EMT Salary Review

The US Department of Labor gathers data about your EMT Salary and how it compares to other areas in the country. This data is collected each year. The last year for data on EMT Salaries is 2007. Here is a link to the US Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics (warning, link opens a new page)

Each occupation that the Department of Labor tracks has an occupational code. The code of interest to us is for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics and is called the Standard Occupational Classification code. The code number is reported in two formats, 29-2041 or 292041 depending on if the data is in a PDF or a downloadable spreadsheet.

As of May 2007 there were approximately 201,200 paid EMTs or Paramedics working in the United States for agencies which report their employees to the Department of Labor. The national average hourly wage is $14.84 per hour. The national average annual wage is $30,870 using 2080 hours per year (40 hours per week). These values do not take into account work experience.

It might be interesting to see where your salary fits when comparing to the national averages.

Percentage Hourly Yearly
10 $8.73 $18,150
25 $10.75 $22,360
50 $13.66 $28,400
75 $17.76 $36,940
90 $22.83 $47,480

What this means is that if you have an EMT salary with an hourly wage of $10.75 per hour then 25 % of all EMT's will have a salary less than yours. The yearly salary is based on a 40 hour week.


It is also interesting to see how other areas of the country compare to each other. For example, Pennsylvania has highest number of EMTs or Paramedics at 13,330 with an average EMT salary of $28,350 per year. 90% of EMTs made more than $17,450 per year while 10% made $43,840 per year or more.

Alaska has the smallest number of EMTs and Paramedics with 150 (but there is 34% error in the reported value). The Alaskan average salary is $53,090 per year with 90% making $38,830 per year or more while 10% make more than $68,640 per year.

The state that that the highest paid average EMT salary is Alaska with $53,090 per year ($25.53 per hour). The state with the lowest average salary is Oklahoma with $23,040 per year ($11.08 per hour).

Of course it may be more expensive to live in Alaska than Oklahoma so you need to adjust the cost of living for each area. For example if you earned $23,040 in Tulsa, Oklahoma you would need to earn $34,840 just to break even in Juneau, Alaska. That is more than a 51% increase. Still the average yearly salary in Alaska seems much higher than the adjusted value.

If you are living in New York (Queens) the average EMT Salary is $37,470 which means that you would only need to earn $34,823 in Juneau to break even - a 7% decrease. It would be cheaper to live in Alaska (I'm moving!). Before you move to Alaska, check a cost of living calculator such as this one to see if it is worthwhile to make the move

You can check your state against other states by using the Us Department of Labor's site. That can be a bit of a chore. I have created a report for you which you can download for free by clicking this link.


The area you in which you live (even within the same state) can affect your EMT salary. The US Department of Labor classifies 498 metropolitan areas in the unit states and its territories. For EMS, the metro area with the highest average salary is Tacoma, WA Metropolitan Division at $64,320 per year ($30.92 per hour). What is interesting is that 90 % of the employed EMTs make more than $54,090 per year.

The continental US metro area that has the lowest average annual EMT Salary is Cedar Rapids, Iowa at $17,150 per year ($8.25 per hour). 90% of earn more than $13,200 per year while only 10% make more than $30,880 per year.

You can check the metro area in which you live (or live near) against other areas. I have created a report which you can download for free by clicking this link.

When moving there may be tax issues so you may want to investigate any potential issues.


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