2015’s Best Places for EMTs and Paramedics

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics don’t always get the same recognition as doctors and nurses. But they’re an equally important part of the medical field, especially in emergency situations. EMTs and paramedics save lives in high-pressure environments, responding to emergency calls, performing medical services at the scene and transporting patients quickly and safely to hospitals.

Unsurprisingly, the career of emergency medical personnel isn’t without stress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, EMTs and paramedics experience work-related illnesses and injuries at a much higher level than the average worker. They’re also often required to work long hours and irregular schedules.

Many emergency medical workers stick with the job, in spite of the long hours and stress, because they genuinely enjoy helping others and making a difference. However, great perks – like competitive salaries, low cost of living, and great amenities – can also help. That’s why we decided to take a look at the country’s best places for EMTs and paramedics. We evaluated 750 metro and micro areas nationwide based on the following criteria:

  • Average EMT/paramedic salaries
  • Housing affordability (percent of income spent on rent)
  • Area amenities (including arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Employment attractiveness (a metric that combines job availability, density and competition)

Read on to check out our top places for EMTs and paramedics, explore interactive graphs and more!

I. The Top 10 Places for EMTs and Paramedics


10. Pueblo, CO

GoodCall score: 434.60
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $39,560
Housing affordability index: 27.43%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 4.92
Employment attractiveness rank: 3

9. Yuma, AZ

GoodCall score: 435.70
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $46,280
Housing affordability index: 22.67%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 3.21
Employment attractiveness rank: 149

8. Olympia-Tumwater, WA

GoodCall score: 436.65
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $57,270
Housing affordability index: 25.99%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 5.54
Employment attractiveness rank: 192

7. Kennewick-Richland, WA

GoodCall score: 436.95
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $53,480
Housing affordability index: 22.58%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 4.12
Employment attractiveness rank: 167

6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

GoodCall score: 439.85
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $63,450
Housing affordability index: 25.92%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 6.74
Employment attractiveness rank: 181

5. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

GoodCall score: 436.95
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $53,480
Housing affordability index: 22.58%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 4.12
Employment attractiveness rank: 167

4. Baton Rouge, LA

GoodCall score: 443.35
Average EMT/paramedic salary: 443.35
Housing affordability index: 443.35
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 5.23
Employment attractiveness rank: 136

3. Amarillo, TX

GoodCall score: 446.35
Average EMT/paramedic salary: 446.35
Housing affordability index: 446.35
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 5.28
Employment attractiveness rank: 19

2. Lexington-Fayette, KY

GoodCall score: 450.00
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $46,540
Housing affordability index: 25.18%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 7.03
Employment attractiveness rank: 83

1. Ames, IA

GoodCall score: 453.85
Average EMT/paramedic salary: $44,430
Housing affordability index: 26.04%
Amenities per 1,000 housing units: 6.82
Employment attractiveness rank: 35

 
 
 
 
 

salary

Best Salary

1. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
2. Oak Harbor, WA
3. Port Angeles, WA
4. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
5. Olympia-Tumwater, WA

housing

Most Affordable Housing

1. Gallup, NM
2. Rio Grande City, TX
3. Abilene, TX
4. Othello, WA
5. Port Angeles, WA

jobs

Best Jobs

1. Albany, GA
2. Mansfield, OH
3. Pueblo, CO
4. Springfield, MO
5. Lubbock, TX

amenities

Best Amenities

1. Jackson, WY-ID
2. Key West, FL
3. Taos, NM
4. Santa Fe, NM
5. Astoria, OR

 

II. The Data

Rank Metro/Micro Area GoodCall Score Population Average EMT/Paramedic Salary Housing Affordability Index Amenities per 1,000 Housing Units Employment Attractiveness Rank
1 Ames, IA 453.85 94,073 $44,430 26.04% 6.82 35
2 Lexington-Fayette, KY 450.00 494,189 $46,540 25.18% 7.03 83
3 Amarillo, TX 446.35 259,885 $42,510 25.29% 5.28 19
4 Baton Rouge, LA 443.35 825,478 $44,380 25.23% 5.23 136
5 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA 442.65 271,804 $57,330 29.91% 9.44 174
6 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 439.85 3,671,478 $63,450 25.92% 6.74 181
7 Kennewick-Richland, WA 436.95 274,295 $53,480 22.58% 4.12 167
8 Olympia-Tumwater, WA 436.65 265,851 $57,270 25.99% 5.54 192
9 Yuma, AZ 435.70 203,247 $46,280 22.67% 3.21 149
10 Pueblo, CO 434.60 161,875 $39,560 27.43% 4.92 3
11 Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA 430.40 120,365 $49,490 28.53% 5.74 132
12 Tucson, AZ 426.50 1,004,516 $42,280 28.55% 6.09 133
13 Abilene, TX 425.05 168,592 $52,140 18.51% 1.93 94
14 Santa Fe, NM 424.10 148,164 $41,310 31.70% 18.17 25
15 Redding, CA 424.05 179,804 $44,380 29.31% 6.15 115
16 Greeley, CO 422.15 277,670 $43,190 31.69% 5.87 157
17 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 421.50 2,069,681 $45,590 31.88% 7.39 104
18 Parkersburg-Vienna, WV 421.30 92,082 $35,260 23.65% 7.23 45
19 Fairbanks, AK 416.40 99,357 $47,460 32.89% 6.31 84
20 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 411.55 3,495,176 $48,240 30.99% 7.29 186
21 Dothan, AL 410.95 148,095 $39,400 22.80% 2.24 119
22 Columbus, GA-AL 410.15 314,005 $40,160 28.20% 1.75 64
23 Elkhart-Goshen, IN 405.85 201,971 $38,650 27.05% 1.66 143
24 Trenton, NJ 401.50 371,537 $44,120 39.17% 8.13 170
25 Champaign-Urbana, IL 401.50 237,252 $37,200 31.98% 5.79 9
26 Savannah, GA 401.05 372,708 $38,470 33.80% 6.82 58
27 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 398.60 1,952,872 $49,540 37.34% 5.33 118
28 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 398.50 2,754,258 $41,890 35.92% 6.44 97
29 Boulder, CO 397.30 313,333 $39,760 39.47% 12.55 81
30 Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL 397.05 115,916 $34,010 26.28% 4.55 94
31 Iowa City, IA 394.60 164,357 $37,290 33.79% 6.05 15
32 Grand Junction, CO 393.50 148,255 $37,300 33.54% 5.73 39
33 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 393.35 2,348,247 $43,640 34.29% 7.18 188
34 Janesville-Beloit, WI 392.75 161,188 $37,040 32.40% 4.42 120
35 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 392.20 1,343,230 $38,450 32.62% 4.99 57
36 Kokomo, IN 392.15 82,982 $34,720 27.78% 2.92 67
37 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 392.05 1,251,849 $37,580 32.87% 6.96 122
38 Jacksonville, NC 390.35 187,589 $39,240 31.62% 3.24 167
39 Kingston, NY 386.95 180,445 $38,100 40.25% 16.32 124
40 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ 386.45 157,389 $39,790 35.34% 2.36 52
41 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 386.00 2,785,874 $41,460 38.33% 6.86 102
42 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 385.10 6,954,330 $39,680 35.36% 5.46 66
43 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 384.80 2,321,418 $37,840 37.41% 6.35 41
44 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 382.80 4,594,060 $42,700 41.59% 8.95 111
45 Anchorage, AK 380.10 398,892 $41,470 39.34% 7.28 148
46 Fort Collins, CO 378.95 324,122 $37,720 37.50% 8.58 134
47 Battle Creek, MI 377.90 134,878 $34,340 30.45% 2.38 6
48 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 377.40 168,806 $34,020 29.12% 5.80 41
49 Fond du Lac, WI 377.30 101,759 $37,110 31.94% 2.87 150
50 Houma-Thibodaux, LA 377.15 211,348 $34,510 27.15% 2.02 129
51 Austin-Round Rock, TX 376.95 1,943,299 $37,930 39.17% 6.14 91
52 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 375.55 6,033,737 $45,190 40.89% 6.76 193
53 Salt Lake City, UT 374.60 1,153,340 $39,060 35.83% 5.71 163
54 Kansas City, MO-KS 374.00 2,071,133 $36,670 35.75% 5.76 73
55 Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA 372.65 2,244,397 $41,000 38.19% 5.62 179
56 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 371.85 405,427 $33,410 28.71% 3.76 49
57 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 370.00 20,092,883 $40,890 42.01% 9.45 178
58 Santa Rosa, CA 369.80 500,292 $39,650 42.09% 9.12 167
59 St. Louis, MO-IL 369.45 2,806,207 $36,360 34.72% 5.64 121
60 Madera, CA 366.95 154,548 $38,600 34.89% 2.13 161
61 Fort Wayne, IN 366.35 427,183 $33,360 30.57% 4.76 12
62 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 364.85 420,392 $33,550 26.18% 3.70 191
63 Albuquerque, NM 364.55 904,587 $34,080 35.46% 5.97 14
64 Bakersfield, CA 364.10 874,589 $37,870 34.79% 3.59 183
65 Ogden-Clearfield, UT 363.55 632,293 $36,620 36.32% 3.16 140
66 Wilmington, NC 362.30 272,548 $35,130 37.36% 10.18 91
67 Toledo, OH 360.85 607,456 $33,760 32.95% 5.60 46
68 Morristown, TN 358.90 115,713 $33,280 27.10% 2.89 143
69 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 358.30 2,380,314 $36,260 35.24% 4.48 154
70 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 356.50 2,915,582 $35,360 36.51% 5.77 110
71 Brunswick, GA 356.40 114,806 $33,400 32.50% 7.67 31
72 Rochester, NY 356.15 1,083,393 $35,580 35.32% 5.66 173
73 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 355.95 829,835 $36,310 39.38% 6.37 166
74 Dover, DE 355.05 171,987 $34,720 38.22% 4.13 9
75 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 354.05 6,051,170 $36,600 41.58% 6.52 159
76 Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ 352.35 275,209 $34,960 45.64% 7.74 28
77 Colorado Springs, CO 350.40 686,908 $34,470 40.70% 5.85 101
78 Odessa, TX 348.05 153,904 $33,260 28.96% 2.68 171
79 Evansville, IN-KY 347.60 315,162 $32,870 31.99% 5.21 17
80 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 344.00 6,490,180 $35,220 38.96% 4.98 84
81 Morgantown, WV 343.80 137,251 $31,940 29.47% 5.67 29
82 Greenville, NC 343.55 175,354 $33,670 33.45% 5.16 164
83 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 341.25 1,716,624 $34,530 44.20% 5.13 59
84 Cleveland-Elyria, OH 341.05 2,063,598 $33,740 36.41% 6.49 108
85 Niles-Benton Harbor, MI 339.50 155,233 $33,210 31.37% 2.86 72
86 South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI 337.65 319,226 $32,370 31.87% 6.26 146
87 Asheville, NC 337.30 442,316 $39,520 27.34% 7.76 240
88 Eau Claire, WI 337.20 165,024 $41,950 27.01% 7.75 371
89 Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA 333.70 169,993 $32,770 31.44% 2.33 8
90 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 332.80 880,167 $34,250 40.29% 6.37 186
91 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 331.40 727,689 $33,960 39.89% 6.49 182
92 Oak Harbor, WA 331.25 79,275 $58,670 24.42% 13.47 488
93 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 329.55 4,489,109 $34,060 40.24% 4.57 135
94 Mansfield, OH 329.30 121,942 $30,940 30.83% 6.57 2
95 Port Angeles, WA 328.75 72,715 $58,670 18.89% 5.98 504
96 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 327.35 831,073 $31,920 27.77% 3.87 36
97 Pittsburgh, PA 326.85 2,355,968 $32,630 34.06% 6.27 87
98 Ellensburg, WA 326.65 42,522 $53,390 23.49% 7.03 504
99 Harrisonburg, VA 325.70 130,649 $32,840 35.41% 6.38 150
100 Glens Falls, NY 324.30 127,345 $32,350 38.57% 10.22 34

 

III. Methodology

GoodCall analyzed more than 750 metro and micro areas nationwide and come up with an overall ranking, based on average EMT and paramedic salary, job competition, density and availability, housing affordability, and amenities.

  • The employment attractiveness rank is based on a combination of EMT/paramedic job density, which was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and EMT/paramedic job availability and competition (resumes per available job), which were taken from Indeed.com. This metric, which shows how attractive an area is for job seekers, represents 45% of our overall score.
  • The average EMT/paramedic salary was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics tool and represents the annual mean wage for EMTs and paramedics in 2013. This represents 30% of our overall score.
  • The housing affordability index was taken from the U.S. Census American Fact Finder. This is the average percentage of income spent on housing, and represents 15% of our overall score.
  • The number of amenities per 1,000 households was taken from the U.S. Census American Fact Finder. It includes arts, entertainment and recreation, and represents 10% of our overall score.

Paul Southerland

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Paul is a High Point University graduate with a B.S. in Business and a B.A. in Strategic Communication. GoodCall's resident numbers guy, Paul is a digital marketing expert who has been working in data analysis for more than 3 years. Paul contributes to GoodCall News with original data and reports.

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