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Career and Education Opportunities for Paramedics in Charleston, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for paramedics in the Charleston, West Virginia area. There are currently 470 working paramedics in West Virginia; this should grow 19% to about 560 working paramedics in the state 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.

The income of a paramedic is about $7 hourly or $15,640 per year on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 per hour or $22,410 annually on average. Earnings for paramedics are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Public Service in West Virginia and not quite as good as general Public Service category earnings nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a paramedic. Paramedics usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has a one to two year program in Emergency Medical Technology/Technician.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.