Wondering what to pursue.

StudentEmt1

Forum Ride Along
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Hello, I am currently 20 years old and don't really have much going for me currently. I always found being an EMT would be a job that I would love, and since in my city the university is offering a 1 month course, I was thinking about starting the program. I was wondering what would I be able to look forward to once I have obtained my certification. Thank you.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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Most EMTs in the U.S. work in prehospital EMS systems, either answering 911 calls or transporting patients to or from medical facilities. The types of cases you'd see would depend a lot on where you worked. Salaries vary, but the straight-time average nationwide was about $14/hr in 2018, based on an EMS World survey. It's hard to feed a family on just that income, so you'd probably work more than one job and/or do lots of overtime if you're responsible for anyone other than yourself.

What is it about being an EMT that you think you'd love?
 

Jambow

Forum Probie
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depending on where you are EMT jobs can be very competitive
where i am, NC, most EMT's work on transport trucks. doing dialysis trips or discharges from the hospital to a nursing facility.
Few actually work on the 9-1-1 side and respond to emergencies.
Here, they are not competitive on the transport side, almost every where is always hiring
Most pay (at least here) is made in over-time)
Yes it is a great job, dont do to much, you will burn out - trust me
Not a comparison
Here chic-fil-a is paying 15 an hour (dont know how many hours they give, most do not hire full-time)
no EMS agencies that i know of are paying EMT's 15 an hour.
yes it is an important honorable job, but remember you only went to school for a month or so for the training
I started as an EMT many years ago, and now work as a paramedic
I love the work but it is hard to make a living as an EMS provider, most work multiple jobs
Also EMT is very different than any other class you have ever taken (lots to remember - critical thinking - ect...)
I always suggest EMS careers to most young people I meet.
Remember work - life balance, to many new people dive in deep and forget about other things
There is always training and new things to learn
Most of my older students, have said they wished they had found EMS when they were younger and they would of had a much different career.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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depending on where you are EMT jobs can be very competitive
where i am, NC, most EMT's work on transport trucks. doing dialysis trips or discharges from the hospital to a nursing facility.
Few actually work on the 9-1-1 side and respond to emergencies.
Maybe not by you, but where I used to work, in NC, EMTs are on 911 ambulances. and fire trucks. and work as special event EMTs. and are part of confined space rescue teams. and for hospitals as part of a critical care team. Yes, some work on transport trucks too, but i wouldn't call that most.

I don't work on the ambulance anymore, and I'm debating getting out of public safety altogether (for personal reasons, i've been on ambulances or fire trucks off and on for almost 20 years), but if you are young and single, go for it. EMS, particularly at the EMT level is a young single person's game. About 20 years ago, when I was going to school in central NY, i learned that many of the senior paramedics were leaving the regional EMS providers. not because they were particularly unhappy, but because they were getting married and wanted to start families, and they didn't think that was going to happen if they stayed with the 60 hour weeks.

My advice? take the 1 month course. get your EMT cert, and work part-time somewhere while in school, and finish your degree. After you graduate, decide where you want your career to go.
 

Trauma Cop

Forum Probie
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I recently quit a 13 year career in law enforcement to pursue an EMS career. So I definitely know where you're coming from. I had always wanted to work as a paramedic and wanted to see if I was up for the challenge. When I went through EMT school, I didn't find it all that difficult because I had A lot of knowledge in first aid, CPR and trauma care due to law enforcement trainings that I had attended. When I did my first ride along, I did it with a busy EMS and I absolutely loved it. What I noticed was that you get a lot of employees that complain about the pay and the work but in reality, It really is rewarding especially when you're coming from a career like law enforcement where you are underappreciated and take a lot more BS complaints than the EMS community. In EMS, people are either wanting a ride to the hospital or they really do need your help. That's not the same with police work. A lot of times you get called to the scene of a crime that you cannot solve or a dispute in which there is no easy solution. a busy EMS service affords you the opportunity to get very good at your job. Well you will not be making a killing, you can definitely do very well for yourself As long as you do not get in a crazy amount of debt.
 

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