Job description

Paramedics tend to the sick or injured in emergency situations. They respond to 911 calls, provide medical assistance and transport patients in an ambulance to the emergency department of a hospital.


    • Respond to 911 calls and travel to emergency locations via ambulance
    • Assess patient’s condition and apply treatment
    • Provide first-aid or emergency life support assistance to patients
    • Drive and transport patients to hospitals via ambulance
    • Monitor and tend to patients in an ambulance
    • Work alongside police and firefighters
    • Communicate observations and treatment to other hospital staff
    • Document medical service provided to patient
    • Clean and prepare medical supplies, equipment and ambulance

Skills and qualities

Critical thinking
Active listening
Service orientation
Deductive reasoning
Physical stamina
Medical software

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2018 to 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 5%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2018 and 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk


Career progression

Paramedics can advance to other healthcare and medical professions, such as physician assistants and medical assistants. They might also be interested in progressing to administrative positions in ambulatory care companies or hospitals.

Working conditions

Average hours

40h/ week

Typical schedule

Shift Work

Nights, weekends and holidays

The work environment of a paramedic involves driving or sitting in an ambulance to tend to patients in need and transport them to hospitals and medical facilities. They perform various emergency medical services in the homes of patients or any other location of the emergency.

Paramedics also spend a lot of time in the emergency room of hospitals, and report their observations and treatment to other healthcare staff.

As this is a fast-paced job, which requires quick and immediate responses, paramedics require physical stamina and endurance. Physical strength also comes in handy when having to lift and carry patients. This role can also be stressful as you might often have to deal with life-or-death situations.

Paramedics are also exposed to several illnesses and diseases as well as injuries.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level


Specialist training programme

Study time


To become a paramedic, you will generally need to complete formal training in emergency medical technology as well as in advanced medical skills. A high school diploma and CPR certification is typically required for entry onto such programmes, which can take up to two years to complete.

Aspiring paramedics must then obtain certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), which includes passing a national exam.

Paramedics must be 18 years old and over, and pass background checks before being accepted into the role. Most paramedics also participate in about eight hours of instruction before being able to drive an ambulance.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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