The 25 Best Paying Cities for EMTs in 2019

A career as an Emergency Medical Technician is one that comes with a lot of upsides. EMTs are in high demand across the country (which means job security), they can find jobs just about anywhere in the country, and they go to bed every night knowing that they played a part in saving lives. What’s not to love?

But good feelings don’t pay the rent. Fortunately, a career as an EMT also comes with a competitive salary—especially considering the relatively short amount of time needed to become certified.

EMT Salary

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an EMT is $37,760 a year (or $16.50 an hour). However, that number can vary quite a bit by location and by industry. Physicians offices, for example, pay an average of $41,990 nationwide, whereas ambulance services pay an average yearly salary of $34,750.

The state in which you work also plays a big part in determining your salary. For example:

  • Washington
    • Average Hourly Wage: $32.50
    • Average Annual Wage: $67,600
  • District of Columbia
    • Average Hourly Wage: $27.53
    • Average Annual Wage: $57,270
  • Hawaii
    • Average Hourly Wage: $26.14
    • Average Annual Wage: $54,370
  • Maryland
    • Average Hourly Wage: $23.79
    • Average Annual Wage: $49,490
  • Alaska
    • Average Hourly Wage: $22.97
    • Average Annual Wage: $47,780

Where are EMTs Paid the Most?

We’ve already seen how your state can determine your salary as an EMT, but your city can play just as big a role… if not bigger!

To drill down and find the most accurate numbers, we took several factors into consideration—namely, the cost of living. For example, a salary of $35,000 in Birmingham, Alabama will go a lot further than a $35,000 salary in New York City. For the sake of this list, we’ve adjusted the average salaries of each city according to the cost of living in each, using the Cost of Living Index. The average COLI for the cities in our list is 158, so if the COLI of a city is 102, that means that it’s 36% less expensive than the national average.

The Top 25 Highest Paying Cities for EMTs

Using the system detailed above, here are the top 25 highest paying cities for EMTs in the United States plus their adjusted median salaries.

#1 – Seattle, Washington

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Seattle, WA?

  • EMTs in Seattle make a median salary of $80,470
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $102,900 – $103,900
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 199
  • The cost of living in Seattle is 26% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $63,856

 

#2 – Sacramento, California

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Sacramento, CA?

  • EMTs in Sacramento make a median salary of $55,190
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $68,000 – $69,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 184
  • The cost of living in Sacramento is 17% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $47,366

 

#3 – Memphis, Tennessee

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Memphis, TN?

  • EMTs in Memphis make a median salary of $39,250
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $60,000 – $61,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Memphis is 17% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $47,314

 

#4 – Baltimore, Maryland

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Baltimore, MD?

  • EMTs in Baltimore make a median salary of $47,650
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $73,300 – $74,300.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 160
  • The cost of living in Baltimore is 1% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $47,029

 

#5 – Hartford, Connecticut

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Hartford, CT?

  • EMTs in Hartford make a median salary of $47,690
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $62,000 – $63,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 164
  • The cost of living in Hartford is 4% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $45,920

 

#6 – Tucson, Arizona

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Tucson, AZ?

  • EMTs in Tucson make a median salary of $39,100
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,300 – $51,300
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 135
  • The cost of living in Tucson is 15% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $45,737

 

#7 – New Orleans, Louisiana

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in New Orleans, LA?

  • EMTs in New Orleans make a median salary of $44,280
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $59,750 – $60,750
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 159
  • The cost of living in New Orleans is 1% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $43,978

 

#8 – Austin, Texas

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Austin, TX?

  • EMTs in Austin make a median salary of $43,220
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $73,600 – $74,600
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 157
  • The cost of living in Austin is 1% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $43,472

 

#9 – Albuquerque, New Mexico

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Albuquerque, NM?

  • EMTs in Albuquerque make a median salary of $35,450
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$53,700 – $54,700
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Albuquerque is 17% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $42,733

 

#10 – Wichita, Kansas

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Wichita, KS?

  • EMTs in Wichita make a median salary of $34,550
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $49,500 – $50,500
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 133
  • The cost of living in Wichita is 16% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $41,010

 

#11 – Greensboro, North Carolina

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Greensboro, NC?

  • EMTs in Greensboro make a median salary of $32,940
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $45,900 – $46,900
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 127
  • The cost of living in Greensboro is 20% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $40,958

 

#12 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Oklahoma City, OK?

  • EMTs in Oklahoma City make a median salary of $35,740
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $61,700 – $62,700
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 138
  • The cost of living in Oklahoma City is 13% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $40,897

 

#13 – Honolulu, Hawaii

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Honolulu, HI?

  • EMTs in Honolulu make a median salary of $53,460
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $75,400 – $76,400
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 212
  • The cost of living in Honolulu is 34% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $39,821

 

#14 – San Antonio, Texas

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in San Antonio, TX?

  • EMTs in San Antonio make a median salary of $34,840
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $47,700 – $48,700
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 139
  • The cost of living in San Antonio is 12% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $39,581

 

#15 – Columbia, South Carolina

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Columbia, SC?

  • EMTs in Columbia make a median salary of $34,280
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,000 – $51,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 137
  • The cost of living in Columbia is 13% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $39,513

 

#16 – Detroit, Michigan

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Detroit, MI?

  • EMTs in Detroit make a median salary of $34,030
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $48,300 – $49,300
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 137
  • The cost of living in Detroit is 13% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $39,225

 

#17 – Eugene, Oregon

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Eugene, OR?

  • EMTs in Eugene make a median salary of $42,730
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as$68,000 – $69,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 174
  • The cost of living in Eugene is 10% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $38,780

 

#18 – Indianapolis, Indiana

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Indianapolis, IN?

  • EMTs in Indianapolis make a median salary of $34,110
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,000 – $51,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 139
  • The cost of living in Indianapolis is 12% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $38,751

 

#19 – Richmond, Virginia

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Richmond, VA?

  • EMTs in Richmond make a median salary of $35,990
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $48,000 – $49,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 147
  • The cost of living in Richmond is 7% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $38,662

 

#20 – Cleveland, Ohio

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Cleveland, OH?

  • EMTs in Cleveland make a median salary of $37,410
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $56,900 – $57,900
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 153
  • The cost of living in Cleveland is 3% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $38,611

 

#21 – Birmingham, Alabama

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Birmingham, AL?

  • EMTs in Birmingham make a median salary of $31,420
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $38,700 – $39,700
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Birmingham is 17% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $37,785

 

#22 – Kansas City, Missouri

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Kansas City, MO?

  • EMTs in Kansas City make a median salary of $34,180
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $57,500 – $58,500
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 145
  • The cost of living in Kansas City is 8% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $37,224

 

#23 – Nashville, Tennessee

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Nashville, TN?

  • EMTs in Nashville make a median salary of $38,490
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $58,200 – $59,200
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 164
  • The cost of living in Nashville is 4% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $37,062

 

#24 – Dallas, Texas

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Dallas, TX?

  • EMTs in Dallas make a median salary of $38,010
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $54,000 – $55,000
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 162
  • The cost of living in Dallas is 3% more expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $37,051

 

#25 – Jacksonville, Florida

How Much Do EMTs Get Paid in Jacksonville, FL?

  • EMTs in Jacksonville make a median salary of $32,860
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $45,500 – $46,500
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 141
  • The cost of living in Jacksonville is 11% less expensive than the average of all the cities in our study
  • The adjusted median income based on its cost of living lowers an EMT’s pay to $36,802 

Still Looking? Check Out These City Options for EMTs

A competitive salary is very attractive, but money isn’t everything. Choosing a home base is all about location, location, location, and some cities make up for a lower salary with incredible perks and resident benefits. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve put together an extensive spotlight series covering 35 American cities—their top attractions, size, perks, and the average salary an EMT can expect to find there.

35 Best Places to Work as an EMT, and Why 

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