How Much Does a Paramedic Earn in California?

Paramedics respond to life-threatening emergencies.
Paramedics respond to life-threatening emergencies. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Paramedics are emergency medical personnel who respond to incidents such as auto accidents, heart attacks, childbirth and drownings. They are dispatched by 911 operators to the scene of an emergency. Once they arrive, paramedics help determine the condition of patients and sustain the patients until they arrive at the hospital. California has varying levels of medical personnel ranging from basic to intermediate-level and advanced-level paramedics. The earnings of medical technicians in California vary by level of experience and training.

EMT - Basic

Basic-level paramedics are called emergency medical technicians - basic (EMT-B). They are first responders in emergency situations. They assess patients' conditions and manage respiratory or cardiac trauma emergencies. According to as of April 2011, basic level emergency medical technicians in California earned an average of 28,000 per year.

EMT - Intermediate

Intermediate-level emergency medical technicians (EMT- II) have more advanced training and responsibilities than basic EMTs. In California, intermediate level EMTs are allowed to perform advanced functions such as EKG monitoring, defibrillation and cardioversion and administer certain medications. According to as of April 2011, intermediate-level emergency medical technicians earn an average of $38,000 per year in California.

EMT - Paramedic

Paramedics are advanced emergency medical technicians. They provide advanced life support in emergency medical situations. In California, they perform all the duties of basic and intermediate level technicians but may administer more extensive levels of oral and intravenous medications. They may also perform patient intubations and use monitors and complex equipment. says that paramedic-level emergency personnel earn approximately $45,000 per year in California. Paramedics in California can earn salaries ranging from $51,000 to 65,000 or more depending on specific job responsibilities and experience.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the emergency medical field are expected to grow about as fast as average through 2018. Job outlook is favorable in smaller communities. Competition for jobs in local government such as fire and police services is greater than other industries. Paramedics with advanced certification and training should enjoy the most favorable job prospects.

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