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

EMT certification and experience are often used for working in ambulances or hospitals, but for those looking to step off the beaten path, that same experience can lead to other exciting and unique job opportunities with additional training.

This guide will provide a career overview of becoming an Industrial Paramedic, one of the many alternative career options available to trained EMTs and paramedics.

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

An Industrial Paramedic (also called a Remote Paramedic) is a certified paramedic who works in remote locations such as industrial complexes, mines, and other distant locations. Workplace injuries at these industrial sites can be deadly if not treated immediately. For that reason, many companies opt to have an EMT on location to perform immediate first aid in the event of an injury.

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

Industrial Paramedic Duties & Responsibilities

What Does an Industrial Paramedic Do?

The primary job of an industrial paramedic is to treat work-related injuries and illnesses in industries or remote work locations where employees may lack immediate access to hospitals 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 an traditional EMT or paramedic, much of the day for an industrial paramedic revolves around routine and schedule, interrupted (as needed) by emergency calls.

Much of the day’s routine, however, 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 oil field that operates 24-hours a day. The type of industry can also influence the most common injuries that arise on any given day.

Industrial Paramedic Hours

For industrial paramedics, work hours are typically broken into 12-hour shifts to allow for adequate rest and preparations between shifts.

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

Industrial Paramedic Salary

How Much Does an Industrial Paramedic Make?

Man welding

Currently, the average salary for an industrial paramedic is $67,897 a year, or about $32.00 an hour (Zip Recruiter).

Industrial paramedics in the lower 25th percentile make an average salary of $38,500, and those who earn in the top 75th percentile can make over $89,500, annually.

Industrial Paramedic Requirements

How to Become an Industrial Paramedic

If you’re already a paramedic, then you already hold the required certification credentials to qualify to become an industrial paramedic.

Additional degrees or certification are rarely needed. however, some on-the-job training may be necessary to familiarize with the 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 in addition to EMT training, which can take one 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 can work 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?

A specialized degree is not required to become an industrial paramedic, but exact requirements may vary from company to company. Some companies, for example, may require on-the-job training to educate their medical response staff about the operational complexities of their industry.

It’s extremely important for industrial paramedics to understand the job requirements and working conditions of their fellow co-workers to effectively treat and care for their them when things go wrong. Another critical success factor is their ability to communicate with all members of their team. Here, 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.

Industrial Paramedic Certification

As mentioned earlier, to become an industrial paramedic, you must first be a certified 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 job of a paramedic)
  • You must complete the NREMT paramedic cognitive and psychomotor certification exams

To begin, you must register for the exam at NREMT.org. The cost of the registration fee is $125, per attempt. Upon completion, you’ll then be emailed an ATT (authorization to test) with your exam location.

Paramedic certification consists of two main parts, the cognitive exam and the psychomotor exam.

The Cognitive Exam –

The cognitive portion of the exam focuses on many of the core EMT principles you learned during your paramedic training program:

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

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

The Psychomotor Exam – In addition to your computer exam (Cognitive), paramedic students must also pass a psychomotor exam as well. This exam tests your ability to apply your knowledge 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?

The time required to become a paramedic depends heavily on the educational route you choose.

If you study full-time, you may be able to complete your paramedic training within a year.

If you study part-time while continuing to work 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 experience as an EMT before they can begin their paramedics classes.

Paramedics also have the option of advancing their training with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university—though this route is typically reserved for paramedics who hope to advance to management roles or eventually enroll in medical school.

Required Skills

Besides the educational and certification requirements, industrial paramedics should exhibit the following skills to be successful:

  • Patience – One of the most important traits of an industrial paramedic is the ability to stay calm during stressful situations.
  • Resource Management – Resources are 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.

Some injuries and illnesses in a factory, manufacturing plant, or mine may be unlike those treated during an ambulance shift, but experience, training, and a solid understanding of technique is priceless in adapting to the new situation.

Other benefits include:

  • Shift Experience – Industrial shifts are usualy 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 spring into action at any time, day or night.
  • Proof of Performance – EMTs and paramedics have proven experience in handling 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, anything from fires to mine collapses to other 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 is an exciting and potentially lucrative next step for qualified EMTs and paramedics. If you’re not already an EMT and would like to gain the real-world experience needed to become an industrial paramedic, you can start by training for EMT certification.

Not only will you be enhancing your career, you’ll be helping people and saving lives.  If this sounds right for you, now is an excellent time to take that first step towards your dream career.

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