US News Ranks EMT/Paramedic As Top Job For 2012

Remember back in January when ranked EMT as one of the top worst jobs of 2011? They cited the long hours, harsh work conditions, and low pay as reasons for their ranking.

Now US News has ranked being an EMT/Paramedic as one of the best jobs of 2012. They actually ranked it as number 15 citing:

An increasing call volume due to the country’s aging population is expected to keep job prospects high for EMTs and paramedics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects EMT and paramedic employment growth of 33.3 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 75,400 more professionals to the 226,500 jobs currently in this field. The profession’s strong expected growth helped boost it to the No. 15 spot in our ranking of The Best Jobs of 2012, right behind clinical laboratory technician and speech-language pathologist.

It feels pretty good going from being in the bottom to rising to the top, doesn’t it?

Of course, I have to question some of the US News stats. They claim that there are currently 226,500 jobs in the field, but we know from the 2011 National EMS Assessment report that there are 826,111 EMS professionals.

Could the difference between volunteers and paid personnel be causing this 600,000 job disparity? Maybe… maybe not. What do you think?


  1. Jimmy B says

    I wouldn’t take that article very seriously considering pharmacist and RNs were on there, anybody tried to get a job as an RN anywhere lately? Yeah it was a great career if you got in 10 years ago when there were no wait lists 5 years long for school and there were jobs guarenteed when you graduated. New grads now spend months and years looking for jobs.
    And pharm? There are over 300 pharm student per year in the school I go to, not that they all graduate, but threr is an oversaturation of pharm students across the US. They wait for jobs as long as the RNs.
    The one job that really is the best projected for the next 20 or so years is PA. There are only around 80k PAs in the US (there’s 80k EMTs in MA alone). The projected need for PAs by 2015 is 120k, with the older ones retiring and not a ton of schools across the US the need won’t be met for a long long time, and with slalries starting around 70k. Just saying, I don’t believe the article you cited.

  2. Medic Wicket says

    First off, Jimmy B, I disagree with you on the nursing front. All the recently graduated nurses I know have gotten jobs within a few months of graduation. Perhaps the long wait lists are a regional issue. As we all know, there is supposedly a paramedic shortage too. I say good luck getting a full time paramedic positon in the northeast, they are few and far between. 1 region does not represent an entire industry.

    As for the ranking of 15th, I believe this does not tell the whole story. While the potential for growth is there, I believe several parts of the equation are missing. Strained municipal budgets will slow that growth or see movement of firefighters off engines and into ambulances, reducing how many spots are available. The salary range is very regional, and does not accurately reflect the lows and high ranges. Along with that, municipalities are still pushing for dual cert. fire/EMS professionals. I believe firefighters are more satisfied than their strictly EMS counterparts, and this may skew the satisfaction rating upwards.
    Of the healthcare jobs listed, EMS is the lowest ranking. I would tend to believe we are still more amongst the worst jobs over the top 25 jobs.

  3. says

    80,000 EMTs in MA alone? I don’t think so, but maybe.

    My complaint with the article is that it doesn’t mention the generally crappy pay in EMS. Maybe that will change with a “shortage” but it’s more likely that more diploma mills will pop up.