herb wrote:Meds, I've heard that many health care workers like doctors, nurses, technologists and dentists generally get paid a lot more in the US. What about EMTs?
It's actually tough to get an accurate read on that in the US.
The US is completely privatized. If you look up the average hourly wage of an EMT in the United States you will find something in the $15-$17 range. But that doesn't take into consideration the vast differences in license levels and scope of practice. Many of the EMT's in the US hold what is called an EMT-Basic certification and are simply first responders. They have what amounts to little more than an advanced first aid ticket with a transport endorsement. This is because there are so many small towns that have a tiny little service, and generally speaking the people who do these jobs hold other jobs. The EMT-B gig is either a stepping stone to the next level or something they do for extra cash on the weekends or because they get a rush out of the "emergency services" stuff. Chances are those guys are making $12/hour or less. They have a few intermediate levels in between, and they generally make more, if they work for a service that pays bottom dollar then they are likely doing the job for the "it feels good to help someone out" component. Either way, they aren't likely to be working in an exceptionally busy setting. Probably doing less than 200 calls per year, and most of them routine. Larger centers pay more, Nevada and Washington are the states with the highest paid EMT-Paramedics at $35-$36/hour, chances are these wages reflect the top of the totem pole for skill set and scope of practice. Oklahoma and Montana pay the lowest at $15-$16/hour. Also remember that in the United States your Paramedics and Ambulance are often run by the Fire Departments, and Fire Departments get good funding.
Overall I would say that EMT's don't make the same as RN's. But it does depend on level of license. The highest trained paramedic is far more competent than an RN when it comes to knowledge and skill set. A fully qualified EMT-P or ACP can also find work in the private secotr where they will make $600/day without breaking a sweat. But they will be working in a remote setting such as a diamond mine, drilling rig, etc...
As far as I know BC pays the most per hour for a paramedic when it comes to our CCP (Critical Care Paramedics). There aren't many of them, and they are the most highly trained paramedics in Canada, I would venture to say among the most highly trained in the world. Primarily they are the flight paramedics, but from what I've been told we have one or two ground ambulances now in the lower mainland that are staffed by CCP teams. These guys make up to $40/hour.