possibly overqualified?

edk9987

Forum Ride Along
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this may be a really dumb question, but is it possible to be overqualified to be an emt? i just graduated from a 4 year university in a totally unrelated field (economics). because the only education requirement to be an emt is a h.s. diploma or g.e.d. would having a degree hinder my chances at getting an emt position in any way? thanks in advance
 

Dominion

Forum Asst. Chief
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Nope, I have a degree in Biology (Bio/Ecology of Streams and Rivers) and halfway through a second degree in Chemistry. I put my BS on my resume and in all my job interviews it's mentioned. I'm usually asked why am I doing the EMT thing when I have a degree, and I usually reply that I enjoy the EMS field more than I enjoy the research fields (which is true btw). People leave all kinds of fields to come to EMS and work, it's up to you if you want to even put the degree on your resume.
 

emt_irl

Forum Captain
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i cant see it being a bad thing, unless they think you'll expect more money for having more qualifications?

it will be a good thing though as they will know you have the brains hopefully and will be able to stick paramedic school as your used to the learning enviroment
 

8jimi8

CFRN
1,792
9
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is your question really this:

is it possible to be overqualified to make $9.00 / hr?

I think overqualified would be something like having an MD behind your name and applying for basic positions.


I don't think its a bad thing. Graduating from college proves a point about, diligence, maturity and the ability to complete what you start.

Not bad aspects to be reflected upon by a prospective employer.
 

Shishkabob

Forum Chief
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Gah, I hate that lame excuse from employers... "You're overqualified"


No, a 4 year degree won't over qualify you. You wont make any where near what you should for having a BS as an EMT, but not overqualified.

Do you want EMS to be your career? If so, get your medic and your BS would look that much better.
 

bstone

Forum Deputy Chief
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Not overqualified at all. I have a BS in Biology and an MS is Neurobiology. One of the Basic instructors at my old institute has a PhD in Physiology, and she is an Intermediate, just like me.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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Just don't go into why you don't want the money.

;)
A thoughtful or paranoid employer might think twice about why you want in.
 

EMSLaw

Legal Beagle
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I don't think there's such a thing as overqualification. And if you look at the job announcements for most Federal jobs, based on their outrageous requirements, Uncle Sam agrees with me. :)

Here's the thing, as I see it - the problem with much of EMS is not that your degree will keep you from getting a job, but rather that your degree will not be valued. I was just discussing this with a friend of mine the other day. EMS agencies tend to set your pay based on two major criteria: 1) You have a patch and a pulse; and 2) the year you gained your patch. Your additional education seems to enter into it very little.

Now, with a degree, you're well positioned to move up in the EMS world, if you are with the right employer. A small, private transport company might pay you a dollar or two more to be a "supervisor" - still driving a truck, but somehow higher ranked. On the other hand, a huge corporation like AMR, you would likely have more opportunity to move up into supervision, education, management, etc. with a degree than without. And, a degree gives you more credibility if you want to get involved in the larger EMS world, sitting on state and national committees, becoming one of the people who make policy, and so forth.

I'm not in a dissimilar situation. EMS isn't my career, though it's something I greatly enjoy. I have a Bachelor's degree and (arguably) a doctorate. I guarantee that if I worked as a basic, I'd be paid the same $12 an hour they pay around here. But, if I was willing to sell my soul to the local evil empire (BLSBoy knows who I mean! ;p), I could probably move up the chain faster than the medic with a GED.
 

usafmedic45

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I think overqualified would be something like having an MD behind your name and applying for basic positions.

The service I was a supervisor at had an EMT who was an MD (one of the local family practice docs). He did not want to be an ALS provider and we had no problem with him remaining at the BLS level. I've also worked with several basic EMTs and medics who had MPHs, PhDs, etc. There is no such thing as being overqualified unless it gives the person in question a chip on his shoulder.
 
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mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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I was a new RN working with my still-extant EMT-A (B)

In my hubris I allowed them to talk me into doing stuff I had no qualifications for, like accompanying a heavily medicated (read that "unconsciuous") pt on a general aviation hop from Omaha to the Mayo Clinic.
On the personal side, consider EMS skills as another blade on the Swiss army knife your personal talents are.
 

8jimi8

CFRN
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38
The service I was a supervisor at had an EMT who was an MD (one of the local family practice docs). He did not want to be an ALS provider and we had no problem with him remaining at the BLS level. I've also worked with several basic EMTs and medics who had MPHs, PhDs, etc. There is no such thing as being overqualified unless it gives the person in question a chip on his shoulder.

USAF - good point.
 

firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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Hiring authorities are quite aware that we ain't in it for the money, and they get a lot of "overqualified" people because they love the idea of the work so much they don't look at the lack of bennies, recognition, and on and on.

Lots of people downgrade into EMS because for them, it's an upgrade.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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I double majored in History and Information Systems. and now work for 2 level 1 trauma centers in NJ, in their EMS departments.

Just remember, you will still need to have EMS experience to get a decent job. most places won't hold it against you, but if someone has better EMS experience without the degree, they might still get the job over you. MIGHT, all depends on the hiring managers point of view.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
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I worked in EMS with three college degrees History, English, and Economics/Political Science and an AHA BLS Instructor cert. If anything, it was an advantage. I worked with many people with countless degrees. One of my partners had a M.S. in Biology, and many were working on going to medical school.

I always thought I'd get my PhD in Education Administration and then introduce myself as a doctor on the ambulance.

Good luck!
 

WolfmanHarris

Forum Asst. Chief
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While PCP (BLS) is a two-year college diploma (we don't have Associates Degrees) and ACP a further year, a very large number of Paramedics have Bachelor's degrees. I have an ever so useful degree in Philosophy with an Emphasis in Applied Ethics. I got into EMS due to a profound shortage of jobs in the philosophy factory.

There is something of an age divide on this, with a higher proportion of younger medics having gone to University first (about 75% of my recruit class of 28). Part of this is how competitive entry into PCP programs are and how heavy the workload is. Very few people enter directly from High School anymore.

There is also now a MSc program at The University of Toronto specializing in Prehospital Medicine.
 
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firecoins

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this may be a really dumb question, but is it possible to be overqualified to be an emt? i just graduated from a 4 year university in a totally unrelated field (economics). because the only education requirement to be an emt is a h.s. diploma or g.e.d. would having a degree hinder my chances at getting an emt position in any way? thanks in advance
I majored in econ at NYU. Your not overqualified.
 

irish_handgrenade

Forum Lieutenant
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There were a few people in my basic class that were 4 year college graduates, they were all pissed because I understood the material better than they did. I couldn't keep my eyes open in class because all the instructers read straight from the book or the slides... I did my reading a home. Anyway when we first started they were acting like the class was no big deal and they seemed kinda stuck up to me. It blew their minds when I finished top of the class and was the only one to go on to get my red patch. As for my medic class I'm the only one with out any previous college experience and so far I've finished top of my class again and am so far the only one to pass the national registry.
 

irish_handgrenade

Forum Lieutenant
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i worked in ems with three college degrees history, english, and economics/political science and an aha bls instructor cert. If anything, it was an advantage. I worked with many people with countless degrees. One of my partners had a m.s. In biology, and many were working on going to medical school.

I always thought i'd get my phd in education administration and then introduce myself as a doctor on the ambulance.

Good luck!

how the crap do you have 1 billion posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!
 
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