15 Alternative Jobs For EMTs And Paramedics

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 11, 2021

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Deciding to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or a paramedic is a big career choice. You’re an essential worker who is there to help people every day. Your job is never boring, but it can be quite emotional and stressful at times. You’re called out to help people in the direst of situations, and you’ll be riding an adrenaline rush the whole time.

That said, the 9-1-1 life can get overwhelming, and being on-call all the time can lead to early burnout. How do you take your skills as an EMT or a paramedic and translate them into a different job opportunity? A career that isn’t so demanding, maybe pays better, has regular hours, and is something you love doing.

The good news is that your skills are in great demand in other areas, too. If you’ve been trained in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), there are many different jobs you can do that still make the most of your talents.

  • Corporate campuses. Some companies are so large, and they have an entire campus with thousands of employees reporting to work each day. These businesses operate like little communities, and they need some of those same services. This is going to be a big change of pace from that of a busy EMT, but you might discover you love the slow lifestyle.

    Expect to manage smaller health issues on your own, and large ones will be your responsibility until the paramedics arrive. You might find that you also have other duties to fill out your workday. You may serve as a security guard, handle worker’s compensation claims, or work in a different position in the company.

  • Laboratory or blood donation clinic. These businesses like to hire paramedics because they already have medical training, but it goes deeper than that. They are trained to work with people, work quickly, and spot a problem earlier than someone without their training.

    As an EMT who is sick of the rat race, you’ll appreciate regular hours with no on-call assignments at all. There will probably never be an emergency, and you’ll mainly have to deal with people being uncomfortable with needles.

  • Surgical technologist. You’re there during surgery, lending a hand as needed. But the big pressure is on the surgeon. You’re just there to assist. Your training already has you on the right path, and you’ve proven that you’re good in the event of an emergency.

  • Event EMT. Whether you get a job at a venue or you work for a company that sends you out to different venues and different events, this is a sweet gig.

    Many people with emergency medical training love this type of work because they like the adrenaline, but there are fewer trauma issues to deal with. You also get to catch some cool concerts, events, performances, and other shows.

  • Cruise ship. Do you like to travel the seas and live the life of a nomad? Then, being part of the medical crew on a cruise ship could be your dream come true.

    There will be health emergencies on a cruise ship, you’ll encounter some accidents, but a lot of the care you’ll be providing will be handing out over-the-counter medications and helping people manage seasickness.

    When you stop in a port, you might get to explore the city. You’ll become close with the rest of the crew and have the best cocktail party stories around.

  • Amusement parks. Disney, Six Flags, Universal, and almost all of the other big amusement and theme parks around the country have some sort of on-site emergency services. You typically won’t be dealing with life and death situations, but your training will definitely come in handy.

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    There are heart attacks, broken arms and legs, heat exhaustion, and all sorts of emergencies that happen in an amusement park. Your immediate assistance until 9-1-1 arrives can save a life, or your care can solve the problem and save the day.

    Working in an amusement park will typically be less stressful and less hectic, and you’re constantly surrounded by people having the best time of their lives. What’s better than spending every day in a theme park?

  • Sports arenas. Sure, the teams have their specialized care team that is there if someone gets injured on the field. But most major sports arenas also have a group of trained medical professionals there to deal with health and other emergencies that occur in the stands and elsewhere. If you’re a big sports fan, this might be the dream job for you.

  • Veterinary technician. Veterinarians love hiring vet techs who have EMT experience. While you’ll still need some animal-specific training and education, you’re already well on your way. Walking into this profession, you know a lot about medicine and anatomy. But your biggest qualification is your ability to work under pressure.

    Veterinary offices deal with a lot of emergencies and people who are very stressed out. You’re great at handling both, which is going to be a huge benefit to the veterinarian. Not only that, but you’re not bothered by injuries or the sight of blood. You’re ready to roll up your sleeves and help.

  • Flight paramedic. Okay, so you’re still a paramedic, but you no longer have to deal with traffic as a Flight Paramedic. If you make it into one of the very few flight paramedic positions in this country, you’ll become one of the elite.

    This group of lifesavers is there when time is of the essence, or the conditions make it impossible for other vehicles to get there. It’s high drama and an intense situation, but if you’ve got the chops for it, this can be a great chance that keeps you doing what you love.

  • Registered nurse. Being an RN or registered nurse is very similar to being an EMT. You need to be calm under pressure and swiftly react when there’s an emergency. You also need to be confident and competent and always stay alert.

    You will need additional training to become a registered nurse, but your background makes you uniquely qualified for the job and will give you a head start when you go to school.

    Nurses can make a good living, but there are always complaints about the long hours and the lack of respect from doctors. The best part is you’ll have job security, and your skills will always be in demand.

  • Private duty nurse. Most private nurses are registered nurses, so there will be more education involved, but you’ve got a head start once again. Private nurses work for one family or for one person. You can do this through an agency or be hired individually and work on a freelance basis.

    Your EMT training will make you highly desirable as you can explain how you’re the most levelheaded person around when in an emergency. You also know how to take charge. If there is an emergency, you can step right in until the EMTs arrive or until you get additional assistance.

    Many people love doing this because of the relationships that they build when it’s a one-on-one situation.

  • CPR instructor. Why not teach others how to be lifesavers? After riding with an ambulance crew for a long time, you might find that basic CPR skills are lacking in public or how crucial they are when someone has them.

    Many EMTs have seen a regular person perform CPR and save a life long enough for them to get on the scene and take over. If you decide to make the career switch, you can train more people to learn these lifesaving skills.

    Getting a CPR Instructor certificate will be a breeze for you. You’ll also find that your students trust you and value the experience you can share with them in the classroom. You can bring a lot to the table and be a great teacher.

  • Childcare provider. Whether you want to open your own daycare, work for a school or daycare, or want to become an in-home nanny, having an EMT background puts you at the top of the list.

    Parents will be thrilled to find out that their child is being taught or cared for by someone who has EMT training and skills. Can you imagine what a relief it would be to know that if there is an emergency, your child won’t have to wait for the ambulance or fire truck to arrive? There’s already an EMT on-site.

  • Crime lab technician. No more emergencies for you. You come into the picture long after the fact. You’ll need additional training to work as a crime lab technician, but you already have a great deal of medical experience. This makes you a great candidate for the job.

    It also keeps you involved in critical situations if you enjoy the atmosphere and excitement. The best part is you have set hours, great pay, and good benefits.

  • Emergency room technician. This career isn’t too different than your old one, but it’s a great way to keep your training up to date and use all the skills you’ve gained on the job.

    The benefits can mean a stable job, salary increase, better vacation time, and set hours. You’ll still be dealing with patients and handing them over to the doctors, but you won’t be out on the streets, which can also be a big benefit.

Final Thoughts

Your medical knowledge, your level headed personality, and your ability to take charge in an emergency can open the doors to lots of jobs. If you want to get away from the medical field entirely, you still have some great attributes and assets that came from your experience.

If you’d like to stay involved in medicine but move away from trauma and being on call, you simply need to start looking. Some jobs might require a little training, but you’ve learned so much already, you can do it.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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