Emergency Medical Services—Career Opportunities
Moraine Valley Community College's Emergency Medical Services Program is for individuals who want to go into the public or private sector as emergency medical technicians. It can also be an alternative career path for those presently in the fire science field. The program includes two levels of training: Emergency Medical Technician course and Paramedic Certificate Program.
Competition for jobs will be seen in fire and police departments because of attractive pay, benefits and job security. Opportunities for EMTs are expected to be excellent in hospitals and private ambulance services where pay and benefits are usually lower. Most job openings will occur because of replacement needs.
Employment Outlook—Employment of Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. EMT occupations are among the top 50 fast growing occupations in the State of Illinois (www.illinoisworknet.com). Population growth and urbanization will increase the demand for full-time paid EMTs and paramedics rather than for volunteers. In addition, a large segment of the population—the aging baby boomers—will further spur demand for EMT services as they become more likely to have medical emergencies. There will still be demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas.
In addition to those arising from job growth, openings will occur because of replacement needs; some workers leave the occupation because of stressful working conditions, limited potential for advancement, and the modest pay and benefits in private-sector jobs. Earnings of EMTs and paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual's training and experience. Illinois WorkNet (2006-2009) reported median annual earnings of EMTs and paramedics as $30,922. By comparison, the 25th percentile earned $25,650 and the 75th percentile $53,730 (www.illinoisworknet.com).
Those in emergency medical services who are part of fire or police departments receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers. For example, many are covered by pension plans that provide retirement at half pay after 20 or 25 years of service or if the worker is disabled in the line of duty. For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center in Building S, Room S202 at (708) 974-5737 or visit http://www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.