I was offered a job today. I won’t mention the name of the company, but they are a nationwide provider of EMS services. The job is a paramedic position, and would require me to commute about 40 miles each way, paying $5 in tolls round trip.

Before I go further, let me explain my credentials:
I have been practicing in EMS for over 24 years. I have been an instructor for ten of those years. I not only have my paramedic school done, I also have three Associate’s and two Bachelor’s degrees.

The job market is very tight, and this illustrates why: They offered me a rate of $12.53 an hour. That rate is two dollars an hour less than what my last job was hiring new paramedics for ten years ago. I already collect a pension that pays me more than that, and I don’t NEED the money, and I am not sure that I want to drive 80 miles round trip to work a 12 hour shift that will net me about $7 an hour.

I could get a job working at a hamburger joint and take home the same amount of money.

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Anonymous · August 1, 2013 at 1:54 am

This is actually kind of frightening.

I'd always assumed that EMS personnel were paid very, very well, since they put their lives in potential jeopardy every time they clock in and they are so highly trained as to be one step removed from an M.D.

Seems like a company offering that kind of money to potential employees is looking for the least educated, least trained and least capable of the workforce, and I'd be scared to death knowing someone like that would show up if I were to call 911 or were in an accident.

chipmunk · August 2, 2013 at 12:11 am

I am really, REALLY surprised! I, too assumed that EMS folks were paid well, considering your responsibilities. That was my starting salary six years ago as a Medical Assistant at a doctor's office, for which I trained a mere 9 months.

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