Paramedics responding to an emergency

From EMT to Industrial Paramedic: EMT Career Guide

How to Become an Industrial Paramedic: Duties, Responsibilities, Schooling, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

Paramedics responding to an emergency

Typically, when we think about EMT certification and experience we think about ambulances and hospitals. But a lot of people with this specialized training choose to utilize their skills a little differently, seeking out other exciting and unique job opportunities—along with some additional training, if necessary.

One of the many unique career options available to trained EMTs and paramedics is the role of the Industrial Paramedic. This guide is intended to provide a full career overview of what it takes to become an Industrial Paramedic, as well as what the role entails, what it pays, and how the job outlook appears.

(See our full list of alternative jobs for EMTs and paramedics.)

Industrial Paramedics (also known as a Remote Paramedics) are certified paramedics who work in remote locations such as industrial complexes, mines, and other distant locations where EMTs may be out of reach for practical consideration in emergency situations. Workplace injuries at these sites can be deadly if not treated in a timely manner. For that reason, many companies provide their own on-location EMT services to perform immediate first aid in the event of any injury.

Continue reading to learn more about the role of an industrial paramedics, as well as their required training, responsibilities, salaries, and benefits.

Industrial Paramedic Duties & Responsibilities

What Does an Industrial Paramedic Do?

The role of an industrial paramedic is to be on-hand to treat work-related injuries and illnesses in industries or remote work locations where employees may lack immediate access to emergency services or other types of medical facilities.

Common responsibilities for industrial paramedics include:

  • Treating wounds and injuries
  • Administering medication, injections, and IVs
  • Running tests for flu and other illnesses
  • Testing onboard tap water for contaminants
  • Maintaining medical supply inventory
  • Inspecting first aid equipment
  • Assisting with safety drills
  • Assessing whether employees can return to work

Industrial Paramedic Job Description

What Is a Typical Day For an Industrial Paramedic?

Like traditional EMTs or paramedics, much of an industrial paramedic’s day revolves around routine and schedule, interrupted (as needed) by emergency calls.

In the case of the industrial paramedic however, much of the day’s routine is determined by the type and size of the industry in which they work. For example, a manufacturing plant that shuts down overnight will have different hours than a mine or an oil field that operates 24-hours a day. Due to the different equipment and skills involved, the type of industry can also influence the most common injuries that arise on-site.

Industrial Paramedic Hours

This again will differ between industries and companies, but for most industrial paramedics, work hours are typically broken into 12-hour shifts to allow for adequate rest and preparation.

Depending on the remoteness of the location, some industrial paramedics may also be required to sleep on-site, working two to three weeks at a time then returning home for two to three weeks.

For a personal look at the vital role of the industrial paramedic, this article provides an interesting insight into what it’s really like, and why people do it.

Industrial Paramedic Salary

How Much Does an Industrial Paramedic Make?

Man welding

Currently, the average salary* for an industrial paramedic is $48,934 a year, or about $24.00 an hour (Zip Recruiter). Industrial paramedics in the lower 25th percentile make an average salary* of $35,500, and those who earn in the top 75th percentile can make over $55,000, annually.

Industrial Paramedic Requirements

How to Become an Industrial Paramedic

If you already hold a paramedic or EMT license, then you already hold the credentials required to become an industrial paramedic.

Additional degrees or certifications are rarely needed. however, some on-the-job training may be necessary in order to become familiarized with the particular industrial setting.

EMTs interested in a career as an industrial paramedic will need to go through paramedic training and certification. This includes 1,200+ hours of training on top of traditional EMT training, which can take up to two years to complete.

(Click here to learn how to become a paramedic).

Industrial Paramedic Might Be a Good Fit for You If…

  • You are calm under pressure
  • You are okay working away from home for weeks at a time
  • You enjoy remote, open locations
  • You can work under strict factory conditions and shift expectations
  • You can triage in emergency situations
  • You aren’t bothered by loud noises and big machinery

Industrial Paramedic Education

What Training Is Required to Become an Industrial Paramedic?

There is no specialized degree required to become an industrial paramedic, but specific requirements may vary from industry to industry and company to company. Many companies will require on-the-job training to educate their staff about the specific operational complexities of their facility.

Of course, it’s extremely important for industrial paramedics to fully understand the job requirements, working conditions, and equipment their fellow co-workers work with in order to effectively treat and care for them when accidents occur. Another critical success factor for industrial paramedics is their ability to communicate with all members of their team. Here is where specific job training can be essential for learning the industry terminology (shop talk) of their employer’s business.

Generally speaking, on-the-job training helps industrial paramedics feel confident and prepared to respond to work-related injuries, regardless of how unfamiliar they may be going in.

Industrial Paramedic Certification

After first following the requirements to become a certified paramedic, some qualified candidates then choose to move on to the alternative work/lifestyle of an industrial paramedic.

According to the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians), anyone applying to become a paramedic must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older
  • You must currently be certified as an EMT (learn how to become an EMT here)
  • You must have completed an accredited paramedic program within the last two years
  • You must be CPR certified
  • You must complete a psychomotor competency portfolio (proof that you can physically handle the often stressful job of a paramedic)
  • You must complete the NREMT paramedic cognitive and psychomotor certification exams

It all starts with registering for the exam at NREMT.org with a registration fee of $125, per attempt. Upon successful completion, you’ll then be emailed an ATT (authorization to test) along with your exam location.

Paramedic certification consists of two main parts; a cognitive exam and a psychomotor exam.

The Cognitive Exam – The cognitive exam focuses on many of the core EMT principles learned during paramedic training program:

  • Airway
  • Cardiology
  • Medicine
  • OBGYN
  • Trauma patients, and
  • Operations

The exam is graded simply on a pass/fail basis.

The Psychomotor Exam – In addition to your cognitive exam, paramedic students must also pass a psychomotor exam. This exam tests your ability to apply your knowledge under pressure, out in the field. During the exam, you’ll be asked to:

  • Size-up a scene
  • Perform initial resuscitation
  • Take a patient’s history
  • Make a secondary assessment
  • Read an ECG, and manage both:
    1. A cardiac irregularity, such as arrhythmia
    2. A cardiac arrest

You’ll also be tested on your communication skills—both receiving information and giving commands.

How Long Does It Take to Be an Industrial Paramedic?

Of course, the time required to become a paramedic depends heavily on the educational route you choose, and the work you put in. If you dedicate a full-time schedule to it, paramedic training can be completed within a year.

If you have a busier schedule and choose to study part-time while continuing to work as an EMT, your courses may take two to three years to complete.

Some programs also require aspiring paramedics to have up to six months experience as an EMT before they can begin paramedics classes.

Paramedics also have the option of advancing their training and career prospects with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This route is typically chosen by paramedics who hope to advance to management roles, or even eventually enroll in medical school.

Required Skills

In addition to the educational and certification requirements, successful industrial paramedics typically exhibit the following skills:

  • Patience – One of the most important traits of an industrial paramedic is the ability to stay calm during stressful situations.
  • Patience again – Because it bears repeating.
  • Resource Management – Resources can be very limited due to remote locations, and backup won’t be available quickly, so industrial paramedics must carefully manage their supplies and personnel.
  • Decision Making – Is an injury treatable, or does it require a helicopter transport to the nearest hospital (sometimes a multi-hour flight)? Industrial paramedics must be decisive. They must also be capable of weighing the pros and cons of multiple solutions during any emergency.
  • Communication – Industrial paramedics must maintain open lines of communication with their patients, their managers, and other emergency medical professionals.

From EMT to Industrial Paramedic

How Can My EMT Experience Help Me Become an Industrial Paramedic?

Mining excavator

EMT and paramedic experience isn’t just helpful for becoming an industrial paramedic… it’s a requirement.

Though there is literally no end to the types of incidents an EMT might encounter, Incidents occurring in an industrial setting like a factory, manufacturing plant, or mine may be unlike those treated during an ambulance shift. But workplace experience, training, and a solid understanding of technique is a huge advantage in adapting to the new situation.

Other advantages EMTs have in becoming industrial paramedics include:

  • Shift Experience – Industrial shifts are usually very specific due to the large numbers of employees. EMTs and paramedics already know the importance of getting rest when they can, and how to be prepared to spring into action at any time.
  • Proof of Performance – EMTs and paramedics have proven experience in handling stressful emergency situations.
  • Communication – EMTs and paramedics know how to best assess a situation and communicate important information quickly and clearly.
  • Leadership – EMTs and paramedics are often required to assume leadership responsibilities during emergencies or other chaotic situations. In an industrial setting, crises from fires to mine collapses to a variety of major accidents can strike at any time. Assertive leadership is essential to getting the job done.
  • Organizational Skills – EMTs and paramedics are accustomed to collecting patient information and triaging during emergency situations. They are also familiar with maintaining equipment and supplies.

Beginning Your Career as an Industrial Paramedic

Becoming an industrial paramedic can be an exciting and potentially lucrative alternative next step for qualified EMTs and paramedics. If you’re not already an EMT and want to gain the real-world experience needed to become an industrial paramedic, start by training for EMT certification.

Enhance your career as you help people and save lives.  If this sounds like what you’ve been dreaming of, now is an excellent time to take that first step towards your new career.