How Much Do Emts Make in California per Hour

In the vibrant healthcare industry of California, the earnings potential for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) is as diverse as the state itself.

Like the intricate tapestry of California cities, EMT salaries fluctuate based on various factors. This article explores the average hourly wage for EMTs in California, delves into the factors affecting their earnings, compares salaries across different cities, and offers insights into career advancement opportunities.

Additionally, it highlights additional income prospects and provides practical tips to maximize earnings as an EMT in the Golden State.

Key Takeaways

  • The average hourly wage for EMTs in California is $18.76, higher than the national average of $16.05.
  • Experience, education, geographic location, and cost of living all impact EMT earnings in California.
  • EMT salaries vary across different cities in California, with Los Angeles at $16.83, San Francisco at $19.41, and San Diego at $15.72 per hour.
  • EMTs have opportunities for career advancement, such as pursuing further education and training to become paramedics, obtaining specialized certifications, and moving into leadership positions.

Average Hourly Wage for EMTs in California

The average hourly wage for EMTs in California is significantly higher than the national average. EMTs in California earn an average hourly wage of $18.76, compared to the national average of $16.05.

To become an EMT in California, individuals must meet certain job requirements, such as completing an EMT certification process. This includes completing a state-approved training program, passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam, and obtaining state certification.

Factors Affecting EMT Earnings in California

Several factors, including experience and education, can significantly impact EMT earnings in California. EMTs with more years of experience and higher levels of education generally earn higher wages. Additionally, factors such as geographic location and cost of living in California can also influence EMT earnings. For instance, EMTs working in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is higher may earn higher wages compared to those in rural areas. Moreover, additional certifications and specialized training can also contribute to increased earnings for EMTs in California.

Factors Affecting EMT Earnings in California
Geographic location
Cost of living
Additional certifications and training

Comparison of EMT Salaries Across California Cities

Additionally, EMT salaries vary across different cities in California. The job outlook and cost of living in each city play a significant role in determining the salaries of EMTs.

Here is a comparison of EMT salaries across three major cities in California:

  1. Los Angeles: EMTs in Los Angeles earn an average hourly wage of $16.83.
  2. San Francisco: EMTs in San Francisco make an average of $19.41 per hour.
  3. San Diego: EMTs in San Diego earn an average hourly wage of $15.72.

These variations in salaries reflect the differences in the cost of living and demand for EMT services in each city.

Potential for Career Advancement in the EMT Field

One key aspect to consider in the EMT field is the significant potential for career advancement.

EMTs have various opportunities for career growth and professional development. Many EMTs choose to pursue further education and training to become paramedics or pursue specialized certifications in areas such as critical care or pediatric care.

Additionally, EMTs can move into leadership positions within their organizations or transition into related fields such as emergency management or healthcare administration.

Additional Income Opportunities for EMTs in California

Moreover, EMTs in California have various avenues to explore for additional income opportunities. Some of these include:

  1. Additional Certifications: EMTs can pursue additional certifications, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), which can increase their earning potential.
  2. Freelance Opportunities: EMTs can take on freelance work, providing medical services at events, concerts, or sporting events on a per diem basis.
  3. Training and Education: EMTs can also earn extra income by becoming instructors and teaching CPR, First Aid, or other emergency medical courses.

Tips for Maximizing Earnings as an EMT in California

To maximize their earnings as an EMT in California, EMTs can implement effective strategies and utilize various resources.

One tip for scheduling is to consider working for multiple agencies or hospitals to increase the number of shifts available. EMTs can also take advantage of overtime opportunities by volunteering for extra shifts or being flexible with their availability.

Additionally, staying up-to-date with certifications and pursuing advanced training can open doors to higher-paying positions within the field.


In conclusion, the average hourly wage for EMTs in California varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and job setting. EMTs can potentially earn higher salaries by working in cities with higher living costs and pursuing career advancement opportunities.

Additionally, there are additional income opportunities available for EMTs in California. By maximizing their earnings through experience, additional certifications, and seeking higher-paying job opportunities, EMTs can increase their earning potential in the field.

Graham Thurgood
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