Careers in EMS
- Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics have irregular working hours
- Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics need formal training and certification, but requirements vary by State
- Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, as paid Emergency Medical Technician positions replace unpaid volunteers
- Competition will be greater for jobs in local fire, police, and rescue squad departments than in private ambulance services; opportunities will be best for those who have advanced certification
EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. These workers risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and back injuries from lifting patients.
Exposure to Life-or-Death Situations
In addition, EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to diseases such as hepatitis-B and AIDS, as well as violence from drug overdose victims or mentally unstable patients. The work is not only physically strenuous, but also stressful, involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients. Nonetheless, many people find the work exciting and challenging and enjoy the opportunity to help others.