Paramedics provide emergency medical treatment at the scenes of accidents and emergency. They often transport the patient to an emergency room or other facility where he can be treated by a doctor. A high school diploma is needed to enter a training program. All 50 states mandate a license that must be renewed every two or three years.
As of May 2009, paramedics made a median hourly wage of $14.42, which is a yearly salary of $30,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earn $9.31, or $19,360, while the highest 10 percent make $24.74, or $51,460.
The industry type can determine income. This job's best-paying are support activities for mining, with salaries at $55,380; waste treatment and disposal at $51,610; state government at $49,560; iron and steel mills, and ferroalloy manufacturing at $43,530; and medical and diagnostic laboratories at $42,010.
The state in which a job is performed dictates pay. This job's highest-paying are Hawaii, with rates at $47,380; Alaska at $46,630; Oregon at $43,220; Washington at $41,830; and Maryland at $41,150.
The city of employment also influences pay, with the five best paying located in Tacoma, Washington, where pay runs at $71,550; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, at $67,520; Olympia, Washington, at $53,090; Portsmouth, New Hampshire-Maine at $49,890; and Racine, Wisconsin, at $49,750.
Opportunities and Pay
The areas with the greatest employment numbers do not match those for high salaries as shown by the following examples. The industries having the most employment are other ambulatory health care services, with compensation at $30,110, and local government, at $36,780. The states with the greatest concentration of jobs are Missouri, with salaries at $32,630, and West Virginia at $23,860. The cities with the biggest concentration of paramedics are Johnstown, Pennsylvania, with wages at $21,460, and Ocean City, New Jersey, at $31,270.