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How Much Do Vets Make?


How much do vets make and what’s the process for how to become a vet? Both of these factors are things to consider before choosing a career as a veterinarian.

Explore this Career Guide:

Choosing a career can be really hard to do. There are so many factors to consider, like how much do vets make, how to become a veterinarian, how much does vet school cost, or how long does it take to become a veterinarian?

The best way to decide is to learn as much as you can about the veterinarian career and possibly job shadow if you can get a realistic feel of what the profession would be like.

Many people become interested in possibly becoming a veterinarian because they have a deep love for animals. Working as a vet is a great way to express that love as you’ll get to care for animals day in and day out.

How Much Do Vets Make?

Overall, veterinarians do very well financially. They have one of the highest paying jobs in the nation. This is partially due to the fact that veterinarians have a very specialized expertise. Vets also have to undergo lots of schooling, training, and clinical work in order to become vets. Both of these things add to the value of their expertise and thus the value of their work.

How Much Do Veterinarians Make a Year?


  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the lower 10% Make? $58,080 per year
  • How Much is a Veterinarians’ Median Salary? $95,460 per year
  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the highest 10% Make? $160,780 per year
How Much Do Veterinarians Make a Month?


  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the lower 10% Make? $4,840‬ per month
  • How Much is a Veterinarians’ Median Salary? $7,955 per month
  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the highest 10% Make? $13,398 per month
How Much Do Veterinarians Make a Week?


  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the lower 10% Make? $963.6‬0 per week
  • How Much is a Veterinarians’ Median Salary? $1,958 per week
  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the highest 10% Make? $3,038.40 per week
How Much Do Veterinarians Make an Hour?


  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the lower 10% Make? $24.09 per hour
  • How Much is a Veterinarians’ Median Salary? $48.95 per hour
  • How Much Does a Veterinarians in the highest 10% Make? $75.96 per hour
Veterinarians Pay by Location


  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in Texas? $125,280 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in California? $116,440 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in Florida? $97,490 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in NYC (New York City)? $120,580 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in Ohio? $110,110 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make in New Jersey? $125,110 a year
Veterinarians Pay by Experience


  • How Much Do Entry Level Veterinarians Make? $73,964 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make with 1–4 Years of Experience? $78,796 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make with 5–9 Years of Experience? $86,612 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make with 10–19 Years of Experience? $90,212 a year
  • How Much Do Veterinarians Make with 20 or More Years of Experience? $95,041 a year

How Much Do Companion Animal Veterinarians Make?

How much do companion animal veterinarians make? $110,000 a year

These are the types of veterinarians that work with pets, like dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, or rabbits. A companion animal vet might work in a vet clinic or a vet hospital. These vets help treat and take care of our household pets and help pet owners know how to best take care of their beloved pet’s physical wellbeing.

How Much Do Livestock Vets Make?

How much do food animal veterinarians make? $100,000 a year

A food animal veterinarian takes care of livestock and other farm animals that are being raised as a food source. Because the animals they work with are to become a food source one day, food animal veterinarians have the very important job of making sure they are healthy, sickness free, and safe for the public health. This means they might also work as food safety and inspection veterinarians to make sure livestock are being treated according to health codes and prevent and control animal diseases.

How Much Do Research Veterinarians Make?

How much do research veterinarians make? $122,268 a year

Some veterinarians work conducting research about animals, diseases, treatments, and cures. They might also work on research related to public health and safety and disease control amongst animals and people.

How Much Do Vet Techs Make?

How much do vet techs make? $28,900 a year

Vet techs have very versatile jobs. In many ways, they are similar to the medical technicians that work in human hospitals and clinics, except they specialize in working with animals. Vet techs assist veterinarians in all their work. They help conduct tests, administer treatment, and assist vets during surgery, dental care, and even sometimes grooming. Vet techs are also qualified to operate machinery and medical tools to perform necessary tests and treatments.

How Much Do Vet Assistants Make?

How much do vet assistants make? $26,100 a year

A veterinary assistant performs many of the same functions that a veterinary technician can do, but vet techs are usually qualified to do even more and operate more veterinary equipment. Vet assistants will often help give the animals staying at the clinic the care they need. Vet assistants monitor animal patients, clean and change bandages, and help handle animals during checkups and procedures.

How Much Do Zoo Vets Make?

How much do zoo vets make? $85,278 a year

Veterinarians can also work at zoos! These types of veterinarians need to be knowledgeable about all the kinds of animal species you find in a zoo. This means they need specialized knowledge and skills in a wide variety of wild and undomesticated animals. Zoo vets might provide dental care, surgeries, vaccinations, regular physical exams, disease prevention, and treatment, and help determine the animals’ diets and feeding schedules.

How to Become a Veterinarian

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

In order to get into veterinary school and become a veterinarian, you’ll need to first get a bachelor’s degree. Some vet schools might not require a bachelor’s degree, but many vet schools accept applications from prospective students that already have a bachelor’s degree.

Your chances of getting accepted increase if you get a bachelor’s degree in a subject related to veterinary medicine. This includes courses in science, biology, chemistry, math, humanities, social science, and animal science.

To increase your chances of being accepted into a great vet school, it also helps if you have some experience working and volunteering in the veterinary field. You can find this type of work by helping vets at veterinary clinics, by getting experience with farm animals, or by volunteering at an animal shelter.

Step 2: Get a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree

Once you have the qualifications that will get you into a veterinary college, you can start working on getting your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree. The veterinary program you attend will need to be from a college that is accredited for teaching veterinary medicine.

At vet school, you’ll learn all about animal anatomy, animal physiology, diseases, diagnosis, treatments, and other veterinary practices. Most veterinary programs will have their students spend the first 3 years taking classes and the fourth year doing hands-on work in clinical rotations.

Step 3: Become Licensed to Practice with the State

When you’re ready to start practicing veterinary medicine, new vets must first become licensed with the state they work in.

Getting licensed as a veterinarian in the United States consists of completing an accredited veterinary program and then passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Some states will also require vets to pass another state licensing exam.

The veterinary licensing exams will test your knowledge as a veterinarian and test your knowledge of laws and regulations that all vets must know.

The Best Veterinarian Schools

Finding the best vet school is important. You need to receive the proper education in order to be a successful veterinarian and you need an accredited veterinarian program in order to get licensed to practice in the first place.

Veterinarian schools are highly competitive. When applying for vet schools be sure to look into the requirements they each have so you can do your best now to meet them.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinarian?

To become an entry-level veterinarian on average takes about 8 years including the time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree and complete a typical vet program.

The road to becoming a vet can take more or less time though, depending on how long it takes to complete each program, and if you decide to undergo an accelerated program. By taking an accelerated program some vets can take as little as 6 years to complete their veterinary schooling, while the longest career paths to becoming a vet can take up to 12 years.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Veterinarian?

How much you spend on becoming a veterinarian is going to all depend on which schools you decide to attend and how long you take completing each program. Some students might also receive scholarships and grants that can help pay their tuition for their bachelor’s degree and/or veterinary school.

On average though, the total cost of becoming a vet is about $135,000 with $44,000 being the low end of the spectrum and $320,000 being the higher end of the spectrum.

To become a veterinarian you will need to pay for tuition for both a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 4-year veterinary program. Shop around at the schools you like to compare tuition prices before you decide where to spend your money.

What Do Veterinarians Do?

Veterinarians work primarily in animal health, but they sometimes work to protect public health as well where animals are concerned. They help keep animals healthy and treat animals who aren’t to help them get better. Veterinarians are the doctors, surgeons, nurses, and medical practitioners of the animal world.

They work in many settings like clinics, hospitals, schools, labs, zoos, reserves, animal sanctuaries, and farms. This means that some vets have to travel outside their place of work to administer their veterinary expertise to animals on-site.

A career as a veterinarian can be equally rewarding and trying. Vets care for animals, help save their lives, and keep them happy and healthy. But vets also care for animals with more serious cases. Some animals have to be euthanized or otherwise don’t survive, and this can be emotionally stressful for the veterinarians involved.

When considering a career as a veterinarian, remember that you will be working with animals, yes, but you will also be working with all the highs and lows that a doctor or nurse in any field might have to deal with.

  • perform regular checkups
  • diagnose health problems
  • make treatment plans
  • perform surgeries
  • perform teeth cleanings
  • administer vaccines
  • take x-rays
  • prescribe needed medication
  • euthanize animals where necessary
  • dress and bandage wounds

The daily life of a veterinarian consists of giving our pets checkups, making diagnoses, administering medications and treatments, and performing medical research and lab tests.

Veterinarians do a lot of the same things that human doctors do, but for animals. Vets, therefore, specialize in animal anatomy and physiology. Some vets specialize even further in the types of animals they treat like vets that work with farm animals vs pet animals.

Skills Veterinarians Need


Veterinarians often work alongside their coworkers to provide animals the medical care and treatment they need. In order to work well as a team, vets need effective communication skills. Vets also communicate a lot of important information to pet owners who need to know what’s going on with their animals and how to take care of their pets at home.


Like any medical profession, the career of a veterinarian requires compassion. The medical field can involve many sad days and happy days, so vets need adequate compassion to deal with the sad days when they come. For instance, vets need compassion when they have to tell a pet owner some bad news or when they go to euthanize a family pet that is old or sick.


Vets need physical dexterity to perform certain checkups, treatments, surgeries, and to deal with animals who are scared and not cooperating. Vets will sometimes need to practice holds and quick techniques so they can safely handle squirmy animals without hurting them or frightening them more.

Problem Solving:

Vets come across many unique problems working with animals. Because of this vets need to have keen problem solving, analytical, and decision-making skills. This will help them to tackle any new scenario that comes their way and figure out solutions to problems like how to administer a pill to a frightened dog.

Physical Stamina:

Veterinarians work with their hands. They have to manually lift animals onto the examination table, help hold animals down to administer their shots, and spend much of their day on their feet. This can be a real bonus for anyone that doesn’t wish to spend their entire workday sitting behind a desk, but it does mean vets need a certain amount of physical strength and stamina to get through a typical day.

Pros and Cons of the Veterinarian Profession

Like any other profession in the world, a career as a veterinarian comes with its own pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide whether these costs and benefits are worth it for you.

Overall, the costs of becoming a vet can be high but a career as a veterinarian can be an extremely rewarding profession.

Vets get to work with their community, with people, and with all kinds of animals every day. The work you do each day is always different and often comes with new and interesting challenges. Vets also often have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of professional independence in their practice. Many vets end up starting their own clinics and find a lot of success working for themselves. Not to mention working closely with animals is any animal-lovers dream.

Pros Cons
high salary might have to work irregular hours
promising job growth deal with death sometimes
get to interact with all kinds of animals every day vet schools are highly competitive
get to work with your hands, on your feet, and even in the field the cost of vet school can be expensive
the joy of helping animals and pet owners the work is very complex and technical

But just because you love animals, that doesn’t mean becoming a vet is the best for you. Vets have to do a lot of the dirty work when it comes to animal care. Most pets don’t love going to the vet, meaning vets end up dealing with animals that bite and scratch and growl.

Becoming a vet can also be very competitive and expensive, but the potential for job growth, professional independence, and high salaries might outweigh any doubts in this area for you.

Similar Occupations to Veterinarians

Does a career as a veterinarian intrigue you, but seems to be not quite what you’re looking for in a job? Then you might be interested instead in any of the following related professions. These jobs are similar to the veterinarian profession in some way like their field of expertise, workplace environment, or pay.

Profession Median Salary What They Do
Agricultural and Food Scientists $65,160 research agricultural, food production, and food safety regulations
Animal Care and Service Workers $24,990 provide animal care in a number of establishments that hold animals
Dentists $159,200 clean and treat patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth
Medical Scientists $88,790 research about human health
Microbiologists $75,650 research and study microorganisms
Optometrists $115,250 treat and perform checkups on the eyes
Physicians and Surgeons $208,000 perform treatments and surgeries on human patients
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers $28,590 act as aids for veterinarians
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians $35,320 perform medical tests on animals
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $63,270 study and research wildlife and the ecosystem

Some of these jobs work with humans while others still work with animals. You might find that you’re interested in the medical field but would rather work with humans rather than animals. In that case, you could work in the field of human medicine.

Or maybe you are more interested in animals, but you don’t want to deal with the medical aspects of being a veterinarian. There are plenty of other animal-related jobs in the world that don’t involve medicine that you could also choose from to get your animal-loving fix.


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Veterinarians,” “Occupational Employment and Wages for Veterinarians.”

PayScale. “Average Veterinarian Salary.”

Career Explorer. “Veterinarian salary.”

Career Trend. “Pros & Cons of Being a Veterinarian,” by Catherine Capozzi.

The Balance Careers. “What Does a Veterinarian (Vet) Do?” by Dawn Rosenberg Mckay.

The Balance Careers. “What Is the Earning Capability for Veterinarians?” by Mary Hope Kramer. “How much does a Research Veterinarian make in the United States?” “Vet Tech Salary Information for 2017.” “How much does a Zoo Veterinarian make in the United States?”

How’s My Commute? A Look at the Cost of Commuting

hows my commute

Explore this Guide for Commuters:

What Does Commute Mean?

Not already familiar with the word commute? Then you might be wondering what does commute mean? The commute definition is, “to travel back and forth regularly (as between a suburb and a city).”

You can define commute easily by putting it in a typical sentence like, “I commute to work every day on the train.” Commute is a verb that means to travel back and forth regularly. Most often, the word commute refers to the way someone regularly travels to their job every day.

What are the Costs of Commuting?

Some people are lucky enough to live close to their place of work while others are not so lucky. If you do have a long commute to and from work each day of the week then you might be paying for it in more ways than you realize.

Car Ownership

Car Ownership

It costs about $2,600 a year to own a car. When you own a vehicle you have to pay monthly car insurance, monthly car payments, gas to drive with, and you have to pay for regular car maintenance and upkeep. If something breaks down you have to pay for that too.

Many people are going to own a car whether you have a long commute to work or not. But the cost of car ownership and maintenance will increase the more you have to drive it just to get to and from your place of work. The overall value of your car also depreciates the more you drive it.

Gas Prices

Gas Prices

The price of gas is always fluctuating. In some years, the price of gas goes up and in others, the price of gas goes down.

How much you spend on gas is also going to depend on your car and what mileage it can get. But in general, most cars get the worst mileage during long commutes because they’re often stopped by heavy traffic flows. This causes your car to use up more gas than it would if your road to work wasn’t full of congested traffic.

Your Time

Average Commute Time: 30+ minutes

In fact, the average employee spends at least 30 minutes driving to and from work each day of the week. That’s almost a full workday spent just getting to and from your job.

And that’s not considering that some unlucky workers have to drive over 100 miles each way to get to their jobs and that’s usually during high traffic hours. Many more workers usually drive over an hour to work. Just think of all the extra time you’d have on your hands if you didn’t have to spend hours and hours commuting to work.

One way to check the time cost on your commute is to ask Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, or Cortana, “how’s my commute to work?” or “how’s my commute home?” before heading out the door. This will check the weather, traffic, and any accidents that might interrupt your commute.

The Environment

One of the impacts of commuting is something that affects us all—the environment.

Long commutes can increase pollution, wear out public roads faster, create heavy traffic congestion, and increase the risks of vehicular accidents on your community’s roads. In more ways than one, we all benefit as a community from shorter commutes and more employees working from home.

Your Health

Finding ways to save on your commute to work can actually be good for your physical and mental health as well.

Gallup did a survey of over 170,000 employees and they found that workers who commute more than 90 minutes to work have an average health index score of 63.9 while workers who only commute 10 minutes have a health index score of 69.2.

The bottom line is that long commutes aren’t good for you. They aren’t good for your car, they aren’t good for your personal health, they aren’t good for the environment and communities we live in, they aren’t good for your wallet, and they aren’t good for your productivity at the job you’re commuting to.

How to Save on Commutes

Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to save on long commutes. There are alternatives that can help with some of the costs of commuting and there are ways to save on some of those costs.


Depending on how far you live from work, you could also potentially walk! This option might only be feasible if you live about a mile, give or take, from where you work. But walking can help you get some exercise in each day and can make your trips to and from work more pleasant.

The Best Commuter Backpacks:

Commuter backpacks for women or men are bags that have a light and useful design. This makes them easy to wear while jogging, biking, walking, or riding a scooter or motorcycle on your commute to work.

The best bags for commuting to work also have a useful pocket design for the things you need for work and possibly the things you need to clean up or get changed at work after an exercise-filled commute.


Osprey Packs Metron Backpack: $159.95


Thule Paramount Backpack: $139.95


The North Face Surge Pack: $129.00


Matein Travel Laptop Backpack: $29.99


TIMBUK2 Rogue Laptop Backpack: $39.99


Under Armour Voyager Backpack: $55.00


Jogging is another alternative way to get yourself to work each day. Jogging will get you to work faster than walking and will get you even more great exercise each day. With a full-time job, it can be hard to find time for working out. Why not use your trips to work and/or home from work to get in your daily exercise?


Commuter bikes come with a lot of extra benefits besides saving on gas. Using a commuter bicycle to commute to work can easily be your daily exercise too! A great commuter bike can help you get fit and get to work.

Biking also saves you tons of gas money, keeps the environment cleaner, and keeps your car from getting as much wear and tear. You’ll also be able to avoid dealing with traffic. On a bike, you’ll be able to pass every traffic jam.

The Best Commuter Bikes:

Selecting a bike is a personal preference. There are plenty of different bikes to choose from that provide different uses too. There are even electric commuter bikes that can help you expel less energy going longer distances to work.

  • Road bikes have a drop-handlebar and are designed for smooth pavement, are lightweight, and work best for on-road racing and biking.
  • Cyclocross bikes are a type of road bike made for both smooth pavement and gravel trails.
  • Touring bikes are a type of road bike designed for comfort during longer rides on paved roads.
  • Adventure road bikes is another hybrid of road bike that allows riders to easily bike on any type of road, path, or trail.
  • Triathlon bikes are designed for speed. They are used in triathlon races and are designed to be extremely aerodynamic.
  • Fitness bikes are road bikes that don’t have the drop-handlebar so riders can ride upright instead of crouched over.
  • Mountain bikes are designed for off-roading.
  • Hybrid bikes are a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike. They are comfortable to ride and can manage paved and unpaved roads.
  • Cruiser bikes are designed for comfortable, casual biking. They are best for shorter commutes or for getting around town comfortably and at a leisurely pace.

Another thing you’ll want to consider when getting a bike is whether you want flat handlebars, upright handlebars or drop handlebars. Drop handlebars are for riders who want speed and efficiency, upright handlebars are for riders who want to ride in a more comfortable position, and flat handlebars meet these bike riding types in the middle.


Scooters are another easy and casual way to get yourself to and from work. Scooters are handy for commuting to work too because they’re often foldable and therefore easier to take on the bus or store neatly near your desk.

The best commuter scooter is an electric commuter scooter because it’s kind to the environment, rechargeable and therefore kinder to your wallet, and has it’s own power to get you where you’re going without you having to do all the work.

The best electric scooter for commuting is going to probably be anywhere between $200 and $500, but there are plenty of inexpensive electric commuter scooters to choose from online as well.

The Best Commuter Scooters:

  • Hiboy MAX Electric Scooter
  • Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter
  • Segway Ninebot MAX Folding Electric Kick Scooter
  • UberScoot 1600w 48v Electric Scooter

The best commuter motorcycle is one that is comfortable to ride on long enough to get you to work. A good commuter motorcycle might also allow attachments and compartments so you can easily carry your work things with you while you ride.

Which commuter motorcycle you choose will also depend on how long your commute to work is. For instance, shorter work commutes are great for smaller, more lightweight motorcycles. But longer work commutes usually do better with larger motorcycles that are easier to sit on for longer stretches of time.

The Best Commuter Motorcycles:

  • Hyundai Grom
  • Piaggio Vespa
  • Kawasaki Versys
  • Suzuki SV650
  • Yamaha MT-07
Commuter Cars

Is your car a gas guzzler? If so, then shopping for the best commuter car might be financially wise. Do some research about which cars make the best commuter cars and find a make and model that will work best for you. You want something that gets great gas mileage, handles well on the highway and is comfortable and easy to drive in the busy city.

In your car research and shopping don’t forget to consider cars that are better for the environment and that don’t cost as much to maintain. Some cars handle depreciation and wear and tear better than others.

The Best Commuter Cars:

  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Chevy Sonic
  • Kia Rio
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Honda Fit

Save on gas by putting together a carpool with your fellow coworkers. Start by asking around at work for who would also be interested in getting in on the carpool.

Then, make a scheduled plan for the carpool rotation, the routes for who gets picked up first and last, whose driving on what days, and make a group chat somewhere with everyone’s contact information.

With some carpools, you might also need to figure out the costs. There might be some passengers that don’t drive or some drivers’ cars might get worse gas mileage than others. Some carpools work just fine with different drivers taking turns being the ones to drive everyone while other carpools work better if you calculate the costs of gas and Venmo each other the money.

Public Transportation

Take advantage of public transport whenever you can! The fees for bus or train fare are usually far less than what you would be paying to drive your own car. Some public transit systems even offer passes or cards that will help you save on fare as a frequent passenger.

Work from Home

Working from home is probably the best way to save on commuting because you stop commuting all together! You can also work from home some days of the week just to ease up on having to travel quite as much. Whether you can work from home will mostly depend on things like your ability to be productive at home, if you can set up an office space at home, and if your work can successfully be done from a remote location instead of at work.


You could also relocate to be closer to your place of work. This is easier said than done for some households, but if you have a really long commute to work, relocating to be closer might be worth at least thinking about. Depending on the kind of place you work in, you could also potentially ask for a transfer to a store, branch, or office building that is closer to where you already live.

Commuter Benefits

Commuter benefits are a savings program that some employees offer their workers. It’s a program that helps employees save on their commute to work. It might help pay for gas, public transit, rideshares, and even parking.

Employers also benefit from offering their workers commuter benefits. By offering commuter benefits, company’s can save on taxes. Ask your place of work about potentially joining a commuter benefits program to help you both start saving!

Calculate the ROI of Commuting

Figure out your Return On Investment (ROI) for commuting. Commuting to work is an investment. You put time and money into commuting to work so that you can have a stable job, income, and essential employee benefits like health insurance.

Sit down and crunch the numbers to make sure your salary and job benefits are worth all the costs of commuting. Here’s how you calculate the return on investment of commuting:

(Salary – Cost of Commuting) / Cost of Commuting = ROI of Commuting

This formula will show you how much your job is paying you back for the cost of commuting in percentage form.

Things to Do During Your Commute

For some of us, a commute to work is just inevitable. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make your commute more worthwhile and stay busy on the long drive.

  • listen to music
  • listen to podcasts
  • listen to audiobooks
  • make some phone calls to catch up with family and friends
  • get caught up on the news
  • use the commute home to run some errands
  • do the daily commuter crossword

kove commuter

Kove Commuter 2: $209.99

Make your commute more fun by getting a Kove Commuter Speaker. This wireless, Bluetooth speaker is a unique stereo system that can split in half. The cylindrical shape is also optimized for 360-degree surround sound. You can even use it for a better speakerphone!

If your car doesn’t have great speakers or Bluetooth capabilities don’t worry, you can just get a Kove Commuter portable speaker system.

otterbox commuter phone case

Otterbox Commuter Series: $30.95 to $50.95

It might also be worthwhile to get a great commuter phone case. Otterbox has an entire commuter series of phone cases for Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and LG devices. A commuter phone case has a sleek design so they aren’t too clunky to handle on the go. But commuter phone cases are also very protective so your phone stays safe and unharmed while you travel.


It Still Runs. “How Far Do Americans Drive to Work on Average?” by David Harris.

Credit Donkey. “Gas Price History,” by Kim P.

Slide Share. “Bluebook of Maruti Suzuki.”

Edmunds. “Depreciation Infographic: How Fast Does My New Car Lose Value?” by Edmunds.

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Fact #915: March 7, 2016 Average Historical Annual Gasoline Pump Price, 1929-2015.”

The Balance. “How Much Does Commuting Cost the Average American? Plus, strategies to save.” by Rachel Morgan Cautero

Smart Asset. “3 Costs of Your Commute to Work.” by Dan Rafter.

Well Kept Wallet. “The Real Cost of Commuting,” by Amy Beardsley.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. “Commute.”

Century Cycles. “Bicycle Types: How to Pick the Best Bike for You.”

How to Become a Medical Assistant


When exploring new careers it can be helpful to understand the steps necessary to enter into a profession.

Explore this Career Guide:

About Medical Assistants

The primary function of medical assistants is to assist in the daily functions of healthcare facilities. The duties of a medical assistant are both administrative and clinical. Though some medical assistants can also specialize in certain areas of medicine as well like optometry or podiatry.

Different Kinds of Medical Assistants

Just like with any medical career, there are a lot of opportunities for specialization as a medical assistant. There are so many parts of the human body that need specialized attention from professionals with the right set of skills. These medical specialists also require the specialized help of medical assistants who know what they’re doing.

Administrative Medical Assistants

Medical assistants manage a lot of the office work around a medical facility. They are in charge of files, records, appointments, scheduling, and any other clerical type work that might need to be done.

  • record patient history
  • record patient personal info
  • schedule appointments
  • manage medical records
  • manage electronic health records (EHRs)
  • use EHR software
  • handle insurance forms
  • answer telephones
  • medical coding
Clinical Medical Assistants

Depending on where they work and how much training they have, medical assistants might also practice some basic medicine. Some medical assistants work in labs doing tests or doing minor procedures like changing bandages or drawing blood.

  • measure vitals, like blood pressure
  • help physicians perform routine exams
  • administer shots or medication
  • perform lab tests
  • clean medical equipment
  • x-rays
  • assist in surgeries
  • change bandages
  • draw blood
  • remove stitches
Other Medical Assistants

There are many different expertise within the medical field and medical assistants can specialize in many of them. Medical assistants can work in different fields of medicine, for different kinds of doctors, and for different types of healthcare facilities.

If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant and have an area of study you prefer, there’s a chance you could work for a doctor or medical facility that specializes in that area. Here are just a few examples of medical fields you could choose from:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Nephrologist
  • Optometrist
  • Dermatologist
  • Neurologist
  • Dentist
  • Pediatrician
  • Cardiologist
  • Obstetrician/Gynecologist

How to Become a Medical Assistant

To become a medical assistant you’ll need to learn about topics like anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. Start learning these topics while in high school by signing up for classes that can help you later in your medical assistant training.

Step 1: High School Diploma

The very first thing you’ll need to do in order to become a medical assistant is to finish high school. A career as a medical assistant is one of the few careers left that doesn’t require a college degree as a must-have. But that doesn’t mean you can forego your general education as well.

While many employers looking to hire medical assistants won’t care if you’ve been to college, they will care if you have a high school diploma or GED.

Step 2: Medical Assistant School

After you’ve received your high school diploma you can go straight to getting a job as a medical assistant. But if you really want to up your chances of getting a job, or to specialize in a certain area, then you can complete a medical assistant program.

Medical Assistant programs are only 1 to 2 years to complete. They’re short and focus on everything you will need to know how to do as a medical assistant.
Having a medical assistant program under your belt will make you exceptionally hirable. That, and the time and cost of medical assistant school are still a lot less than a 4-year college degree.

Step 3: Medical Assistant Certifications

As a medical assistant, some states or employers will require you to also receive a special medical assistant license or certification.

Medical assistants can get their certification with the National Commission for Certifying Agency. This agency offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).

How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

The career of a medical assistant is one job that doesn’t require a degree. No degree jobs are great for students who want to start their career path in medicine as soon as possible, or who don’t want to spend years of their lives and thousands of dollars on college.

You can potentially get a job as a medical assistant right after high school! This means it potentially takes no time at all to become a medical assistant.

You will of course need to be trained on-the-job as a medical assistant for whatever healthcare facility hired you, but a 4-year degree is not necessary.

How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant

Become a certified medical assistant by visiting the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) website to sign up to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam. Passing this exam is how you can become a certified medical assistant.

The CMA exam includes 200 questions that are given in 4 different 40 minutes time frames.

In order to qualify to take the CMA exam you will have to meet one of the following exam requirements: Be a student or graduate of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting program or be recertifying as a medical assistant.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants can potentially get jobs without going to medical assistant schools. If you are able to get hired as a medical assistant without having to go to medical assistant school then becoming a medical assistant will cost you nothing!

More than likely you’ll still want to complete an accredited medical assistant program and get certified. The tuition for a medical assistant program ranges from $1,200 to $4,200. Basically, you’ll probably spend about the tuition costs of one or two semesters.

How to Become a Registered Medical Assistant

To become a registered medical assistant (RMA), you’ll want to take the RMA exam. Before you can take the RMA exam you’ll have to graduate from an accredited medical assistant program first.

You want your medical assistant program to be accredited with either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. The great thing about the RMA certification though, is that it’s flexible and available for some candidates who didn’t complete an MA program.

You can become a registered medical assistant if you’ve graduated from a US military medical program or if you have working experience already as a medical assistant. This flexibility is why many medical assists like to get their RMA.

How to Become a Medical Assistant Online

Find an accredited medical assistant program near you that also offers online courses. Many of them do! The Ultimate Medical Academy is one of these schools. You can take all your classes and exams online so you can get trained as a medical assistant from home.

The great benefit of online medical assistant classes is that you can take the course no matter where you are. This way you can even take a medical assistant course from a college or university that is out of state without having to move away for just a year or two.

How to Become a Medical Examiner Assistant

A medical examiner is a public officer who performs autopsies, postmortems, and investigates the cause of someone’s death. A medical examiner assistant is someone who assists a medical examiner to perform autopsies and sometimes work with organs and tissues.

To become a medical examiner assistant you’ll first need to learn the requirements of your state or potential employer. Some places will require you to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, like biology, chemistry, or forensic science.

Medical examiner assistants also need to get licensed by the state board and become certified with the American Board of Pathology.

Medical Assist Program

A medical assist program or medical assist school is any program or school course that teaches students all they need to know to work as medical assistants. Medical assist programs and schools must also be accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES so that graduates can become certified, registered, and licensed medical assistants.

How Much Does A Medical Assistant Make?

Medical assistants make a median salary of $34,800 a year. According to recent studies, a medical assistant’s salary is about average for most Americans, leaning on above average. Medical assistants can expect to make anything between $25,820 and $48,720 a year in annual salary.


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Medical Assistants.”

American Association of Medical Assistants. “How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant.”

Medical Assistant Career Guide. “How to Become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).” “Medical Administrative Assistant: Learn How We Can Help You Succeed.”

Career Trend. “How to Become a Medical Examiner Assistant,” by Megan Torrance.

Smart Asset. “The Average Salary by Age in the U.S.,” by Amelia Josephson.

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?


Medical assistants work in a clinical or administrative level to assist healthcare professionals to do their jobs.

Explore this Guide:

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

Medical assistants help assist physicians, surgeons, doctors, and nurses in many ways. They work in all kinds of healthcare facilities and perform administrative and clinical tasks.

However, medical assistants are not the same as physician assistants. Physician assistants examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the supervision of a practicing physician while the work of medical assistants is usually less hands-on in the medical side of things.

Medical assistants who work in administration might fill out insurance forms and take care of other important medical and patient documents and files. They also answer telephones and help patients schedule their appointments.

Medical assistants who do clinical work perform lab tests, handle medical supplies, sterilize equipment, or help patients with minor treatments.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

1. Graduate High School

+4 years

As with many professions, employers are going to want their new hires to have a high school degree or the equivalent. Some healthcare facilities will even hire you with just a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.

2. Complete a Medical Assistant Program

+1 to 2 years

A medical assistant program only takes about 1 year to complete. You can also find medical assistant programs at many colleges and universities near you. Some places will even offer a 2-year medical assistant program so you can also earn an associate degree.

While completing a medical assistant program you’ll practice in laboratories and learn about anatomy and medical terms.

3. Training and Certifications

Medical assistants receive their training either on-the-job or in their postsecondary education. Whether you need to be certified as a medical assistant or not depends on your state.

If your state or employer requires medical assistants to receive certification then you can get your certification with the National Commission for Certifying Agency. They offer the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).

How long does it take to become a Medical Assistant?

0 to 2 years

Since medical assistants technically don’t need a college degree and only a GED, you can possibly become a medical assistant right away with just on-the-job training! But your odds of getting a job and getting a higher pay increase with the more postsecondary education and training you already have.

Skills Medical Assistants Need

Analytical Skills

Medical assistants deal with a lot of paperwork and files. They have to be able to read and analyze the information in their records, files, and charts to do their job.

Detail Oriented

Because they are working with medical information and patient health, medical assistants must be very accurate. They also often take records and need to ensure these records are completely accurate and detailed.


Medical assistants work alongside many other coworkers and with patients. They need to be able to work together and provide friendly patient care.

Technical Skills

One of the primary skills all medical assistants needs is technical skills. Medical assistants work with clinical instruments, some basic medical equipment, computers, and paper and digital files.

Different Kinds of Medical Assistants


How Much Do Administrative Medical Assistants Make? $30,000

Administrative medical assistants manage office administration around the healthcare facility. They take care of files, patient intake, scheduling appointments, answering questions, and medical records.

How Much Do Clinical Medical Assistants Make? $31,508

Clinical medical assistants perform basic clinical duties. They do basic lab tests and basic patient care like x-rays, drawing blood, and changing bandages.

How Much Do Ophthalmic Medical Assistants Make? $47,000

Ophthalmic medical assistants act as aids for an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are physicians of the eye and all things related to the eyes. An ophthalmic medical assistant helps provide basic eye care, treatments, and assist during eye surgeries.

How Much Do Optometric Medical Assistants Make? $35,530

Optometric medical assistants act as aids for optometrists. Optometrists are health care professionals who provide basic eye treatment and care, especially for patients who need glasses or contact lenses. An optometric medical assistant helps with office administration at an eye center and helps patients learn how to use contact lenses.

How Much Do Podiatric Medical Assistants Make? $33,000

Podiatric medical assistants act as aids for podiatrists. Podiatrists are foot doctors. Podiatric medical assistants help foot doctors with casts, x-rays, and foot surgeries.

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Year?


  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $25,820 per year
  • How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $34,800 per year
  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $48,720 per year

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Month?


  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $2,151 per month
  • How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $2,900 per month
  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $4,060‬ per month

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Week?


  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $537 per week
  • How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $725 per week
  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $1,015 per week

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make an Hour?


  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $11.68 per hour
  • How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $15.08 per hour
  • How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $19.59 per hour

Medical Assistants Pay by Location


  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Texas? $32,550
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in California? $40,120
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Florida? $33,920
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in NYC (New York City)? $38,590
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Ohio? $33,060
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in New Jersey? $37,330

Medical Assistants Pay by Experience


  • How Much Do Entry Level Medical Assistants Make? $13.18
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 1–4 Years of Experience? $14.20
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 5–9 Years of Experience? $15.70
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 10–19 Years of Experience? $16.57
  • How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 20 or More Years of Experience? $17


PayScale. “Average Medical Assistant Hourly Pay.”

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Medical Assistants.”

The Job Network. “How Much Money Do Administrative Assistants Make?” by Joanna Hughes.

Glassdoor. “Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Salaries.” “Ophthalmic Assistant Salary Trends.”

Work Chron. “Do You Need to Go to School to Be an Optometric Assistant?” by Aurelio Locsin. “Podiatric Medical Assistant.”

How to Become an EMT

How to Become an EMT

EMTs are trained to tackle all kinds of high-pressure scenarios and can even save lives.

If you’re wondering how to become an EMT than you’ve come to the right place. The EMT profession is an incredible career. As an EMT no two days will look alike. Some days will be exciting and rewarding while others will be boring or even difficult.

Either way, the work of EMTs is incredibly important. You can be a part of that important work by following these steps for how to become an EMT.

Explore this Career Guide:

What Does An EMT Do?

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are first responders like police officers and firefighters are. In fact, many firefighters are also EMTs. They respond to emergency calls. The services they provide at an emergency site are primarily medical.

EMTs take care of the sick and injured. They perform lifesaving treatment and help get patients to the hospital. EMTs also help during rescue missions.

  • respond to 911 calls
  • work alongside police and firefighters
  • perform CPR
  • bandage wounds
  • care for the sick and injured
  • drive the ambulance
  • care for patients on route to the hospital
  • clean and maintain the ambulance

There are also different kinds of emergency medical technicians. Each level of EMT operates at a different level of knowledge and skill. Different EMT levels also include different amounts of training, experience, and procedures you’re allowed and trained to perform.

The Different Kinds of EMTs:

  1. EMR
  2. EMT-Basic
  3. EMT-Intermediate or Advanced EMT
  4. Paramedics

EMT Skills

EMTs require many skills. They have to be trained as emergency doctors and prepared to confront an innumerable amount of new, emergency, high-intensity situations.

EMTs often work under a lot of pressure since they primarily work in the emergency and trauma section of the medical field. Because of the nature of an EMTs job they need to be able to keep their calm, handle stressful situations, keep their patients calm, act quickly, and make split-second decisions.

Social Skills

The work of an EMT is a very social job in that they deal with people every day. EMTs also work in very stressful environments for themselves and the people they are helping. They need to be able to effectively talk to and work with others, putting their patients at ease.

Good Listeners

EMTs need to be good listeners in order to successfully work as a team and help their patients. They come into each new situation and need to be able to listen and observe to gather as much information as possible.


EMTs and paramedics need to pay close attention to the details of emergency scenes. The things they notice can sometimes be paramount in treating the patient or in resolving whatever cases might come up afterward.

The patients they work with can also sometimes have difficulty talking to the paramedics depending on their situation. So EMTs need strong deduction skills to make their own conclusions about what treatment is needed.

Physical Strength and Stamina

The work of EMTs is very physical. They put in long and odd hours and they use their physical strength to help and sometimes rescue their patients from dangerous situations.

Problem Solving Skills

A large part of an EMTs job is coming across new problems every day and using analytical skills and their training to find solutions to these problems. For this reason, EMTs also have to stay updated on the best EMT practices.

How to Become an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) are the most basic level of EMT. They do the most basic work. EMRs are trained specifically to do their jobs with as little equipment as possible. This makes them ideal responders for unique emergencies that don’t allow for lots of equipment use.

EMRs also don’t have to be 18 years old to apply and start working as EMRs. If a career in the emergency medical field is something you know you want, you can start even while you’re still in high school.

EMRs perform the following tasks:
  • perform basic medical care
  • work with minimal equipment
  • Be first at the scene

To become an EMR, you have to become certified. The certification process includes completing an EMR course that is approved by the state and the National Emergency Medical Services.

Your program instructor will then have to verify you completed this approved course work on the National Registry website for emergency workers. EMR workers also need to complete this approved course in the past 2 years to get their certification.

Part of becoming officially certified as an EMR will include some tests. You’ll need to pass the EMR cognitive exam, otherwise known as the knowledge exam. Then you’ll also need to pass the state-approved psychomotor exam or the skills exam. These exams will test the knowledge and skills you need to have to operate as an EMR.

On top of this EMRs need to constantly have an up-to-date credential for being a Healthcare Provider. This can also be referred to as a CPR-BLS. This CPR certification needs to always be current and is essential for all emergency workers.

Become an EMR by following these steps:
  1. Become CPR certified
  2. Complete an EMR course that is approved by the state and NEMS
  3. Pass the skills and knowledge exams for EMRs

Part of being an emergency medical technician, in general, is that you’ll need to regularly recertify with the state. This makes sure that your skills and knowledge about being an emergency medical technician are all up-to-date.

How Long is the EMR Exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes

How Many Questions are on the EMR Exam: 90 to 110 questions

How Much Does the EMR Exam Cost: $75

How Much Does the EMR Exam Renewal Fee Cost: $15

How to Become an EMT-Basic

EMT-Basics refer to the most basic level of EMT or entry-level EMTs. EMT-Basics perform the same jobs as any other EMT, but they aren’t trained in as many procedures. They often work in teams and help administer basic medical care to their patients.

Because EMT-Basics have the least amount of training they aren’t equipped to perform any type of invasive procedure, like an endotracheal intubation. But they can do noninvasive medical procedures like controlling bleeding, administering oxygen, or CPR.

EMTs perform the following tasks:
  • respond to emergency calls
  • perform basic medical care
  • work alongside Advanced EMTs

EMTs have to undergo a similar certification process as EMRs. Prospective EMTs must also become CPR certified, complete an EMT course, and pass a skills exam and a knowledge exam. But an EMT’s coursework will include more information and more course hours than that of an EMR.

The course to become an EMT takes anywhere between 120 and 150 hours to complete. EMTs are educated in administering CPR, oxygen, glucose for diabetics, and helping patients with asthma attacks or allergic reactions. It is this level of medical aid that EMTs provide as they bring their patients to a medical facility. EMTs are not trained or permitted to do any procedure that would break the skin.

It’s procedures like this that EMTs will learn in their EMT program. EMTs also have to make sure their program is approved by their state and by the National Emergency Medical Services.

Once they’ve learned all they need to know, EMT students can take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMT exam.

EMTs will also need their course instructor to validate their completed coursework on the National Registry website for emergency medical technicians. All of this needs to be done within 2 years of completing their course or they’ll need to retake their course and exams.

Become an EMT by following these steps:
  1. Become CPR certified
  2. Complete an EMT course that is approved by the state and NEMS
  3. Pass the skills and knowledge exams for EMTs

Part of being an emergency medical technician, in general, is that you’ll need to regularly recertify with the state. This makes sure that your skills and knowledge about being an emergency medical technician are all up-to-date.

How Long is the EMT-Basic Exam: 2 hours

How Many Questions are on the EMT-Basic Exam: 70 to 120 questions

How Much Does the EMT-Basic Exam Cost: $80

How Much Does the EMT-Basic Exam Renewal Fee Cost: $20

How to Become an Advanced EMT

Advanced EMTs are the next level in the EMT training scale. Advanced EMTs can also be called EMT-Intermediates. They receive even more training on how to care for patients and how to act in emergency situations. Advanced EMTs have been trained on more medical procedures and can handle things like administering medicines.

EMT-Intermediates are also trained to assess and lead even more emergency scenarios. They can also perform more invasive medical procedures like IV therapy and endotracheal intubations.

Advanced EMTs perform the following tasks:
  • administer IVs
  • administer medicines
  • respond to emergency calls
  • perform advanced medical procedures

Advanced EMTs or AEMTs will need to first undergo the process of becoming an EMT-Basic. Once they are certified and working as EMTs, they can complete a course specifically for AEMTs that is approved by their state and by NEMS.

Once a prospective AEMT has passed their Advanced EMT coursework and training they’ll just need to pass the knowledge and skills test given by the NREMT. During their training, AEMTs will learn all about anatomy, physiology, cardiology, medications, and more advanced emergency medical procedures.

Become an AEMT by following these steps:
  1. Become CPR certified
  2. Become certified as an EMT-Basic
  3. Take an AEMT course
  4. pass the skills and knowledge exams for AEMTs

Part of being an emergency medical technician, in general, is that you’ll need to regularly recertify with the state. This makes sure that your skills and knowledge about being an emergency medical technician are all up-to-date.

How Long is the AEMT Exam: 2 hours and 15 minutes

How Many Questions are on the AEMT Exam: 135 questions

How Much Does the AEMT Exam Cost: $115

How Much Does the AEMT Exam Renewal Fee Cost: $20

How to Become a Paramedic

Paramedics are the most advanced level of EMT. Paramedics have the most training and are able to administer more medical procedures. For example, paramedics are trained on how to use important medical monitors like the electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Since paramedics have the most medical training they can do all kinds of medical procedures like, blood transfusions, applying sutures, and reading x-rays.

Paramedics perform the following tasks:
  • use advanced medical equipment
  • use advanced medical procedures
  • undergo the most medical emergency training

Since paramedics are the most advanced form of EMT they must undergo the most training. Paramedics spend anywhere between 1,200 and 1,800 hours on their coursework. They learn about administering medication, starting intravenous lines, advanced airway management techniques, and how to treat patients with more serious problems like heart attacks and traumas.

To become a paramedic, you’ll need to first become a certified EMT. You can become a basic EMT, or you can become an AEMT as your prerequisite to becoming a paramedic.

The next step is to complete a paramedic course that is approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

After they’ve finished their approved paramedic program, prospective paramedics will need to create a psychomotor competency portfolio. This portfolio is a type of practical exam that will demonstrate whether you have the vital skills every paramedic needs. These skills include things like patient assessment, patient trauma, oral station, dynamic cardiology, static cardiology, and out-of-hospital scenarios.

Become a Paramedic by following these steps:
  1. Become CPR certified
  2. Become certified as an EMT-Basic or AEMT
  3. Take a certified Paramedics course
  4. pass the psychomotor competency portfolio exam

Part of being an emergency medical technician, in general, is that you’ll need to regularly recertify with the state. This makes sure that your skills and knowledge about being an emergency medical technician are all up-to-date.

How Long is the Paramedic Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes

How Many Questions are on the Paramedic Exam: 80 to 150 questions

How Much Does the Paramedic Exam Cost: $125

How Much Does the Paramedic Exam Renewal Fee Cost: $25

How to Become an EMT Driver

Ambulance drivers work for ambulance companies and hospitals. They are trained to operate and drive emergency vehicles. Ambulance drivers often also work as EMTs and paramedics. They might help to administer first aid and transporting patients to and from the emergency vehicle.

Ambulance drivers also need to have specialized driving skills. They have to drive quickly to the scene of an emergency and to get patients to the hospital. But they also have to drive through traffic and navigate busy streets safely.

Ambulance Drivers perform the following tasks:
  • drive emergency vehicles
  • transport patients
  • lift patients
  • help administer necessary first aid

To become an ambulance driver you will first need to get a driver’s license. Your local DMV should have the necessary requirements for ambulance drivers looking to get their driver’s license. Depending on your state, you might have to undergo specific training for driving an emergency vehicle before you can get licensed to drive an ambulance in your state.

Just like EMTs, ambulance drivers will then need to become CPR certified and go through EMT training. Their EMT training will be just like any other Basic EMT and will include a certified program and both a practical and written exam from the NREMT.

Once you have a driver’s license and are a certified EMT, you can start applying for jobs as an ambulance driver. When getting a job as an ambulance driver, you might have to undergo some on-the-job training. This will often include an ambulance/safe driving course that will get you an ambulance driver certificate.

EMT drivers also need to keep a clean driving record. This includes before working as an ambulance driver as well since potential employers might look at your driving record.

Become a Paramedic by following these steps:
  1. Get a driver’s license
  2. Become CPR certified
  3. Become certified as an EMT-Basic, AEMT, or Paramedic

How to Become an EMT Dispatcher

An EMT dispatcher is the one who takes 911 calls and works with Emergency Response Teams to get callers the help they need. They will talk to the 911 caller to get information like their address and current condition and then provide this important information to first responders.

EMT Dispatchers perform the following tasks:
  • answer 911 calls
  • get important information from callers
  • relay necessary information to first responders
  • remain calm on the call
  • classify calls as emergency or non-emergency

EMT dispatchers need a specific kind of training to answer emergency phone calls. Community colleges and vocational schools generally offer training programs for emergency medical dispatchers. These courses have to meet the requirements of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

During an EMD program, you’ll learn about how to handle calls, what needs to be prioritized in each call, and how to give instructions to callers. EMDs might also study medical topics such as anatomy and physiology. A typical EMD course takes 1 week to complete.

Once you’ve completed a basic EMD course you can start working. But if you want to advance your career you can get a certification from the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. This course will include a final exam consisting of 50 questions that you will have to pass in order to become a National Academies of Emergency Dispatch certified Emergency Dispatcher.

Become an EMT Dispatcher by following these steps:
  1. complete an EMD program approved by the NHTSA
  2. Become certified with the NAED

How Long Does it Take to Become an EMT?

The certification level you want to complete will largely determine how long it takes you to become an EMT. Becoming an EMD only takes 1 week but becoming a paramedic can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

How Long Does it Take to Become an EMT-Basic or EMR: 8 to 11 weeks

How Long Does it Take to Become an AEMT: 30 to 350 hours

How Long Does it Take to Become a Paramedic: 6 to 24 months

How Much Does it Cost to Become an EMT?

The cost of EMT school can vary. There is the cost of the course, the cost of any books or materials you might need, and the cost of exams to consider. But in general, the total cost of becoming an EMT is going to range anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000.


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “EMTs and Paramedics.” “What Does an Emergency Medical Technician Do?”

National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians: The Nation’s EMS Certification ( “Emergency Medical Responder.”

National CPR Foundation. “BLS for Healthcare Providers Certification Class.” “How to Become an Ambulance Driver: Step-by-Step Career Guide.”

How Much Do EMTs Make?


EMTs and paramedics are first responders who tackle emergency situations with their emergency medical training. They respond to 911 calls, treat patients on-site, and help transport patients safely to medical facilities.

Explore this Guide:

What Do EMTs Do?

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or Paramedics are first responders who show up at emergency scenes and handle all kinds of emergency situations. They primarily focus on medical emergencies. EMTs care for people who are sick or injured and often help safely transport these patients to an actual medical facility.

  • respond to 911 calls
  • treat sick and injured people
  • transport patients to the hospital
  • treat patients during transport
  • document and report their work

How to Become an EMT

1. High School Diploma

+4 year

Becoming an EMR or EMT requires certifications and licenses, but it does not require a college education. If you are looking to get right into your career after high school, then a career as an EMT might be for you.

2. Postsecondary Educational Programs in Emergency Medical Technology

+1 to 2 year

Many of these programs can be completed in less than a year. EMT programs operate more like certification programs than degrees.

3. Associates Degree

+2 to 4 year

You don’t need a college education to become an EMT, but if you want to advance your training and your earning potential by becoming a paramedic, then you’ll need to get an associate’s degree.

EMT School

EMT courses at an EMT school will go over everything an emergency responder will need to know in any emergency situation. They will learn about many medical procedures and information.

At an EMT school, you’ll learn about diseases, safety, how to use EMS systems to communicate with each other, how to bandage properly, life support, CPR, anatomy, physiology, and other medicinal drugs and practices.

An EMT school or EMT program is going to also have different courses for different levels of training. There are courses for EMT-Basics, Advanced EMTs or AEMT

How Long is EMT School?

EMT school length will depend on the program you enroll in. Some EMT Boot Camps can take as little as 14 days for trainees to complete the courses. But typical EMT schools will take about 6 months to complete.

EMT School Cost

How much is EMT school? Many people are looking for careers that won’t bankrupt them before they can begin their profession. Basic EMT training can cost anywhere between $800 and $1,000 depending on the course cost of your EMT school.

EMT School Online

You can find online EMT schools too! Online EMT schools can help you avoid long commutes to classes, save on gas, and save time going back and forth from campus. You can also potentially take an online course even if you’re in a different state!

Find EMT Schools online by talking to your local colleges and universities. You can also find EMT schools and EMT schools online by clickin here.

Overall EMT school is a great option for those interested in the medical field. EMT school length isn’t too long, with even shorter boot camp courses available. With some diligent training at EMT school, you can be on your way to working as a professional EMT in no time.

Skills EMTs Need

Interpersonal Skills

Not only do EMTs work in teams but they also interact with hospital staff and civilians all the time. Interacting with other people is a big part of their job. So EMTs need to have healthy interpersonal skills so they can successfully associate with others in their job.


EMTs have to be able to work in teams. Not being able to work well in groups could jeopardize lives. Working together is a vital skill for EMTs to do their job well and provide the best care to the patients they look after.

Physical Strength and Stamina

EMTs often work long, odd hours. They also work on their feet, going to and from places as they respond to different emergency calls. They might also need the physical strength to help incapacitated patients who can’t walk or can’t get up themselves.

Problem Solving Skills

EMTs whole careers revolve around being professional problem solvers. They come in contact with completely new situations every day and have to think quickly and on their feet to handle each new scenario that gets thrown at them.

Different Kinds of EMTs


How Much Do Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) Make? $34,320 a year

Emergency Medical Responders, EMRs, Emergency Care Attendants, or Certified First Responders are trained in basic emergency medical care. They provide the most basic emergency care with minimal medical equipment. EMRs need to be resourceful and calm as they provide emergency care until other EMTs arrive.

How Much Do EMT Basics Make? $28,111 a year

EMT Basics or EMT-Bs are entry-level emergency medical technicians. They work to care for patients on-site and transport patients to the hospital via an ambulance. EMTs must assess a patient’s condition at the scene and act quickly to provide necessary and sometimes life-saving treatment. They also care for patients during transportation to get them safely to a care facility.

How Much Do Advanced EMTs Make? $36,817 a year

Advanced EMTs, or EMT-Intermediates, have been trained in more advanced medical care. They know more advanced medical procedures like administering intravenous fluids.

How Much Do EMT Paramedics Make? $36,700 a year

Paramedics have even more advanced medical training. Paramedics also know how to read medical monitors like electrocardiograms (EKGs) and are trained in even more advanced medical procedures.

How Much Do EMT Firefighters Make? $60,242 a year

Many firefighters are also trained as EMTs since firefighters are also first responders and often need to provide emergency medical care to members of their team or the people they are rescuing.

How Much Do EMT Drivers Make? $29,010 a year

EMT drivers are the ones who drive the ambulance. They have been trained specifically on how to drive and operate an emergency vehicle. They have trained and practiced to be able to bring the ambulance safely and quickly through traffic to the scene.

How Much Do EMTs Make a Year?


  • How Much Does a EMTs in the lower 10% Make? $23,490 per year
  • How Much is an EMTs’ Median Salary? $35,400 per year
  • How Much Does a EMTs in the highest 10% Make? $59,860 per year

How Much Do EMTs Make a Month?


  • How Much Does a EMTs in the lower 10% Make? $1,957 per month
  • How Much is a EMTs’s Median Salary? $2,950 per month
  • How Much Does a EMTs in the highest 10% Make? $4,988 per month

How Much Do EMTs Make a Week?


  • How Much Does a EMTs in the lower 10% Make? $489 per week
  • How Much is a EMTs’s Median Salary? $737 per week
  • How Much Does a EMTs in the highest 10% Make? $1,247 per week

How Much Do EMTs Make an Hour?


  • How Much Does a EMTs in the lower 10% Make? $10.03 per hour
  • How Much is a EMTs’s Median Salary? $12.96 per hour
  • How Much Does a EMTs in the highest 10% Make? $16.96 per hour

EMTs Pay by Location


  • How Much Do EMTs Make in Texas? $37,000
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in California? $43,680
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in Florida? $36,190
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in NYC (New York City)? $44,920
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in Ohio? $34,020
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in AZ (Arizona)? $38,350
  • How Much Do EMTs Make in NJ (New Jersey)? $37,550

EMTs Pay by Experience


  • How Much Do Entry Level EMTs Make? $12.24 an hour
  • How Much Do EMTs Make with 1–4 Years of Experience? $12.75 an hour
  • How Much Do EMTs Make with 5–9 Years of Experience? $13.99 an hour
  • How Much Do EMTs Make with 10–19 Years of Experience? $14.43 an hour
  • How Much Do EMTs Make with 20 or More Years of Experience? $15.00 an hour


PayScale.”Average Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Basic Hourly Pay.”

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “EMTs and Paramedics,” “Occupational Employment and Wages: 29-2040 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics.”

Glassdoor. “EMT-B Salaries.”

Work Chron. “How Much Money Does an Advanced EMT Make?” by Aurelio Locsin.

Salary Expert. “Paramedic Firefighter Salary.”

Owl Guru. “How Much Do Ambulance Drivers Make in 2020 (including Starting Salary).”

What Do Firefighters Do?

What Do Firefighters Do

Firefighters are courageous first responders and emergency workers. Firefighters often work long shifts and respond to fires and other emergency situations.

Explore this Guide:

What Does A Firefighter Do?

There are many different kinds of firefighters. Some firefighters are volunteers that work at the local fire department and respond to local fires, rescue missions, and emergencies.

Firefighters can also work in the military and respond to larger scale emergencies and disasters. Other firefighters specialize in what kind of fires they respond to, like forest, wildland, and hotshot firefighters.

Firefighters can also be crucial workers who specialize in hazardous materials. They are the responders who tackle hazardous materials, oil spills, and other chemical accidents and emergencies.

  • put out fires
  • respond to emergencies
  • use large water hoses
  • use fire hydrants in the street
  • drive fire trucks and other emergency vehicles
  • maintain equipment
  • do frequent practice drills
  • educate the public on fire safety
  • rescue victims from burning buildings
  • help in other emergency or rescue situations

What Do Firefighters Make?

In general, firefighters make a median annual salary of $50,850 per year. This pay can also depend on what level a firefighter is in their firefighter career, whether they have a degree in fire science, and whether they receive hazard pay.

What Do You Need To Be A Firefighter?

Communication Skills:

Firefighters have to communicate with each other and the people they are saving in high-pressure, emergency situations. The circumstances firefighters work under and stressful and hectic, but through the mayhem, they need to be able to clearly, calmly, and efficiently communicate with everyone involved.


Firefighters also work in teams. A firefighting team needs to be able to depend on each other and successfully work together without problems. Teamwork amongst firefighters can literally save lives, so knowing how to successfully work in groups is a must for any firefighter.


Firefighters are the first responders in high-risk, dangerous situations. They risk their lives to save victims in burning buildings and other dangerous circumstances. To do so, firefighters need a healthy dose of bravery as part of their skillset.

Decision Making Skills:

Intense situations call for quick and smart decision-making skills. Many times a firefighter won’t have time to weigh different choices. Firefighters need to know their job and their training well enough to be able to make quick, on-the-spot decisions in hazardous situations.

Problem Solving Skills:

Just like with decision making, firefighters also need to be able to problem solve quickly and responsibly. Firefighters face a wide range of problems in their jobs, from cats stuck up trees to buildings that are burning down. All kinds of new and complicated problems get thrown their way every day in all the cases they handle. So firefighters need well-exercised problem-solving skills to do their job.

Physical Strength and Stamina:

Firefighting also involves a lot of manual labor. Firefighters operate, carry, and maintain a lot of different heavy equipment. The fire suits they wear are also heavy, and firefighters need to be strong enough to do their jobs while wearing their heavy gear. Firefighters train and pass strict physical exams to have the physical strength and stamina necessary to do their jobs.

Keep Calm:

Firefighters work under a lot of pressure. Their jobs are also highly unpredictable. While dealing with stressful situations it’s important for firefighters to maintain composure and remain calm. This is especially important when firefighters are dealing with civilians. Rather than create more panic in intense scenarios, firefighters need the skills to maintain calm, focus, and teamwork to get their jobs done.

What Do Firefighters Wear?

Firefighters wear a lot of protective equipment to help keep them safe as they fight fires. All in all, a firefighter will wear a fire helmet, turnout pants and jacket, a self-contained breathing apparatus, gloves, boots, and a personal alert safety system (PASS).

The firefighter’s uniform is designed to keep them safe from fire and intense heat. Their PASS is then designed to monitor a firefighter’s GPS signal in case they need help being located or get trapped. Because of the durable, protective nature of a firefighter’s gear, a firefighter’s uniform ends up weighing between 45 and 50 pounds. This is just one of the many reasons firefighters are required to be in top physical condition to do their jobs.

What Do Volunteer Firefighters Do?

There are volunteer firefighters and then there are career firefighters. The main difference between the 2 is that career firefighters live and work every day at the firehouse, while volunteer firefighters don’t.

To become a volunteer firefighter you usually will have to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Then you’ll have to pass some firefighting exams and background checks.

Volunteer firefighters help career firefighters to do their job, and they often carry out many of the same tasks. Volunteer firefighters also put out fires, undergo training and practice drills, and help fulfill a lot of essential, nonemergency tasks at the fire station too.

  • rescue victims
  • carry fire hoses
  • put out fires
  • fire prevention practices
  • administer first aid
  • break down doors where necessary
  • clean and maintain the firehouse
  • give tours of the fire station
  • Undergo regular training

What Do Firefighter Paramedics Do?

Many firefighters deal with emergency situations that involve sick and injured people. Paramedic firefighters are firefighters that also have certifications, training, and expertise as actual paramedics alongside all their fire training. Paramedic firefighters are both firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Firefighter EMTs/paramedics treat patients in emergencies on-site and transport patients to medical facilities for further treatment.

  • respond to 911 calls
  • assess a patient’s overall condition
  • determine necessary treatment
  • perform resuscitation/CPR
  • bandage wounds
  • provide first aid
  • provide life support during transit to a medical facility
  • transport patients to medical facilities
  • maintain and restock emergency vehicles
  • drive emergency vehicles like an ambulance

What Do Firefighter Engineers Do?

Fire engineers, engineer firefighters, or firefighter engineers are all the same word for the firefighter that drives and maintains the different vehicles that firefighters use.

Firefighter engineers operate and maintain fire vehicles and other emergency vehicles. It’s their job to make sure the fire engine is working properly and ready to go at all times.

Other than that, firefighters work as regular firefighters, working in emergency situations alongside their fellow team members.

  • drive emergency vehicles
  • replace fuel, fluids, and other necessary vehicle parts
  • maintain emergency vehicles
  • put out fires
  • rescue victims
  • teach fire safety

What Do Forest Firefighters Do?

Forest firefighters work in a firefighting team often referred to as crews. Forest firefighters focus their firefighting expertise on forest fires. They have to be knowledgeable about fire science related to forest fires specifically.

When there is a forest fire, forest firefighters parachute into the location along with their firefighting equipment. They work with water pumps, chemical pumps, and shovels to extinguish and stop the spread of forest fires. Forest firefighters might also help rescue trapped hikers and campers.

Once the forest fire is under control they’ll patrol the area for reemerging fires to put out. Forest firefighters also enforce fire and safety regulations in the forests they patrol and educate campers and hikers on forest fire prevention.

  • fight forest fires
  • patrol forested areas for fires and fire hazards
  • parachute into forest fire locations
  • rescue hikers and campers
  • read a compass and map
  • teach forest fire safety and fire prevention

What Do Air Force Firefighters Do?

Air Force firefighters are fire protection specialists who use their firefighting skills to work for the Air Force. They handle hazardous situations, fires, and emergencies that involve the Air Force or fall under Air Force jurisdiction.

Air Force firefighters might work to put out brush fires, burning rocket fuel, and chemical fires. They work on Air Force bases, but also often assist local fire departments too.

  • operate government vehicles
  • put out fires
  • handle hazardous materials
  • assist local fire departments
  • teach fire safety regulations and drills
  • run emergency drills

What Do Reserve Firefighters Do?

Reserve firefighters are similar to volunteer firefighters. Reserve firefighters are firefighting staff on the reserves, meaning they are like backup firefighters. Many people looking to start a career as a firefighter might start as a reserve firefighter.

Many reserve firefighters are on their way to beginning their lives as career firefighters. They often undergo lots of training and work to become certified in many areas. The most common certification that reserve firefighters want to get is as a certified EMT or paramedic.

  • community service
  • participate in a firefighter training program
  • perform routine maintenance
  • help educate the community
  • help inspect buildings for fire safety regulations
  • report to your supervising fire officer

What Do Wildland Firefighters Do?

Wildland firefighters are much like forest firefighters. But wildland firefighters tackle fires that occur on any kind of wilderness terrain, not just forests.

One tactic that wildland firefighters often use is fire lines. Fire lines involve cutting down large lines of trees, and ditches to prevent the further spread of a wildland fire. They might also cause controlled fires, or prescribed fires, to burn potential forest fire fuel away under controlled conditions.

Wildland firefighters also consist of smokejumpers. Smokejumpers are wilderness firefighters that parachute into forest fire areas to fight the fire from the ground and rescue trapped victims.

  • parachute from airplanes
  • chop down trees and dig ditches to create fire lines
  • manage controlled fires
  • rescue people trapped by wildland fires

What Do Hotshot Firefighters Do?

The term “hotshot” firefighter, or hotshot crew, first became a thing in California during the 1940s. Hotshot firefighters are called hotshots because they are firefighters that fight the hottest parts of forest fires.

Hotshot crews are highly skilled hand crews that work as a coordinated team to tackle the hottest epicenters of wildland fires. Like other firefighters, they work with heavy equipment and gear to help them fight the spread of wilderness fires. But hotshot firefighters have a very specified skillset to tackle some of the most dangerous fire zones to stop dangerous wildland fire spreads.

  • meet strict physical requirements
  • learn operational procedures specific tackling wildfires
  • work in a carefully coordinated team

What Do You Need To Become A Firefighter?

High School Diploma

What degree do you need to become a firefighter? The short answer is, you don’t need a degree to become a firefighter.

Almost every fire program will require its students, applicants, trainees, and volunteers to at least have a high school diploma or GED. But most fire departments don’t require any kind of college degree.

Firefighters looking to make a full-time career out of firefighting can also further their education with college degrees in fire science, but this isn’t required to start working as a firefighter.

Fire Academy or Fire School

Firefighting schools offer specific training and instructions for firefighters. At fire school, prospective firefighters can learn all about fire science, fire prevention, building codes, and emergency training.

Many firefighters will receive their necessary licenses and certifications while in fire school.

What Do You Have To Do To Become A Firefighter?

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification

Many firefighters are also certified EMTs and paramedics. Firefighters are, after all, emergency responders. They often work hand in hand with ambulances in all kinds of emergency situations.

Firefighters dealing with fires also often need some medical expertise to administer first aid to the people they save or their fellow firefighters.

Firefighter Certification 1

Firefighters have to pass 2 separate certifications in order to work as firefighters. Firefighter certification 1 involves learning about proper communication practices, fire scene decontamination, structure fires, fire extinguishment methods, fire streams, fire detection, protection regulations, fire suppression systems, and any other updates for firefighter training and practices.

Firefighter certification 1 teaches prospective firefighters all the basics of firefighting, fire safety, and fire department operations and procedures.

Firefighter Certification 2

When firefighter trainees move on to firefighter certification 2 they will begin training on more advanced areas of firefighting. Firefighter certification 2 will teach them even more about slowing fire damage, rescuing people from a fire scene, and handling firefighting equipment.

Firefighter certification 2 takes all the basic things firefighters learn in their first certification and expounds upon that knowledge.


Zippia: the Career Expert. “Working As A Firefighter/Paramedic.”

Chron. “What Does an Engineer Fireman Do?” by Aurelio Locsin. “What is a Forest Firefighter?” “Career Details: Fire Protection.”

Firefighter NOW. “What Is A Reserve Firefighter?”

USDA, US Forest Service: Caring for the land and serving the people. “Hotshots: These handcrews can really take the heat!”

HCI College. “Firefighter Gear: What Do Firefighters Wear?”

How Much Do Firefighters Make?

How Much Do Firefighters Make

Firefighters are important members of our communities. They are brave emergency workers, trained to tackle all kinds of emergency situations.

Explore this Guide:

What Do Firefighters Do?

Firefighters are a type of emergency responder. They respond to many different kinds of emergencies but primarily focus their expertise on fires.

Firefighters are first responders that don’t just look out for other people, they also rescue property and the environment.

Some of the duties of a firefighter include the following:

  • putting out fires
  • using water hoses and fire extinguishers
  • rescue victims from burning buildings
  • maintain their firefighting equipment
  • perform regular practice drills

How to Become a Firefighter

As far as career paths go, there aren’t too many steps to becoming a firefighter. In fact, the steps to becoming a firefighter are simple, the catch is that firefighter training can be difficult and test your physical stamina.

1. Graduate High School

+4 years

Many firefighter stations and programs will require that you at least have a high school diploma.

2. Attend a Fire Academy

+12 to 14 weeks

A fire academy is a type of firefighter school. Firefighters have to undergo special training before they can work as firefighters. To become a firefighter you will need to pass written tests, physical tests, get interviewed, and undergo intense training at a fire academy.

If you’re looking for a firefighter school near me, contact your local fire department. They should be able to get you the details. Fire academies are usually run by the local fire department or the state. There you will study firefighting, fire prevention, building codes, and other emergency training.

3. Get an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification

+3 weeks

While you are undergoing all the training required to become a firefighter, you will want to get certified as an EMT. The requirements for EMTs are different depending on your state and city.

Firefighters need to be certified EMTs because they are emergency responders who deal with a wide variety of emergency situations. They need to be prepared for anything.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter

The requirements to become a firefighter might be fewer than some other careers, but each firefighter requirement is a serious responsibility. So if you were wondering, “what do you need to become a firefighter?” remember that the training involved in each of these firefighting requirements will test your mental, emotional, and physical capabilities.

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Fire School Training
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification
  • Firefighter Certification 1
  • Firefighter Certification 2

Farrier Firefighting School

The Farrier Firefighting School is one of the most prominent firefighting schools in the US. In fact, Farrier Firefighting School also has ties to the Department of Defense, training sailors and other service workers all about being a firefighter.

How Long is Firefighter School?

After seeing that becoming a firefighter involves a specific kind of schooling, you might be wondering, how long is firefighter school? Many people don’t want to spend years and years going to school before they can get a job.

Fortunately, firefighter school only lasts about 12 to 14 weeks! So you won’t have to give up years of your life just to become trained as a firefighter. Most firefighter schools require about 600 hours of total training. This means that while in firefighter school you’ll have to dedicate about 40 to 48 hours each week to the firefighting program.

Firefighter Academy Cost?

How much does it cost to become a firefighter? Well, that depends on the route you take to becoming a firefighter and which fire school you go to. A typical fire academy can cost between $3,998 and $5,300 depending on which fire school program you attend.

But there are free options too, like the National Fire Academy (NFA) at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) where all tuition and course materials are provided for you.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Firefighter?

A career as a firefighter is one job that doesn’t require a long 4-year college education. Instead, all you need to do is graduate high school and undergo training that typically lasts a matter of weeks. So including your time spent in high school, becoming a firefighter only takes about 4 1/2 years.

How to Become a Volunteer Firefighter

So you want to become a volunteer firefighter. Requirements for volunteer firefighters are going to vary by fire department, but in general, the following steps will apply:

First, you have to be at least 18 years old. Second, you need a high school diploma or the equivalent of a high school diploma (like a GED). Lastly, you’ll need to pass written exams, physical exams, drug screenings, and background checks given by your local fire department. Once that is all done you can start working as a volunteer firefighter for your local fire department.

How to Become a Wildland Firefighter

To become a wildland firefighter you’ll want to go through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). With the NWCG you’ll undergo physical and educational training.

You’ll learn all about forestry, agriculture, wildlife management, soil science, and so much more. Because wildland firefighters are held to such a high physical standard, it is generally required for wildland firefighters to be between 18 and 35 years old.

Wildland firefighters also only work during fire season, months of the year where wildland fires are more likely. Fire season is between January and March. Hiring season for wildland firefighters is between October and December.

How to Become a Hotshot Firefighter

Hotshot firefighters are wildland or forest firefighters that work in the hottest parts of wildfires. You can sign up as a part of a Hotshot Crew with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and your local state and county agencies.

Hotshot firefighters have similar requirements to all other types of firefighters. They have to meet physical requirements of stamina and train in operational procedures for handling the hottest sections of wildfires.

All IHCs must meet the same stringent standards for physical fitness, training, leadership, qualifications, and operational procedures, as outlined in the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations. To become a hotshot firefighter, contact your local hotshot program with the US Forest Service.

Skills Firefighters Need

Communication Skills Firefighters need to be able to communicate quickly, clearly, and effectively with the citizens they help protect and their fellow firefighters. To effectively tackle every new emergency scenario, they need impeccable communication skills.

Courage One of the biggest skills any firefighter needs is bravery. Firefighters run into burning buildings to rescue people. They put their lives at risk at their jobs and need to have a healthy dose of courage to do so.

Physical Stamina Firefighters’ work deals mostly with physical labor. They operate heavy equipment, wield axes, and large water hoses, all while dressed in heavy protective gear. To withstand the physical labor they do every day, firefighters need to have physical strength and endurance.

Decision Making A common skill that those working in emergency situations always need is great decision-making skills. They need to know their training backward and forwards so that they can make smart, responsible decisions quickly.

Different Kinds of Firefighters


  • How Much Do Firefighter Paramedics Make? $53,003
  • How Much Do Volunteer Firefighters Make? $48,131
  • How Much Do Firefighter Engineers Make? $72,323
  • How Much Do Forest Firefighters Make? $59,130
  • How Much Do Air Force Firefighters Make? $52,234
  • How Much Do Reserve Firefighters Make? $33,587
  • How Much Do Wildland Firefighters Make? $58,334

How Much Do Firefighters Make a Year?


  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the lower 10% Make? $25,550 per year
  • How Much is a Firefighters’ Median Salary? $50,850 per year
  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the highest 10% Make? $92,020 per year

How Much Do Firefighters Make a Month?


  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the lower 10% Make? $2,129 per month
  • How Much is a Firefighters’s Median Salary? $4,237 per month
  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the highest 10% Make? $7,668 per month

How Much Do Firefighters Make a Week?


  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the lower 10% Make? $532 per week
  • How Much is a Firefighters’s Median Salary? $1,059 per week
  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the highest 10% Make? $1,917 per week

How Much Do Firefighters Make an Hour?


  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the lower 10% Make? $10.60 per hour
  • How Much is a Firefighters’s Median Salary? $15.51 per hour
  • How Much Does a Firefighters in the highest 10% Make? $26.72 per hour

Firefighters Pay by Location


  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Texas? $54,760
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in California? $84,370
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Florida? $51,300
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in AZ (Arizona)? $46,870
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in NC (North Carolina)? $34,110
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Ohio? $47,820
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Chicago? $34,989
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Colorado? $63,050
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in Utah? $38,360
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in NJ (New Jersey)? $80,890
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make in NY (New York)? $75,160

Firefighters Pay by Experience


  • How Much Do Entry Level Firefighters Make? $40,979
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make with 1–4 Years of Experience? $41,821
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make with 5–9 Years of Experience? $48,492
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make with 10–19 Years of Experience? $56,219
  • How Much Do Firefighters Make with 20 or More Years of Experience? $69,565


PayScale. “Average Fire Fighter Salary,” “Average Firefighter Paramedic Salary,” “Average Volunteer Firefighter Salary.”

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Firefighters.”

Government Jobs. “Firefighter.”

Glassdoor. “Firefighter/Engineer Salaries.”

Recruiter. “Salary for Forest Firefighters.”

Indeed. “U.S. Air Force Firefighter yearly salaries in the United States,” “How much does a Firefighter make in the United States?”

25 Home Office Ideas for Working From Home

25 Home Office Ideas for Working From Home

Take advantage of remote work and create the perfect work environment for you with the ideal home office space.

Working from home comes with plenty of pros and cons. One of the biggest pros is that you get to have your own private home office and you get to set it up however you want! People who work from home aren’t restricted by the office space their company is able to provide. Instead, you can provide your own office space and make it the perfect work environment for you specifically.

Maybe you love to watch background TV while you work and can set up your own office TV in your space. Or maybe you love working while sitting on a comfy couch and can set up some comfortable couch seating in your office.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what to put in your home office then think about what you do and don’t like about your office at work (that is, if you used to have an office at your place of work and haven’t always been a remote worker).

When creating a home office space, it’s optimal to have a room that is completely separate from any other room. You want a home office room that is only used for work. Then, when work is done you can close that door and not return to it until work starts again. Having a separate office room in your home will help you better focus on work during work hours, and help you get back to regular life when the workday is done.

1. Home Office Design Ideas

The first principle your home office needs is the understanding that function is more important than design.

A quick scroll for home office ideas on Pinterest might inspire you to design a beautiful home office with unique desks and chairs and light fixtures, but if your home office space isn’t comfortable then all that designing won’t be worth it. You might love the way that leather office chair looks, but if it’s not comfortable to sit in for hours at a time then you’ll grow to hate it.

When picking pieces for your home office, always consider how functional the item will be over how great it looks. And don’t worry! With some diligent shopping and searching, you can usually find function and design. Just don’t sacrifice one for the other.

2. Pick Calm Office Colors

The colors on your home office walls should be easy on the eyes, especially if you spend most of your workday staring at a computer screen, as many of us do. Color palettes that use muted tones, earth tones, or softer tones are great for painting your home office walls.

It doesn’t matter so much whether you choose warm or cool toned colors, so long as the colors you choose aren’t too bright and vibrant. These loud colors will draw your eyes attention too much and give your eyes too much to look at when you really need to be focusing on your work. Muted tones, however, allow your office space to easily remain in the background of your vision and create a more calming work environment.

3. Lamp Lighting

Adequate and good lighting is essential to any home office. You need good lighting to see what you are doing, but you also want nice lighting that isn’t harsh on the eyes. Having some good natural lighting in your home office is a good idea. A window or two can even provide all the lighting you need, and natural light from outside can boost your mood.

Get some soft, warm lighting your home office with the right kind of light bulbs, lamps, and lampshades. A lamp that gives off a milder, warm light can make your home office feel much cozier than a harsher overhead light.

4. Blackout Curtains

Seasonal affective disorder is a very real thing. It is when our moods can be affected by the changing atmosphere outside, particularly by the seasons. If you find yourself struggling with mood shifts caused by a certain season or certain weather, then you might benefit from some quality black out curtains. With high quality blackout curtains you can shut away the outdoors when you need to.

This can also help you focus if a window showing a beautiful day outside might keep you from feeling motivated to do office work all day. Black out curtains can block out the outside environment so you can better create your own environment. They can also keep the sun from overheating your home office.

5. Home Office Organization Ideas

Keeping your workspace organized, neat, and tidy is paramount to you being productive and feeling motivated and excited about work each day. It’s hard to focus on your work when there is literal clutter, cluttering up your surroundings.

Create an organization system for your home office that you’ll use and love and be able to easily maintain. You can make your office organization and storage system look appealing too. Don’t just get ugly filing cabinets, get something that can double as decor as well.

Hide chords too! Get some chord organization for your office as well so that no one and nothing trips or gets tangled in chords.

6. Cozy Office Corner

Most home offices will have a desk and chair setup. But also create an alternate space in your office as well. Sometimes you need to get out of your chair and literally change your point of view. Give yourself the opportunity to change things up at work and include another seating area in your office.

Pick a corner of your office and set up a cozier one where you can sit to brainstorm. This space can also be nice if you have a partner or kids that want to quietly hang out with you for a bit during your workday. You can also hang out here for a quick break from work.

7. Plants

Add some plants in some key spots in your office. Office plants can clean the air in your office and also help protect your electronics from static. Office plants also look nice and can create a calm and peaceful work environment.

Watering your plants can also help you keep a regular routine. Office plants need watered every day and this chore can give you something productive to do as you get into gear for work.

8. Home Office Decor Ideas

Decorate the walls of your home office space. Personalize your workspace, but also make the space easy to redo whenever you feel bored with it. That’s why using wall decor is so useful. Wall decor is easy to change every so often. You can also use command strips to hang up your wall decor to avoid putting holes in your walls.

9. Mini Fridge

A mini fridge inside your home office can be a real game changer. A mini fridge allows you to not need to leave your office too much during your workday, or at least not for little things. You can fill your mini fridge with bottles of water, other drinks, and snacks.

10. Home Office Setup Ideas

Set up a coffee station somewhere in your home office. Then your morning work routine can all start where you work. You can even find electric kettles that work on a clock so you can have hot, freshly brewed coffee ready and waiting in your office in the morning.

If you don’t drink coffee then you can set up a tea station, a water cooler, or cans of soda or Gatorade, or whatever you like to drink throughout the day.

11. Home Office Desk Ideas

You don’t necessarily want to shove your desk into a corner or against a wall in your home office. You want to be able to look over your screen and look at something besides work. You don’t want your view to be a wall. Set your desk in such a way that you can easily look out the window from your desk without turning around all the way in your desk.

You can also get an adjustable standing desk so you can also stand to work sometimes. An adjustable standing desk lets you work standing up so you can stretch your legs. Standing desks are great for circulation.

12. Ergonomic Office Chair

The number one thing you should invest in for your home office is a comfortable, ergonomic desk chair. You want a desk chair that you can sit comfortably in all day. The typical remote worker will spend about 40 hours a week sitting in their desk chair. So you need a chair that you can sit in comfortably for that amount of time.

13. Ergonomic Keyboard

An ergonomic keyboard is a keyboard that is designed for typing ease. An ergonomic keyboard will help you be able to rest your hands in the optimal spot. This will keep your hands and wrists from hurting as much after a long day of being at the computer.

14. Ergonomic Mouse

Did you know you can also get yourself an ergonomic mouse? An ergonomic mouse is shaped in a way that will be comfortable for your hand. A computer mouse can come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, designs, and weights. Take a moment to shop around for the mouse that will be the most comfortable in your hand.

15. Optimal Screen Placement

Arrange your computer screen correctly. First, you’ll want to adjust your chair height and position. Then, look straight ahead of you. You want to adjust your computer screen so that the center of your screen is at eye level, or lower. Then your eyes will be looking down to see all of your screen rather than having to strain upward all the time.

16. Footrest

Another thing you’ll need to remain completely comfortable throughout the day is a footrest. There are footrests you can get that are specifically designed for under your desk. Having something to rest your feet on can help your legs not feel restless throughout the day.

But if you have trouble with restless legs or circulation, then you should also get a minibike pedal. You can buy pedals specifically made for under your desk so you can move your legs, get blood circulating through your legs, and maybe even burn some calories.

17. Modern Home Office Ideas

A modern home office that is truly ahead of its time has its own office phone. Get a work phone for your office. A work phone lets you post your business ours and a business phone contact for clients, customers, and colleagues to use. Then everyone can know when and how exactly they can reach you. Having a work phone is also a good idea because you can put your personal phone away or turn on do not disturb so personal business doesn’t get in the way of your work without missing any work calls by using the same phone for both.

18. Clock

Clocks are tricky because being able to see the time can be both useful and detrimental to your workday. Putting a clock in your office might make the workday go by slower or add additional structure you might need to work efficiently.

Either way, you can set up a system that works for you. Hang a wall clock up so you can keep track of your day. You can also use an hourglass timer to let you know when to take breaks throughout the day. A clock can also let you know when It’s lunchtime or when you’re done for the day.

There are also many time tracking apps you can use to put yourself on the clock and record your productivity.

19. Desk Toys

Desk toys can act almost like a stationary bike for your hands. Desk toys like fidget spinners are fun and can keep your hands busy while you brainstorm. You can also use them when you need a break from work or to take your mind off things.

20. Charging Station

Make a charging station so you can easily charge your phone and other devices at your desk. You can find charging stations in all shapes, sizes, and types to suit your particular charging needs. This can also be a great way to put your devices away while you work.

21. Office Air Quality

Don’t forget to take care of the air in your home office. Put a fan, humidifier, and air purifier in your home office space. A fan will keep you cool and keep the air from getting stale and musty. A humidifier can prevent static cling and keep you from drying out. And an air purifier can combat dust and keep your environment healthy and fresh.

22. Lap Blanket

Do you get cold easily? If you find yourself getting chilly at your desk then buy yourself an office lap blanket. That way you can keep the blanket on your office chair and it will always be there when you need some extra warmth or comfort.

23. Space Heater

If you really struggle with getting too cold at your desk then you might need to get yourself a space heater. A space heater is a great tool because you can place it under your desk and it’ll keep your feet warm all day long. Don’t suffer in your home office. Make yourself comfortable with things like space heaters, lap blankets, and air purifiers. You’ll find you focus better the more comfortable you are.

24. Office Slippers

Another great way to tell your brain you are at work is to get work shoes for your home office. But that doesn’t mean you have to get yourself dress shoes to wear at home. Even if you get yourself a pair of slippers that you only wear when working, your brain will know that you need to be working right now and you’ll feel more focused.

25. An Inspirational Corner

Above all, remember that your home office is a private, personal workspace. You can do whatever you want with your space! Find what elements of a home office you need and make it happen.

Try adding an inspirational corner to your workspace. It should work to inspire you specifically. Maybe that means having a beautiful fish tank, or maybe that means decorating your walls with inspiring art, or having a quote board you change every so often. Fill your office with inspiring things so you can feel successful and positive about each new workday.

26. Small Home Office Ideas

Not everyone has a ton of space to create their home office. If you only have a small home office space then make the most of it with carefully planned out functionality. Design your functional small home office so that you have what’s most important in your home office and nothing else. Your main goal should be to have what you need while not cramping yourself into your small office space.

27. Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces

Some remote workers don’t even have a separate office room to work from. If you don’t have a spare room for a home office then you might have to make do with combining spaces. This means your home office might also be your bedroom, workout room, or even living room. But that’s ok so long as you make whatever space you do have dedicated to your craft.

27. IKEA Home Office Ideas

One of the best places to get furniture for your home office is IKEA. At IKEA you can get desk chairs, desks and computer desks, drawer units, storage cabinets for home office storage ideas, paper and media organization, nifty cords and chargers, and so much more! The list goes on and on for what you can find at IKEA and everything comes quality made at a great price.

28. Home Office Ideas for Her

Are you creating a home office for someone special? If you know your spouse is having difficulties working from home, one thing you can do to show your support is create a home office space for them. If you need some ideas you know she’ll love then take a look at her Pinterest page for inspiration.

29. Home Office Ideas for Him

Or maybe you’re creating a home office space for him! Another great idea for creating an office space for someone is to take on the project together. You can shop online for office pieces together, and work on setting up the home office together too! Working on a home project like a home office space for him can also bring you closer together.

30. Cool Home Office Ideas

Get creative with your home office space with some cool home office ideas. It’s your office, in your home, and you can do whatever you want with it!

  • U-shaped desk
  • Wall-to-wall decorative shelving
  • Paint an accent wall
  • Area rug
  • Finish a slab of wood to make your own desk
  • Convert a shed into a home office
  • Create a hideaway desk for small spaces
  • Combine his and her office spaces into one conjoined office space


The National Institute of Mental Health Information Resource Center. “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”

The Spruce. “The 10 Best Plants for Your Office or Desk.”

What Do Pharmacists Do?

What Do Pharmacists Do

Pharmacists are the clerks that compound and dispense medication to patients. They are the ones who handle our prescriptions and help us get the medicine we need.

Explore this Guide:

Common Pharmacists Duties

What does a pharmacist do? Pharmacists are important healthcare workers. They work behind the desks in pharmacies and manage all the work related to actually getting patients the prescriptions they need. These duties are going to include dealing with different insurance plans, communicating with doctors, and counseling patients about their treatment.

  • dispense medication
  • advise patients on proper medicine usage and safety
  • conduct wellness screenings
  • give out immunizations
  • counsel customers on medicines and offer suggestions
  • supervise pharmacy technicians or pharmacists in training
  • perform administrative functions for the pharmacy

Skills Pharmacists Need

Customer Service: Pharmacists have to deal with people every day. They work on the customer service end of healthcare facilities and are the ones who work directly with patients to get them the prescriptions and medicinal help they need.

Communication Skills: Pharmacists not only have to talk with customers they also have to coordinate their efforts to manage the pharmacy with their coworkers, and getting prescriptions filled out and ready for patients, and communicate effectively with doctors and doctors’ offices.

Follow Instructions: Pharmacists need to be able to accurately interpret the instructions given to them by their patients’ doctors. This ensures each prescription is filled out correctly. Then pharmacists have to reiterate these instructions to their customers, advising them on proper dosages and treatment.

Computer Skills: A lot of the work pharmacists do is on the computer. They use and keep digital files, patient records, and insurance plans. Being able to operate a pharmacy’s computer software is one of the skills you’ll need as a pharmacist.

Attention to Detail: Pharmacists need attention to detail so that they never miss anything important. They have to follow doctor’s instructions exactly since mistakes could be detrimental to the health of their customers. Pharmacists need to get the right dosage, not mix up products, and get the accurate prescription to each of their patients. They need to be very careful and detail oriented workers.

What Do Pharmacists Wear?

The most common dress code for pharmacists working in a pharmacy is business casual. Business casual includes clothing like dress pants and button-down shirts. But pharmacists also wear lab coats over their business casual attire. Pharmacist lab coats are often all the same color to act as a kind of work uniform and represent the specific pharmacy or store they work for.

Community Pharmacists

Community pharmacists refers to the pharmacists who work at pharmacies found within stores. This includes retail stores, drug stores, and independently owned pharmacies.

Other than where they work, they perform all the regular functions of any other pharmacist. They fill out prescriptions for their customers, answer health questions and concerns, advise customers about over-the-counter medications, and often give our flu shots during flu season.

  • give flu shots
  • fill out doctor prescriptions
  • make over-the-counter medication suggestions

Clinical Pharmacists

Clinical pharmacists refer to pharmacists who work in healthcare facilities. This might include hospitals, clinics, and any other facility that mainly deals in health. Clinical pharmacists also fill out prescriptions to patients but they also work in patient care. Clinical pharmacists take their pharmaceutical skills to the next level and play a more active role inside the health facility to advise on patient medications and dosage.

They also do more work educating patients. They help teach better healthcare practices, specific ones to your care and treatment plan.

  • work directly with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • advise patients and other healthcare professionals
  • make recommendations about medication, treatments, and dosage

Consultant Pharmacists

Consultant pharmacists are pharmacists who dedicate their work toward advising and improving pharmacies. They consult healthcare facilities, insurance providers, and pharmacies on ways they can improve and about updates in patient medication and treatment. Consultant pharmacists might also work for individual patients or senior centers, helping patients with their medication.

  • consult patients
  • consult doctors
  • consult other pharmacists
  • consult insurance companies

Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists

Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists are research pharmacists and pharmacists that work directly with the pharmaceutical industry. They are the ones who test and develop new drugs. They can also work in marketing, sales, or in developing the drug regulations that keep consumers safe.

  • create new medicine
  • conduct clinical trials on medications
  • create consumer safety guidelines for medications
  • work in the marketing and sales of medications

What Degree Do You Need to be a Pharmacist?

A Bachelor’s Degree

In order to become a pharmacist you need a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree will help you get into a pharmacy program later. As an aspiring pharmacist, you should look for pre-pharmacy degree programs for your undergraduate. There you’ll learn about anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, and toxicology.

A Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm. D)

Once you have your undergraduate under your belt you can go on to get your Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm. D). In order to get into one of these programs you’ll need to pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Once you’ve been accepted into the program you can learn all about natural sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacokinetics, pathology, and therapeutics. In the final stages of your pharmacy degree you will start obtaining clinical experience.

What Certifications and Licenses Do Pharmacists Need?

All pharmacists have to become licensed with the state they work in. Every state will have their own requirements for pharmacist certification. Most pharmacists will have to pass 2 exams—the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). The first test has to do with your pharmacy expertise while the second test will include any state-specific pharmacy rules or practices.

If you’re going to give immunizations as a pharmacist then you’ll also need to be certified with the American Pharmacists Association’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program.

Pharmacists who want to specialize in a certain area by getting certified with the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. For example, pharmacists can become a certified diabetes, nutrition, or oncology educator.

What Do Pharmacists Make?

On average, pharmacists make almost twice as much as the average US household. The median yearly salary for a typical US household is about $61,937 a year. But in general, pharmacists make a median salary of $126,120 a year!


US Bureau Of Labor Statistics. “Pharmacists.”

General Pharmaceutical Council. “What does a pharmacist do?”

United States Census Bureau. “New Data Show Income Increased in 14 States and 10 of the Largest Metros.”


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