, which makes surgical technologist a role for which EMTs are well-suited and uniquely qualified.

Learn more: How to Become a Surgical Technologist

 

Health Information Technician

5. Health Information Technician

Rather than work directly with patients, Health Information Technicians, or Health Information Specialists, 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 advantageous.

How Much Do Health Information Technicians Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for Health Information Technicians was about $45,000 in 2020 or about $22 per hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $73,000 per year.

Health Information Technicians Job Outlook:

The BLS reports that overall employment for health information technicians is expected to be grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, an average of about 34,300 openings for health information technicians are projected each year.

Our aging U.S. population will require more medical services. As a result. more medical records and health information specialists will be needed to organize and manage the health-related information, including insurance reimbursement claims.

Health Information Technicians Educational Requirements:

Employment as a health information technician typically requires a postsecondary certificate, though in some cases, a high school diploma and some experience is enough. Other employers will require an associate’s degree or higher. Employers may prefer to hire health information technicians who have certification or expect applicants to earn certification shortly after being hired. Some medical training, such as an EMT training program, might also be preferred.

Postsecondary certificate and degree programs in health information technology typically include courses in medical terminology, health data requirements and standards, and classification and coding systems. Some health information technicians have degrees in areas such as healthcare, business, and psychology.

Learn more: How to Become a Health Information Technician

 

Contract Medic Rollercoaster

6. Contract Medic

Here’s the good news: If you’re an EMT or paramedic, you are already qualified to be a Contract Medic, because Contract Medics are EMTs and paramedics. The only real difference is where they work and who employs them.

Most EMTs and paramedics work full-time for ambulance services, local governments, and hospitals. On the other hand, contract medics are more likely to work for private companies and in more unique environments. These include concerts, amusement parks, hotels, cruises, and festivals. These jobs are often contractual—meaning an EMT may work gig to gig—though some offer full-time employment. While some contract medics earn less than traditional EMTs, most earn more, and a few have the opportunity to make a lot more.

How Much Do Contract Medics Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary* for contract medics was about $59,000 in 2021 or about $28 an hour. Contract medics who earned salaries in the top 10 percent made as much as $104,000 per year.

Contract Medics Job Outlook:

Because contract medics are EMTs and paramedics, the job outlook is very similar. According to the BLS, overall employment of contract medics is expected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 20,700 openings for EMTs and paramedics are projected each year.

Growth in the older segments of the US population will increase age-related health emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. This increase, in turn, will create greater need for traditional EMS professionals (EMTs and paramedics) and contract medics.

Contract Medic Educational Requirements:

While requirements can vary by location and employer, employers typically require contract medics to have an EMT or paramedic certification.

Most EMT and paramedic training programs require both a high school diploma or equivalent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for enrollment. Most of these programs are nondegree programs that can be completed in less than 1 year, some last up to 2 years. Programs in emergency medical technology are offered by technical institutes, community colleges, universities, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training.

Learn more: How to Become a Contract Medic

 

Emergency Dispatcher

7. Emergency Dispatcher

Emergency Dispatchers – also known as Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) – answer emergency and non-emergency calls and provide resources to assist those in need. They include 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers for police, fire, and ambulance agencies. Emergency dispatchers either work out of a dispatch center for a single agency (e.g., police, fire, ambulance, etc.) or in a larger communications center serving multiple types of emergency services.

As an EMT, you’re already very familiar with the role of an emergency dispatcher. One of the most important responsibilities of a dispatcher is to collect as much relevant information as possible and provide it to first responders and other healthcare professionals. Because they must respond to a variety of situations and often deal with emotionally charged people, Emergency Dispatchers must demonstrate a great degree of resourcefulness, organization, focus, and judgment. For an EMT, this job is a natural fit, as you already know the exact information that a first responder will need to do their job.

How Much Do Emergency Dispatchers Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for Emergency Dispatchers (Public Safety Telecommunicators) was about $43,000 in 2020 or about $21 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $67,000 per year.

Emergency Dispatcher Job Outlook:

Job growth for emergency dispatchers is expected to be strong at 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 9,800 openings for emergency dispatchers are projected each year.

Although state and local government budget constraints may limit the number of emergency dispatchers that can be hired in the coming decade, growth in the older segment of the U.S. population is expected to increase 9-1-1 call volume, increasing demand for emergency dispatchers.

Emergency Dispatcher Educational Requirements:

As an EMT or paramedic, you’ve worked with emergency dispatchers extensively. You know the job and you know what is expected of them. Your experience may make you a preferred employee in this role.

Emergency dispatchers, or Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs), typically need a high school diploma to enter the occupation and then are trained on the job. Many states and localities require PSTs to be certified. In addition, employers will usually require PSTs to pass an exam and a typing test. In some instances, candidates may need to pass a background check, lie detector and drug tests, and test for hearing and vision. The ability to communicate in another language, such as Spanish or American Sign Language, may be helpful.

PSTs typically receive training on the job. Training requirements and length of training vary by state and locality. Some states require 40 or more hours of training, and others require continuing education every 2 to 3 years. Training programs typically involve an instructional course and may include on-the-job demonstrations. Training can cover a variety of topics, such as local geography, agency protocols, and standard procedures. PSTs learn how to use equipment such as computer-aided dispatch systems, which consist of several monitors and that may display call information, maps, and video. They may also receive training to prepare for high-risk incidents, such as child abductions and suicidal callers.  Because you have first-hand experience responding to emergency calls, your background as an EMT will likely make you a preferred candidate for a PST career.

Learn more: How to Become an Emergency Dispatcher

 

Offshore Medic Oil Rig

8. Offshore Medic

Offshore Medics are usually paramedics or nurses, so your experience as an EMT or paramedic makes you highly qualified to pursue this position. 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 onboard 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.

How Much Do Offshore Medics Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual wage for Offshore Medics was about $69,000 in 2021 or about $33 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners averaged $130,000 per year.

Offshore Medics Job Outlook:

Because offshore medics are typically paramedics, their job outlook is very similar. Job growth for EMTs and paramedics is excellent at 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 20,700 openings for EMTs and paramedics are projected each year.

Unless they have nurses or doctors on their rigs, oil companies cannot properly treat injured or sick rig workers without offshore paramedics. Globally, the offshore drilling market is projected to grow at a rate of 7.9% through 2026. This should further increase demand for this specialized paramedic job.

Offshore Medic Educational Requirements:

To become an offshore medic, you must first be a certified paramedic or registered nurse (RN). A specialized degree is not required for paramedics applying to become an offshore medic, but exact requirements may vary depending on the location and employer. Some companies may require their offshore medics to complete a set number of training hours while on the job. Life on an oil rig is unique, and so are the injuries. Therefore, offshore medics must feel confident and prepared to respond to these injuries, regardless of how unfamiliar they may be.

The time required to become a paramedic depends on the educational route you choose. If you study full-time, you may be able to complete your training within a year. However, if you study part-time while working as an EMT, your courses may take you two to three years to complete. Some programs also require future paramedics to have up to six months of experience as an EMT before they can begin their paramedic classes.

Learn more: How to Become an Offshore Paramedic

 

Industrial Medic Facility

9. Industrial Medic

An Industrial Medic is an EMT or paramedic who works in factories, industrial centers, and manufacturing plants, so your experience and training as an EMT is a perfect fit for this role.

Many industrial medics work in remote locations such as industrial complexes, mines, oil fields, and other distant locations. Many industrial companies 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. However, the main difference between the two roles is that the number of patients you serve is generally restricted to your company’s employees and visitors.

How Much Do Industrial Medics Make?

According to the ZipRecruiter, the average annual wage for Industrial Medics was about $49,000 in 2021, or about $24 an hour. Industrial Medics who earned salaries in the top 10 percent made more than $75,000 per year.

Industrial Medics Job Outlook:

Because industrial medics are typically EMTs and paramedics, the job outlook is very similar. The BLS predicts that overall employment for EMTs and paramedics will grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 20,700 openings for EMTs and paramedics are projected each year.

Industrial Medics Educational Requirements:

Your training and experience as an EMT or paramedic isn’t just helpful as an industrial medic, it’s a necessity. While requirements can vary by location and employer, most employers require industrial medics to have an EMT or paramedic certification.

Most EMT and paramedic training programs require both a high school diploma or equivalent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for enrollment. Most of these programs are nondegree programs that can be completed in less than 1 year, some last up to 2 years. Programs in emergency medical technology are offered by technical institutes, community colleges, universities, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training.

Learn more: How to Become an Industrial Paramedic

 

Forensic Science Technician

10. Forensic Science Technician

Forensic Science Technicians—also called Crime Scene Techs or Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs)—aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Many technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis, but others may be generalists that perform both. At crime scenes, Forensic Techs will analyze the location at crime scenes to determine what evidence should be collected and how—which may include taking fingerprints and collecting bodily fluids. Forensic Techs perform scientific analyses on evidence taken from crime scenes in laboratories.

Many of the tasks performed by Forensic Techs are similar in nature to those of EMTs.  For this reason, many law enforcement agencies value EMTs for their experience working with patients at a variety of emergency scenes, following exact protocols, gathering relevant information, working with sophisticated equipment and precise measurements, and using good judgment.

How Much Do Forensic Science Technicians Make?

According to the BLS, the average annual salary* for Forensic Science Technicians was about $61,000 in 2020 or about $29 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $101,000 per year.

Forensic Science Technician Job Outlook:

Overall employment for Forensic Science Technicians is expected grow an exceptional 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 2,500 openings for forensic science technicians are projected each year.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are expected to hire additional forensic techs to process their high caseloads. In addition, technological advances are expected to increase the availability and usefulness of forensic information as evidence in trials. For this reason, more forensic techs will be needed to provide forensic information to law enforcement agencies and courts.

Forensic Science Technician Educational Requirements:

Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or in forensic science. On-the-job training is usually required for those who investigate crime scenes and those who work in labs.

Forensic science programs may focus on a specific area of study, such as toxicology, pathology, or DNA. Students who enroll in general natural science programs should make an effort to take classes related to forensic science. A list of schools that offer degrees in forensic science is available from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Many of those who seek to become forensic science technicians will have an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences and a master’s degree in forensic science.

Learn more: How to Become Forensic Science Technician

 

Veterinary Technician

11. Veterinary Technician

EMTs and paramedics are experts at helping people after a medical emergency. However, the United States is also home to millions of pets, and almost all of them will also need medical attention at some point in their lives. Veterinary Technicians work side-by-side with a licensed veterinarian to care for sick and injured animals. During any given shift, a vet tech may help sick animals, administer medicine, assist with veterinary surgery, or even help diagnose a pet’s medical problems. As an EMT or paramedic, much of your experience with treating people can be applied equally well to treating animals.

How Much Do Veterinary Technicians Make?

According to the BLS, the average annual salary* earned by Veterinary Technicians was about $36,000 in 2020 or about $17 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $52,000 per year.

Veterinary Technician Job Outlook:

Overall employment of Veterinary Technicians is expected grow an outstanding 15 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 10,400 openings for veterinary technicians and technologists are projected each year.

According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association, about 90.5 million families, or 70 percent of US households, own a pet, and the numbers have been growing for the last 30 years. The growing pet population will likely increase the demand for veterinary services and the need for veterinary technicians.

Veterinary Technician Educational Requirements:

Veterinary technicians must complete a postsecondary program in veterinary technology. For employment, veterinary technicians usually need a 2-year associate’s degree and must pass a credentialing exam to become registered, licensed, or certified depending on the state in which they work.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits veterinary technology programs. Most of these programs offer a 2-year associate’s degree for veterinary technicians; others offer a 4-year bachelor’s degree for veterinary technologists.

Many of the same skills that EMTs use to treat people apply to the treatment of pets. This includes moving the patient’s body, administering medications and medical devices, using diagnostic equipment, following protocols, and working under the direction of a doctor or other healthcare professional. For these reasons and more, many veterinarians value EMT training and experience in their technicians.

Learn more: How to Become a Veterinary Technician

 

Biological Technician

12. Biological Technician

While EMTs and paramedics work by reacting to new situations, the job of Biological Technicians, or Bio Techs, is to help researchers anticipate future situations and develop new and more effective ways of helping people. The primary job of a bio tech is to collect samples and analyze test results of body fluid, tissue, and other substances. In addition, they often work directly with clinical test subjects—another area where an EMT’s experience working with patients can come in handy.

How Much Do Biological Technicians Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for Biological Technicians was about $46,000 in 2020 or about $22 an hour. Biological Technicians that earned salaries in the top 10 percent made more than $75,000 per year.

Biological Technician Job Outlook:

Overall employment of biological technicians is expected grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 11,800 openings for biological technicians are projected each year.

Biological Technician Educational Requirements:

EMTs and biological technicians both make a difference in a patient’s life—one from the frontline, the other from the lab. Bio techs typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. Most colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in the biological sciences. Some positions may be available to associate’s degree holders or those without a degree but who have biological laboratory experience.

Biological science programs usually include courses in general biology and subfields such as ecology, microbiology, and physiology. In addition, students must study chemistry, math, and physics. Computer science courses are helpful for learning how to model and simulate biological processes and for learning how to operate some laboratory equipment. Laboratory experience is important for prospective biological technicians, so students should take biology courses that emphasize laboratory work.

As an EMT, you may be particularly well-suited to the role of biological technician, as you have experience working with patients, adhering to protocols, maintaining equipment, documenting work and observations, and writing reports. Also, as a biological technician, you will still experience the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to improve healthcare and making a difference in the lives of others.

Learn more: How to Become a Biological Technician

 

Radiologic Technologist

13. Radiologic Technologist

Becoming a Radiologic Technologist can be a great next step for EMTs. Like the EMTs, Radiologic Technologists play an essential role in the patient care system. Their job involves working directly with patients and working with sophisticated equipment to help identify medical conditions or treatment options. Doctors can’t prescribe accurate care plans without accurate scans, so the need for dedicated, organized, and capable Radiologic Technologists is crucial. Their responsibilities include adjusting and maintaining equipment, operating scans, evaluating images, and prepping patients.

How Much Do Radiologic Technologists Make?

According to the BLS, the average annual salary* for Radiologic Technologists was about $64,000 in 2020 or about $31 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $104,000 per year.

Radiologic Technologist Job Outlook:

Overall employment of Radiologic Technologists is expected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 20,800 openings for radiologic techs are projected each year.

As the baby-boom segment of the population grows older, there will likely be an increase in medical conditions, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, that require imaging as a diagnostic tool. As a result, Radiologic and MRI technicians will be needed to take the images.

Radiologic Technologist Educational Requirements:

Radiologic techs typically need an associate’s degree for employment. Most states require radiologic technologists to be licensed or certified. Regardless of state requirements, employers typically require or prefer to hire technologists who are certified.

Education programs for radiologic technologists may include both academic and clinical study. Programs typically include courses such as anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

As an EMT, your training and experience can be very valuable to the role of radiologic technologist and may be sought-after by employers.

Learn more: How to Become Radiologic Technologist

 

Flight Paramedic Helicopter

14. Flight Paramedic

Your EMS career can really take off as a Flight Paramedic, and your experience and training should allow for a smooth transition. The Flight Paramedic (also referred to as a Flight Medic) handles all the responsibilities of an ambulance medic and then some—taking on more responsibility for patient stabilization, field treatments, and flight safety. A flight paramedic is a highly sought-after position and there are only about 3,000 positions in the United States, so competition is fierce. But as a flight paramedic, you’ll have the satisfaction of saving lives across hundreds of miles, and treating patients who would otherwise go untreated.

How Much Do Flight Paramedics Make?

How Much Do Contract Medics Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary* for Flight Paramedics was about $72,000 in 2021 or about $34 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners averaged about $158,000 per year.

Flight Paramedic Job Outlook:

Because flight paramedics are paramedics, the job outlook is very similar. Overall employment for EMTs and paramedics is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 20,700 openings for EMTs and paramedics are projected each year.

Growth in the older segments of the US population will increase age-related health emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. This increase, in turn, will create a greater need for traditional EMS professionals (EMTs and paramedics) and flight paramedics.

Flight Paramedic Educational Requirements:

Paramedics have the most advanced level of education among EMS professionals. Employment for flight paramedics, like all paramedics, typically requires an associate’s degree in emergency medical technology. These degree programs typically last 2 years and require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for enrollment. Technical institutes, community colleges, and universities offer associate degree programs in emergency medical technology.

As an EMT, you already have some of the training required for a paramedic position and may qualify to enter specific paramedical training programs. Community colleges and universities may offer these programs, which require about 1,200 hours of instruction and may lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Learn more: How to Become Flight Paramedic

 

Registered Nurse

15. Registered Nurse

Registered Nurses (RNs) and EMS professionals have a lot in common. They both provide medical treatment to patients and must remain calm under pressure in the event of a sudden emergency. In addition, EMTs and paramedics treat patients before they arrive at the hospital, whereas RNs may treat the same patients after they are admitted into the hospital or healthcare facility.

Like emergency medicine, nursing is a challenging and rewarding job that provides the opportunity to help others on a daily basis. As a medical first responder, your education and experience will give you added value in the field of nursing and help you advance your career. Although further education and licensing is required to become a nurse, many first responders can bring a unique and valuable perspective to the nursing profession.

How Much Do Registered Nurses Make?

According to the BLS, the average annually salary* earned by Registered Nurses was about $80,000 in 2020, or about $36 an hour. RNs who earned salaries in the top 10 percent made more than $116,000 per year.

Registered Nurse Job Outlook:

Overall employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 194,500 openings for registered nurses are projected each year.

Demand for healthcare services in general will increase over the next decade because the growing number of older people in our population will have more medical problems. This will require more nurses to help care for and educate patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.

Registered Nurse Educational Requirements:

The minimum requirements to become a registered nurse are an associate or bachelor’s degree or diploma and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Bachelor’s degree programs typically take 4 years to complete. Associate’s degree programs and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete.

Nursing education programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, other social and behavioral sciences, and liberal arts.  Programs typically combine nursing classes with supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. A bachelor’s or higher degree is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Learn more: How to Become Registered Nurse

 

About Unitek EMT

Unitek EMT is one of the premier EMT schools in Arizona. Our mission is simple: training the next wave of top-notch EMT professionals. We offer a variety of training options to fit your needs, including an accelerated EMT program, to get you mission-ready and certified fast. We also offer an EMS Continuing Education courses, to update your expertise and enhance your career. Unitek EMT instructors are experienced leaders in their fields, and our real-world training scenarios are ideal for aspiring EMT professionals.

Click here to learn more about the 14-Day EMT Boot Camp at Unitek EMT in Tempe, AZ.

 

 

 

* While this blog may occasionally contain information related to Unitek EMT programs or courses, the majority of information provided within this blog is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to represent the specific details of any educational offerings or opinions of Unitek EMT.

13 replies
  1. peterboyce
    peterboyce says:

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  2. landon
    landon says:

    Very Useful Information, I plan on becoming an EMT right now at 18 years old and then looking into one of these careers after!

    • Unitek EMT
      Unitek EMT says:

      Thank you for your interest! If you’d like more information about Unitek EMT, please contact us at (888) 790-1458.

  3. Roe T
    Roe T says:

    This was very helpful. After being an EMT for 15 years, I have narrowed my next path to two, maybe three options thanks to this site.

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