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Emergency Medical Personnel

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

  • Avg. Salary $72,360.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.24
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 5,300
  • In Demand High
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Emergency Medical Personnel is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations

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


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


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

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 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 More

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
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

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

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Calgary Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Edmonton Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Fort McMurray Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Grande Prairie Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Lethbridge Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Medicine Hat Training & Community Services Centre

St John Ambulance Alberta Council - Red Deer Training & Community Services Centre

The Western Institute of Emergency Education (Sherwood Park)

The Western Institute of Emergency Education (Vermilion)

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2021

Emergency Medical Personnel

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


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.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of an approved:

  • Program of studies
  • Examination

For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the Alberta College of Paramedics website.

Working in Alberta

Emergency medical personnel who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see “What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada?” and the Alberta College of Paramedics website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated emergency medical personnel, see Emergency Medical Personnel Registration Process.

Contact Details

Alberta College of Paramedics
Ellwood Office Park South
201-1003 Ellwood Road SW
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6X 0B3

Call: 780-449-3114
Call toll-free: 1-877-351-2267
Fax: 780-417-6911

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.

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.

Paramedical occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
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.

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.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

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

Alberta College of Paramedics website:

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website:

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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