Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergencies. Their quick reaction and competent care can save people’s lives. At the emergency scene, they often work with police and firefighters.


Average Hourly Earnings



Post-secondary non-degree


  • Respond to 911 calls to provide emergency medical assistance such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or bandaging a wound
  • Assess a patient's condition and decide about treatment
  • Follow guidelines learned in training or received from physicians who oversee their work
  • Use backboards and restraints to keep patients still and safe in an ambulance during transport
  • Help transfer patients to emergency department of a healthcare facility and report observations and treatment to the staff
  • Create a patient care report, documenting the medical care given to the patient
  • Replace used supplies and check or clean equipment after use
  • Administer drugs, orally or by injection, or perform intravenous procedures under a doctor's direction

Work Environment

The work of EMTs and paramedics is physically strenuous and can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations and patients who are suffering. Most work full time in metropolitan areas. Volunteer EMTs and paramedics are more common in small cities, towns, and rural areas. Because EMTs and paramedics must be available to work in emergencies, they work in all weather conditions, overnight and on weekends. Some work shifts in 12 or 24-hour increments. Volunteer EMTs and paramedics have variable work schedules.

Key Traits

Social. Regularly includes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Frequently involves helping or providing service to others.