Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, assist those with medical emergencies at the scene and while in route to treatment facilities. The state of Florida employed approximately 8,910 of these lifesaving professionals in 2009. Most EMTs in the state make just over $30,000, although some highly-experienced emergency medical technicians make much more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that as of May 2009, the average annual wage for an emergency medical technician in Florida was $31,670, or $15.23 an hour. The Florida averages were somewhat lower than the national averages for EMTs.
Florida EMTs in the lowest 10th percentile of earners made $20,860 or less in 2009, the equivalent of $10.03 per hour, says the bureau. In the 90th percentile, wages were over double this amount. Emergency medical technicians in this percentile earned $46,660 a year, or about $22.43 per hour, or more.
Comparison to National Average
The average compensation for an EMT nationally was $33,300 a year, or $16.01 per hour, as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. EMTs in the state of Florida earned $1,630 less per year on average, or about 78 cents less per hour.
State and Territory Comparison
EMTs in Florida ranked 25th in the nation compared to all other states and territoties in terms of pay rates. They shared the rank with Texas EMTs. Regions that had very similar wages included Tennessee, which paid $31,640 annually, and South Carolina, which paid $31,570. Florida EMTs made $11,180 more than those in the lowest-paying territory, Puerto Rico, but made $18,200 less than those in the highest-paying region, the District of Columbia.
Like emergency responders in other states and territories, EMTs in the state of Florida operate at different levels. These include EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic. EMT-Basics have only fundamental training, whereas Paramedics have the most education. This influences pay, with lower EMTs making less money. For instance, the national annual range for an EMT-Basic was $22,000 to $34,000 in 2007, according to Ashley Boyce of the Allied Health World website. By comparison, those in the Paramedic category earned $50,000 to $70,000.
Florida EMTs may opt to become members of unions. This provides some stability for salaries, but only about 27 percent of EMTs were union members nationally as of 2008.