Demand for EMS Professionals
Although the estimated rate is dependent on location, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates growth potential for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals through 2018.* The basis for such confidence in the expected need does not seem outrageous when you consider facts, such as the large aging population, emergency room overcrowding, replacing separated workers and disaster response and planning.
Large Aging Population
One of the largest segments of the population is the baby boomers, or those people born between 1946 and 1964. As this group grows older, their need for emergency medical services increases. (People over 65 are disproportionately higher users of emergency ambulatory services.)
Emergency Room Overcrowding
Due to people living longer and the increase of health care funding, emergency departments will become overcrowded. This will require EMS professionals and paramedics to spend more time with patients to provide care, as they may have to continue transport of a patient to a less crowded facility. Eventually, the building of even more facilities will be necessary in order to meet demand. As a result, additional EMS workers and paramedics will be needed.
Replacing Separated Workers
As current EMS professionals retire, or gain additional healthcare training and move to different positions, such as educators, RNs, or administrators, EMS jobs will need to be filled. In addition, it has become increasingly difficult to recruit voluntary EMS workers in rural areas and small cities and towns in the current economy.
Disaster Response and Planning
Natural and man-made disasters, such as floods, terrorist attacks, etc., have increased awareness followed by need for disaster and emergency response planning. As improvements and/or requirements continue to be made by federal and state governments, additional EMS workers will be a necessity.
As far as the places to find employment, private ambulance companies will continue to have steady employment as well as hospitals and other medical facilities. As always, competition will continue to be great for EMS jobs within local government, due to better salaries and benefits.
For this reason, once you complete EMS training, it is a good idea to stay on top of your career and pursue additional training programs.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos101.htm (visited December 22, 2010).This is a national estimate and conditions in your location may vary.
Sanford-Brown does not guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.