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What's the Average Salary of a Paramedic?

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 3/6/2011

Before you choose to become a paramedic, take a look at the average salary of a paramedic to determine what you need to do to make the salary you dream of. When you know the average salary, it is easier to know whether an employer is offering a competitive rate or not for a paramedic.

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    Overall Average Salary

    Paramedic The average salary of a paramedic varies greatly based upon several factors. Based upon data gathered through, a paramedic can expect to make anywhere from $29,000 to $74,000 per year. This range is on a national scale. On average, a paramedic makes approximately $35,000 per year.

    The larger the area and the more calls a station receives, the more the paramedic makes on average. Smaller, rural areas with fewer calls often make much less than the national average. However, there are ways to increase a paramedic's average salary.

    Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons / Rama

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    Experience is one of the major factors in determining the average salary of a paramedic. Those will less than five years’ experience are likely to make $35,000 or less per year. Between five and twenty years, a paramedic may be able to increase their annual salary to almost $50,000. After twenty years, salaries may hit nearer the $74,000 end of the pay scale.

    Experience is also dependent upon the employer or type of position the paramedic is in. Paramedics in the government sector make more than any other type of employer, while those working for a hospital or other type of medical services make the less on average. Paramedics working for emergency medical services, fire department or an ambulance service make up the typical average salary.

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    Other Factors

    As with most careers, education can determine the average salary of a paramedic. After going to college, a paramedic can decide to continue their education, earning a higher degree. This puts a paramedic in line for higher paying positions and helps increase pay faster than waiting on raises based upon experience alone. In addition to a degree, having the proper certifications and keeping them updated ensures a paramedic is always eligible for promotions and raises.

    After experience and education, location is the third biggest determining factor in the paramedic's average salary. The more calls a location receives or the more patients a paramedic deals with on average, the higher the average salary will be. The opposite applies to fewer calls. If you want a less stressful career, choose a location with fewer calls. If an extremely fast paced, stressful career is right for you, choose the location with more calls and a higher annual salary.

    Paramedics work in various sectors, including public and private. Many public sector positions pay less than work in the private sector. Though many associated paramedics with driving an ambulance, there are far more positions available. Paramedics are often on call at hospitals, nursing homes and private medical facilities to transport and retrieve patients. Paramedics are also employed by fire departments to treat patients on the scene before an ambulance arrives. Each type of employer has a different pay scale and requirements.

    Only by combining experience, education, employer and location can you truly determine the average salary for a paramedic in any given area. For most paramedics, salaries over $50,000 are rare, with the average staying between $30,000 and $40,000 per year.