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Career and Education Opportunities for Paramedics in Vancouver, Washington

Paramedic career and educational opportunities abound in Vancouver, Washington. Currently, 290 people work as paramedics in Washington. This is expected to grow by 32% to about 390 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for paramedics are expected to grow by about 10.3%. In general, paramedics drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons.

Paramedics earn approximately $13 per hour or $27,700 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,410 per year. Earnings for paramedics are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Public Service in Washington and not quite as good as general Public Service category earnings nationally.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including three within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree to start your career as a paramedic. Paramedics usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a paramedic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Paramedic

Paramedic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, paramedics drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. They also assist in lifting patients.

Paramedics drive ambulances or assist ambulance drivers in transporting sick or convalescent persons. They also remove and replace soiled linens and apparatus to maintain sanitary conditions. Equally important, paramedics have to place patients on stretchers and load stretchers into ambulances, usually with assistance from other attendants. They are often called upon to earn and maintain appropriate certifications. They are expected to remove supplies and disposable items on ambulances. Finally, paramedics accompany and assist emergency medical technicians on calls.

Every day, paramedics are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for paramedics to administer first aid, such as bandaging and administering oxygen. They are often called upon to report facts concerning accidents or emergencies to hospital personnel or law enforcement officials. They also restrain or shackle violent patients. Somewhat less frequently, paramedics are also expected to restrain or shackle violent patients.

And finally, they sometimes have to drive ambulances or assist ambulance drivers in transporting sick or convalescent persons.

Like many other jobs, paramedics must be reliable and have a strong concern for others.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Paramedic Training

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has an associate's degree program in Emergency Medical Technology/Technician.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Emergency Medical Technology/Technician which graduated zero and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Emergency Medical Technology/Technician which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.