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Emergency Medical Personnel

Emergency medical personnel provide pre-hospital emergency medical care to the sick and injured.

Also Known As

Ambulance Attendant, Emergency Medical Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations (3234) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations (D234) 
  • 2011 NOC: Paramedical occupations (3234) 
  • 2016 NOC: Paramedical occupations (3234) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations
2006 NOC : 3234

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to assess trauma victims, patients with respiratory diseases and stress, overdose and poisoning victims, industrial accident victims and other ill and injured individuals to determine emergency medical treatment

METHODICAL

Interest in assisting patients by administering pre-hospital emergency care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), oxygen, bandaging and splinting, and in assisting hospital personnel with medical treatments if necessary; may assist with triage of emergency patients

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating equipment in order to establish and maintain intravenous treatment (IV), apply adjunctive equipment for ventilation and circulatory complications, administer medications and provide other advanced emergency treatment to patients; and in maintaining ambulances and emergency care equipment and supplies

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 17, 2021

In Alberta, there are 3 recognized designations of emergency medical personnel:

  • Emergency medical responder (EMR)
  • Primary care paramedic (PCP)
  • Advanced care paramedic (ACP)

The designation Critical Care Paramedic is not yet recognized in Alberta.

Emergency Medical Responders (EMR):

  • Assess the patient’s injuries or illness to determine medical treatment
  • Comfort and reassure patients
  • Obtain the patient’s medical history, if possible
  • Perform and interpret diagnostic procedures such as taking vital signs and testing glucose levels
  • Perform pre-hospital emergency care
  • Use an external defibrillator or bag-valve-mask resuscitator
  • Use basic airway management techniques
  • Use spinal immobilization devices and traction splints
  • Transport patients to hospital or other medical facilities for further care
  • Document and record the nature of injuries and treatment provided
  • Assist hospital personnel as required
  • Maintain ambulances, equipment, and supplies
  • Supervise and train staff members and students

In addition to the above duties, Primary Care Paramedics (PCP) may:

  • Start and maintain intravenous infusions
  • Monitor heart function
  • Manage airway using supraglottic (non-visual) airways
  • Administer specified medications

Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) may perform the duties of EMRs and PCPs as well as:

  • Maintain airways with intubation and surgical airways
  • Provide manual cardiac defibrillation and external pacing
  • Start, monitor, and maintain blood and blood product transfusions
  • Provide advanced wound management
  • Provide conscious sedation
  • Diagnose and interpret arterial blood gases
  • Operate complicated equipment in advanced life-support environments (such as ambulances and medevac aircraft)
  • Administer medications to treat medical conditions and manage acute pain
  • Start and maintain intraosseous infusions
  • Insert urinary catheters
  • Monitor chest tubes
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 17, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

This work is physically demanding. Emergency medical personnel must lift loads well over 20 kilograms, such as patients on stretchers. They must follow safety precautions to avoid injury when working with equipment and around biological hazards.

Emergency medical personnel work indoors and outdoors. They often deal with stressful circumstances and sometimes extreme weather conditions. They may work full time, part time, or as volunteers. Full-time or part-time employees may work shifts including evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may work 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, or 24-hour shifts. In remote areas, they may work on rotation for up to 2 weeks in and 2 weeks out.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 17, 2021

Emergency medical personnel need:

  • A strong desire to help those in need
  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Leadership skills
  • Sound decision-making and critical-thinking skills
  • Fine motor skills to provide advanced pre-hospital emergency care
  • The ability to remain firm, reassuring, and efficient in moments of crisis
  • The ability to work alone and on a team

All emergency medical personnel should enjoy collecting information to assess injuries and illness. They should like having clear rules and an organized approach to their work. They should be comfortable operating medical equipment.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

EMR training programs are designed for people who want to enter the pre-hospital care industry or who already provide emergency services (for example, fire fighters and police officers).

EMR, PCP, and ACP training programs are offered by public colleges, private schools, and other organizations. A current list of approved programs is posted on the Alberta College of Paramedics website. In general, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have obtained a Standard First Aid certificate and CPR certification at the Basic Rescuer Level (C) within the previous year.

In addition, it is preferred that applicants for PCP training are registered EMRs. Also, they must have a:

  • High school diploma
  • Valid Class 4 drivers licence

For ACP training, applicants must have completed an approved PCP program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Alberta Health and Safety Training Institute - Calgary

Alberta Health and Safety Training Institute - Red Deer

Professional Medical Associates - Three Hills

The Western Institute of Emergency Education (Calgary)

The Western Institute of Emergency Education (Sherwood Park)

The Western Institute of Emergency Education (Vermilion)

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2021
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Emergency Medical Personnel

Emergency medical personnel provide pre-hospital emergency medical care to the sick and injured.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and the Paramedics Profession Regulation [pdf], only registered members of the Alberta College of Paramedics may call themselves an Emergency Medical Responder, Primary Care Paramedic, or Advanced Care Paramedic. Registered members provide health services listed in the Regulation.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Emergency Medical Personnel.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 17, 2021

EMRs work for provincial, private, and industrial ambulance services. Some firefighters are cross-trained as EMRs (for more information, see the Firefighter occupational profile).

PCPs work for ambulance services and related industrial and emergency services.

ACPs work for emergency service departments, ambulance services, and in other healthcare-related environments. Industries such as oil and gas may also employ ACPs to provide emergency medical aid on large job sites.

About 40% of the regulated members of the Alberta College of Paramedics work in the public sector (for Alberta Health Services). Close to 60% of practitioners find positions with private companies. These individuals may work as instructors or researchers, advisors on workplace safety and policy, in management as decision makers, or in other roles.

New opportunities may include community care paramedicine, which focuses on proactive and preventative healthcare measures.

All 3 designations of emergency medical personnel are included in the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3234: Ambulance attendants and other paramedical occupations. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 3234: Paramedical occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 207 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 17, 2021

Salaries for emergency medical personnel vary greatly depending on location (for example, rural or urban setting) and type of employer (such as private company, regional health authority, or fire department).

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Paramedical occupations

2016 NOC : 3234
Average Wage
$34.24
Per Hour
Average Salary
$72,360.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3234 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $49.00 $30.32 $27.25
Overall $20.50 $49.00 $34.24 $32.03
Top $21.25 $49.83 $37.50 $35.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

72%
72%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

24%
24%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

13%
13%

Vacancy Rate

6%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 17, 2021

Alberta College of Paramedics website: abparamedics.com

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: hsaa.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 17, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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