What Is the Average Salary for an EMT?

If you’re considering a career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), one of the questions you might be asking yourself is: What is the average salary for an EMT? In this article, we’ll explore the average salary for EMTs, as well as factors that can impact their pay.

Average Salary for EMTs

The average salary for EMTs can vary depending on a number of factors including location, experience, and level of certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for EMTs and paramedics was $36,650 in May 2020. This means that half of EMTs and paramedics earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less.

Factors That Impact Salary


The location where an EMT works can have a big impact on their salary. For example, EMTs working in urban areas or areas with high demand for emergency medical services may earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas.


As with many professions, EMT salaries often increase with experience. EMTs with several years of experience may earn higher salaries than those who are just starting out in the field.

Level of Certification

EMTs can earn different levels of certification, ranging from EMT-Basic to Paramedic. Generally, the higher the level of certification, the higher the salary. For example, paramedics, who have the highest level of EMT certification, typically earn higher salaries than EMT-Basics.

Private vs. Public Sector

EMTs can work in both the public and private sectors. Those working for private ambulance services may earn different salaries than those working for fire departments or hospitals.

Shift Differentials

EMTs often work non-traditional hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Some employers offer shift differentials, which can increase an EMT’s overall compensation.


The average salary for an EMT is influenced by factors such as location, experience, level of certification, and type of employer. While the median annual wage for EMTs and paramedics was $36,650 in May 2020, individual salaries can vary significantly based on these factors.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the difference between an EMT and a paramedic?

EMTs are trained to provide basic emergency medical care, while paramedics have a higher level of training and are able to provide advanced life support.

2. How long does it take to become an EMT?

The time it takes to become an EMT can vary, but it typically involves completing a certification program that can take anywhere from six months to two years.

3. Do EMTs receive benefits in addition to their salary?

Many EMTs receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off in addition to their salary.

4. Can EMTs work part-time?

Yes, many EMTs work part-time or on a per diem basis, allowing them to have flexible schedules.


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