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Here's How Much First Responders Make in Every State

GOBankingRates Logo By Jordan Rosenfeld of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 51: American society relies on its first responders in times of uncertainty and danger, from personal crises to natural disasters. However, these people aren’t always well compensated for putting their lives on the line, a new GOBankingRates study revealed.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, GOBankingRates ranked the pay rates for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, firefighters, and police officers among all 50 states. While police officers make just over six figures in California, they earn less than $36,000 annually in Mississippi — a staggering difference of more than $65,000 per year, on average. Similarly, the average salary for firefighters remains lower than that of police officers, even though both professions deal with life-threatening situations.
The intensive training required of first responders isn’t always reflected in their wages, either. EMTs and paramedics must complete postsecondary education and a licensing exam before they can begin their physically strenuous and emotionally stressful jobs. Firefighters need to train at a certified fire academy, undergo physical and written tests, pass interviews and acquire an EMT certification. And, police officers are required to meet rigorous personal and physical standards to qualify for their positions, on top of earning at least a high school diploma and attending a training academy.
Overall, EMTs and paramedics, firefighters and police officers face some of the worst injury and illness rates of all occupations. All first responders deserve to be paid well for their work — but much of that depends on the state in which they live.

Here's How Much First Responders Make in Every State

American society relies on its first responders in times of uncertainty and danger, from personal crises to natural disasters. However, these people aren’t always well compensated for putting their lives on the line, a new GOBankingRates study revealed.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, GOBankingRates ranked the pay rates for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, firefighters, and police officers among all 50 states. While police officers make just over six figures in California, they earn less than $36,000 annually in Mississippi — a staggering difference of more than $65,000 per year, on average. Similarly, the average salary for firefighters remains lower than that of police officers, even though both professions deal with life-threatening situations.

The intensive training required of first responders isn’t always reflected in their wages, either. EMTs and paramedics must complete postsecondary education and a licensing exam before they can begin their physically strenuous and emotionally stressful jobs. Firefighters need to train at a certified fire academy, undergo physical and written tests, pass interviews and acquire an EMT certification. And, police officers are required to meet rigorous personal and physical standards to qualify for their positions, on top of earning at least a high school diploma and attending a training academy.

Overall, EMTs and paramedics, firefighters and police officers face some of the worst injury and illness rates of all occupations. All first responders deserve to be paid well for their work — but much of that depends on the state in which they live.

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