Is a Flight Paramedic Salary a Livable Wage?
A flight paramedic is a highly trained professional that works in the Aeromedical environment, often as part of a medical team consisting of nurses and physicians. The majority of flight paramedics hold the FP-C and CCEMT-P certifications, which require additional schooling and exams above and beyond that of a standard paramedic.
In general, flight paramedics work in a flight environment in what is designed as a micro version of the average intensive care unit at a hospital. The minimum in most cases for required experience is five years intensive care in a high volume atmosphere in addition to certifications.
According to statistics released by the NFPA however, the field is in high demand. For every one open position there are over 250 applicants battling for one spot. One of the largest concerns about such a high-demand, highly popular area of expertise is the salary and benefits offered to professionals. Many wish to know if the annual income and additional perks will be worth the added education, expenses for training and demanding conditions of the field.
Also, for those ready to take action, read our article: How to Become a Flight Paramedic
General Flight Paramedic Salary
The current average salary for a standard paramedic in the United States is $30,360 or $14.60 per hour. While this is the first step for a professional on their way to becoming a flight paramedic, the pay is on average lower than that of any specialized field an emergency professional can enter. Paramedic practice today involves many specialized fields, each with pros and cons as well as varying salaries.
Currently in the United States, the median average salary for a flight paramedic is $40,980 annually. This is calculated by Salary.com based on survey data collected from thousands of HR departments across the United States, and is updated yearly so those currently in training for a flight paramedic career can keep tabs on the changes to income while in school.
The positive to this is that according to current statistics, the 90th percentile of flight paramedics are in the area of approximately $50,000 per year when bonuses are included in the calculation.
When the flight paramedic salary is broken down, according to statistical data, the core of said data is simply one’s annual salary. With that said, there are some national averages that list additional perks for the position.
These added benefits include the following:
- Bonuses- the national average was $118 per year
- Social Security currently accounts for $3,144 yearly on average
- 401K and other retirement packages total $1,562
- Disability benefits median average of $288 yearly
- State pension packages for the United States median is currently $2,630
- Healthcare totals $6,507 yearly, accounting for 10.8% of yearly income which is the highest benefit excluding pay
Additional benefits worth mentioning according to the Salary.com’s current statistics include time off, which pays $5,058 yearly on average.
Demographics have a huge impact on the salary rates and benefits offered too, which vary state to state. The national average for hourly rate of pay is currently $21.62 per hour according to statistical data from payscale.com.
Average Salaries by State
There are several factors that can affect a professionals’ salary including location, certifications, years of experience and education. In order to become a flight paramedic, most professionals will need additional courses according to the paramedic education requirements listed for the field.
Many resources are aviable for career seekers to locate detailed information regarding the salaries and benefits of flight paramedics in their area. Each website contains a search engine in which professionals can look up information by state, and even city in most cases, to get a feel for the average pay rates in desired locations.
Such informative sites as the following can be used to keep up to date on salary and benefit trends:
- www.simplyhired.com provides visitors with up-to-date information on jobs in the flight paramedic field, along with salary numbers and other job requirements
- www.indeed.com allows professionals to search for flight paramedic positions by salary, location and even company for each state
According to data collected by websites like the globalpost.com, flight paramedics located in the southern regions of the United States earn on average $71,000 annually, which is the highest salary average by area.
Those in the western areas made on average $54,000 per year while the midwest can expect averages in the area of $55,500.
The following breaks down the average salaries for a flight paramedic by state, though the totals may vary slightly depending on the city in which the professional applies.
Without further ado, here’s how much flight paramedics make every year, on average, all throughout the nation:
Washington D.C- $71,000
New Hampshire- $41,000
New Jersey- $59,000
New Mexico- $41,000
New York- $55,000
North Carolina- $40,000
North Dakota- $36,800
Rhode Island- $39,000
South Carolina- $44,000
South Dakota- $46,000
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% growth in the field of flight paramedics between 2010 and 2020, which is one of the fastest growth rates expected among emergency medical professionals with a specialization. This is partly due to the increasing number of U.S citizens reaching age 60 and above. With the demands and continuing education costs involved in becoming a flight paramedic, there is argument on both sides that the salary currently in place for the position does not justify the field.
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