EMTs and paramedics held about 241,200 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most EMTs and paramedics were as follows:
Local government, excluding education and hospitals
Hospitals; state, local, and private
The above percentages exclude volunteer EMTs and paramedics who do not receive pay.
EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. Their work is physically strenuous and can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations.
Volunteer EMTs and paramedics share many of the same duties as paid EMTs and paramedics. They volunteer for fire departments, providers of emergency medical services, or hospitals. They may respond to only a few calls per month.
Injuries and Illnesses
EMTs and paramedics are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and lifting while caring for and moving patients. They may be exposed to contagious diseases and viruses, such as hepatitis B and HIV. Sometimes they can be injured by combative patients. These risks can be reduced by following proper safety procedures, such as waiting for police to clear an area in violent situations or wearing gloves while working with a patient.
Most paid EMTs and paramedics work full time. About 1 in 3 worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014. Because EMTs and paramedics must be available to work in emergencies, they may work overnight and on weekends. Some EMTs and paramedics work shifts in 12- or 24-hour increments. Volunteer EMTs and paramedics have variable work schedules. For example, they may work only a few days per week.