This is a definite improvement over the previous year while still remaining in the lower 25% of the 200 ranked jobs. Just to provide a little perspective, these are the rankings from the previous years:
- 2015 – EMT Ranked #173
- 2014 – EMT Ranked #178
- 2013 – EMT Ranked #96 (our highest ranking)
- 2012 – EMT Ranked #120
- 2011 – EMT Ranked #195 (#6 on Worst Jobs of 2011 List)
One of the things I noticed looking back over how CareerCast.com has ranked being an EMT/Paramedic is that this year has brought a change to the job description:
2011 – 2015: Attends to situations that demand immediate medical attention, such as automobile accidents, heart attacks, and gunshot wounds.
2016: Assesses injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals.
On one hand it is nice to be recognized for both the assessment and rendering of emergency medical care, but I believe that the description continues to falsely focus on trauma by specifying injuries and including extrication. The truth is trauma and extrication is a small percentage of the call types that we respond to.
Also excluded over the years is any mention of transportation. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering the expansion of Community Paramedicine programs, it does omit a foundational characteristic of our profession.
One Of The Most Dangerous Jobs of 2016
EMT is also listed as one of The Most Dangerous Jobs of 2016. This should comes as no surprise to anyone who has worked on an ambulance or reads any of the trades where stories of assault are a weekly occurrence. The issue has seemed to gain more exposure over 2016 than previously and agencies are adopting zero-tolerance policies for threats to personnel and issuing body armor.
Even minus the assaults and threats, working in EMS is a dangerous occupation. Threats don’t just come from patients but also from the building’s structural integrity, environmental conditions, and pets where we are called to. Situational awareness and critical thinking skills have become mandatory in application and yet there is very little time spent on training to develop these skills beyond what someone walks into the classroom with.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the jobs outlook for EMT/Paramedic for 2014-2024 is expected to grow 24%. This is much higher than most other occupations. While they cite the continued demand for EMTs as being “car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence” (again omitting anything medical) they have neglected the glaring factor of turnover.
Agencies struggling with outdated reimbursement schemes, dangerous work conditions, and unrealistic community expectations in today’s environment continue to be challenged to retain experienced qualified personnel.
What do you think the professional outlook for being an EMT/Paramedic in 2017 looks like? Let us know what you think in the comments…