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How to Get a Job as a Paramedic

Scott Matin, a longtime paramedic and a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians board of directors, says one of the best ways to land a job is to begin as a volunteer to gain experience. “The advantage is they have experience, which makes them much, much more marketable,” Matin says. Another way to boost your chances is to dabble in teaching. Matin says teaching is an important part of the job as an EMT or paramedic, so hiring managers will look for general experience as an instructor on your resume. Gaining additional certifications beyond your training program and qualifying for the more-rigorous national EMT license (rather than simply the state-level license) will also give you an edge. There is still a nationwide shortage for EMTs and paramedics, so jobs exist for those who are well qualified.

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Paramedics

"How would you describe good patient care?" - Huron Valley Ambulance Paramedic Candidate (Location Unknown)

"If someone was hurt or in danger of physical harm, and you were on duty driving by to another call, you should..." - Priority One Medical Transport EMT Candidate (Modesto, CA)

"What motivates you?" - Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital EMT Candidate (Location Unknown)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility poor Below Average

What is the Job Like?

Fast-paced. Loud. Bloody. Dangerous. Those are just a few of the words that describe a typical emergency scene. EMTs and paramedics face immense pressure to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible so they can provide care to those who need it most. Clearly, this is not the field for everyone. But for those who can deal with these elements of the job, Matin says work as an EMT or paramedic is quite satisfying. "It is a profession that people feel proud of and are happy to be in," he says. "It's something that's pretty admirable." To effectively execute their duties, EMTs and paramedics must be in good physical shape. The job entails frequent kneeling, lifting, bending, and moving quickly. Due to the nature of the work, EMTs and paramedics are also at a higher risk of contracting illnesses and sustaining injuries than workers in most other professions. Many EMTs and paramedics work more than 40 hours per week, and may hold irregular hours because emergency services are on the clock 24 hours per day.

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Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.

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