Why does EMT job pay so little money?

Jenny

Forum Ride Along
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I Work for a private company and the pay is horrible not only in this company but in every other. At this point im wondering why even study this if a job at Old Navy pays the same maybe even more? Is this pay just a starting point and then it gets a lot better or does it stay this way. Im located in New York City and would really like some opinions on this.

Thanks alot,

Jenny
 

Blacke00

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Not that I have any kind of experience, but from what I've read it's that way everywhere. It's when you move on to Paramedic, and maybe get other advanced certifications that the money gets better...

EMS as a whole deserves alot more respect in my opinion...
 

Onceamedic

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Pretty hard to get more money for a position when its so easy to get into and so many people are willing to do it for free.
 
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John E

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If you want to make more money...

you can either pick a career that pays more or make yourself worth more. Your choice.

There are thousands of EMT students either currently or soon to be enrolled in classes across the country. A majority of them will graduate, some will enter the work force, enough of them will to make it a buyer's market when it comes to hiring. You can either complain about it or do something to make yourself more valuable. Also your choice.

Get a minimum amount of experience and then either get more schooling or find a better job or both. Again, your choice.

If anyone told you that you'd be making good money working for a private ambulance company as an entry level EMT, they were lying.

John E
 

KEVD18

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the level of education the basic emt receives doesnt warrant better money. it doesnt matter how hard the job is, how long the hours are, or the crappy work conditions. the bottom line is training and education. basics make more than cfr. intermediates make more than basics. medics make more than i's and so on right up to the chief of medicine. you want to make money? advance your level of education.
 

BossyCow

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The general rule for employment is as follows:
Employers need to pay their employees just enough to keep them from quitting, while an employee works just hard enough to keep from being fired.
 

BEorP

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Not that I have any kind of experience, but from what I've read it's that way everywhere. It's when you move on to Paramedic, and maybe get other advanced certifications that the money gets better...

EMS as a whole deserves alot more respect in my opinion...
If you want "alot more respect" maybe you should get a lot more education first.

If you want money while working EMS, come to Ontario, get an education, and you'll be paid accordingly.
 

Blacke00

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If you want "alot more respect" maybe you should get a lot more education first.

If you want money while working EMS, come to Ontario, get an education, and you'll be paid accordingly.
Step#1 starts August 26th =)

Maybe this is another topic, and probably been discussed before, but...

Is it true that private companies (Rural/Metro, etc) will pay for an EMT to go to Paramedic schooling? Or is it more like the tuition reimbursement that you see at most companies?
 

BossyCow

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Step#1 starts August 26th =)

Maybe this is another topic, and probably been discussed before, but...

Is it true that private companies (Rural/Metro, etc) will pay for an EMT to go to Paramedic schooling? Or is it more like the tuition reimbursement that you see at most companies?
I think it depends on how many out of work or looking for work paramedics there are in your area. If there's a glut on the market, the company is going to be less likely to pay your way. Around here its only done when the hiring pool is getting shallow.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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I remember being shocked to find supermarket sweepers made more than I.

Hiring pool in metro areas is bottomless. People will do it for free. Treat it like acting, keep your day job, build your "creds" working part time or vollie plus upstepping your education. Get letters of reccomendation as you go (very flattering to be asked to write those!).
Or...you might discover part time or vollie is enough and a "regular" day job meets your mundane needs just fine.
 

stephenrb81

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Step#1 starts August 26th =)

Maybe this is another topic, and probably been discussed before, but...

Is it true that private companies (Rural/Metro, etc) will pay for an EMT to go to Paramedic schooling? Or is it more like the tuition reimbursement that you see at most companies?
In many areas it is mostly reimbursement since there is no *guarantee* that a student will obtain any certification/license (i.e. fail course, fail registry, etc...).

I obtain my student loans for the Paramedic program (In missouri they are guaranteed regardless of credit as long as you do not have a defaulted student loan, not sure how other states work). Once I have a state paramedic license, the service I work for will reimburse me the tuition if I choose to sign a contract (I work for a county ambulance district)
 

daedalus

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the level of education the basic emt receives doesnt warrant better money. it doesnt matter how hard the job is, how long the hours are, or the crappy work conditions. the bottom line is training and education. basics make more than cfr. intermediates make more than basics. medics make more than i's and so on right up to the chief of medicine. you want to make money? advance your level of education.
Your wrong. I want to make more money than an In and Out employee (fast food). They start their employees at 10/hour. They get three days of training. I had six months of training. I deserve more money. I didnt say that EMT is an advanced medical provider, as all of you here know I believe differently. But economically, EMTs and Medics deserve more. Medics make 11/hour at my company. I make 10.

No, I will not leave the profession. I will fight for better. Its this type of thinking that limits us all. I spent 600 on EMT, 100 on BCLS, and payed registration fees for National Registry, and payed the state for my card. After all that, I payed the CIty of Los Angles for a "permit" to be hired as an EMT in their city (160.00). I payed over a grand and spent time training for my job, and I will demand more compensation that a fast food employee who got payed to attend their three day training.
 
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MAC4NH

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SoCal has been on the low end of the pay scale vs. cost of living ratio for a long time. In 1988, I made about $5.50/hr out there and that was considered good (minimum wage was somewhere around $5.25 at the time). I believe the reason at that time was that all the aspiring firefighters had to work as EMT's before they would be considered so the companies were able to exploit the situation. I haven't been around that system for twenty years so I don't know why it continues.
 

TheMowingMonk

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As its been stated before, it continues because we are a dime a dozen, there are tons of emts out there, so untill the numbers go down and there is actually a demand for emts, we will get paid low unfortunatly
 

VentMedic

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Your wrong. I want to make more money than an In and Out employee (fast food). They start their employees at 10/hour. They get three days of training. I had six months of training. I deserve more money. I didnt say that EMT is an advanced medical provider, as all of you here know I believe differently. But economically, EMTs and Medics deserve more. Medics make 11/hour at my company. I make 10.
This is where the use of college credit hours would be handy and not "hours of training". Since the EMT-B is 110 hours, some take a 3 week crash course and some stretch it out to 6 months. There is little to actually compare as a standard except for minimum hours required. There are no mandates that a college A&P class or extra training be taken as in other health care professions unless it is has some state specific extras for additional skills. If discussing this with people who work for insurance and legislators, this could become similar to the joke "it took you 8 years to finish high school?"

College degrees and credits are a nationally accepted language for "training" in the professional world. Even the skilled labor schools such as carpentry, welding and plumbing have discovered this and have translated their hours of training into some form of certificate or degree (college or private career school) with measurable credit hours and their field experience is now an internship.

Entering a profession in the medical field is a choice. EMT-B should only be entry level. Just like the fast food worker, 3 days is just entry level. They can choose to accept more responsibility and get additional training. If they want to move up the cooperate ladder, they can get an MBA and make 7 digits. They have that choice. An EMT-B also has that choice to move on to EMT-P, FF or administration. If it is your chosen profession, you should already recognize its limitations and either accept or educate yourself to make a difference for the profession.
 

RESQ_5_1

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I worked in L.A. County when I first became an EMT-B. I worked for AMR and made $7.80/hr. Shortly after, I moved to Alberta. I worked as an EMR (EMT-B equivelant) in the oilpatch while I worked towards my EMT equivelancy. I made $175/day.

Now, I have my EMT registration and I work for a regional station. I currently make almost $21/hr. Along with available OT, my gross pay comes out to around $75,000/yr. That's plenty for me. I'm 41 and don't really have the finances or time to get my EMT-P (2 years of training practicums included).

By the way, I started at $17.80/hr one year ago. We have the advantage of actually having a union. Plus, because of the way the healthcare sytem works, we are not in a situation where the companies income is largely affected by those who don't pay their bills.

The major downside to Companies in the US is, you bill directly for services rendered. If people don't pay their bills, the ambulance co. makes no money. If the ambulance makes no money, then the staff makes no money, etc, etc.
 

TransportJockey

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Canada is looking better and better
 

RESQ_5_1

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I live and work in Northern Alberta. The winter gets down to -40C at times. Average is around -30ish. However, we currently have 2 full time positions open. And we have some really sweet high-vis yellow jackets. And nothing gets your blood pumping like being on the side of the road, in knee deep snow, with a windchill of around -46. And that's before the Medevac helicopter gets on scene and starts blowing everything around. Fun, fun, fun.
 

daedalus

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This is where the use of college credit hours would be handy and not "hours of training". Since the EMT-B is 110 hours, some take a 3 week crash course and some stretch it out to 6 months. There is little to actually compare as a standard except for minimum hours required. There are no mandates that a college A&P class or extra training be taken as in other health care professions unless it is has some state specific extras for additional skills. If discussing this with people who work for insurance and legislators, this could become similar to the joke "it took you 8 years to finish high school?"

College degrees and credits are a nationally accepted language for "training" in the professional world. Even the skilled labor schools such as carpentry, welding and plumbing have discovered this and have translated their hours of training into some form of certificate or degree (college or private career school) with measurable credit hours and their field experience is now an internship.

Entering a profession in the medical field is a choice. EMT-B should only be entry level. Just like the fast food worker, 3 days is just entry level. They can choose to accept more responsibility and get additional training. If they want to move up the cooperate ladder, they can get an MBA and make 7 digits. They have that choice. An EMT-B also has that choice to move on to EMT-P, FF or administration. If it is your chosen profession, you should already recognize its limitations and either accept or educate yourself to make a difference for the profession.
I agree with you to a point. There is little economic benefit for anyone in southern california to go to paramedic school, as they only make a dollar more an hour than I do as an EMT. Although I may have chose this profession, that does not mean I cannot fight to make a decent living as well. I am starting paramedic school next fall, and I certainly do it because I want to, but their will be a point in my life where a few bucks more than minimum wage ( 8/hr in California) just will not cut it anymore and I will have to leave EMS. To quote someone on JEMS, sometimes the money has to come first. Oh, and BTW, there is a massive demand for EMTs in LA County, and an even larger demand for paramedics.
 
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