EMTs. Photo by leaf

Careers for EMTs

When I first started teaching EMT courses a number of years ago, I had a picture in my mind of what an EMT does, where an EMT works and how they complete there daily work responsibilities.

Our students usually went to work on ambulances or used their EMT license as the stepping-stone into a fire academy, fire department or into a volunteer Fire station.

As time has gone by I have found that a great deal of the students I teach have career objectives as a licensed EMT that do NOT include working on an ambulance or being a part of fire department.

The morphing of the license initially seemed to sway towards the Emergency Room and general floors of the hospitals as well as into the local Urgent care centers and Doctors offices.

But something new and exciting is taking place in the hiring and placement of licensed EMTs in our little slice of the world. Opportunities now abound for the right person with the right license to work in areas that many of us never considered being locations for our freshly licensed folks.

Over the course of the past year I have had students take jobs working as EMT professionals on Oil Rigs off the coast of California and up north in the oil fields of Bakersfield and Fresno.

Recently I had a student graduate and take a job working on a strike team with the DEA, acting as a armored-up EMT that makes entry on drug houses through-out the West Coast.

Over the past 3 courses I have taught, more then half of my students have already had jobs lined up working as stand-by EMTs for the movie industry in and around California, with pay scales well over the $20 per hour range.

I have students that work as security guards who are getting their EMT licenses in order to work personal security for wealthy families and groups in California, Arizona, Nevada and even Saudi Arabia. The families or groups that are seeking security protection now demand that their security team have EMT licenses in order to provide a new level of care to their staff, families or groups.

And then there is the private fire and rescue companies that are springing up across the country that hire licensed EMTs and Firefighters that either support local and state fire agencies or do specialized standby fire, rescue and medical at race tracks and events.

So when you are getting your license and working through your class, get online and start searching for the job you REALLY want. Look for unique opportunities with companies that you would not even expect to have a need for an EMT on staff.

Search for your EMT jobs with Police and Sheriff departments, check the US Government, Homeland Security and FEMA. Make sure you check to see if there is a local, private fire-rescue company near you that is looking for EMTs and fire folks. Go online to the local hospitals in your area, search their job listings and watch for EMT in the ER postings.

As EMTs we have a very specific skill set, one that is very appealing to many employers out there and that may not be on your radar yet. When looking for a job, look beyond ambulance. Look for what appeals to you.

(Editor’s Note – A good site to look at: www.emsgig.com)

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Jack Murphy
Jack Murphy is a licensed firefighter, EMT and EMS Instructor in Michigan and California, holds a JD in real estate law and BA in History as well as numerous industry related certifications. These days Jack teaches a Hybrid EMT program at a small College in the Los Angeles area.

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