Career Paths

Welcome to the

Austin - Travis County EMS Career Paths


Austin-Travis County EMS prides itself as being one of the top EMS systems in the country. When you work for us, you don't just have a job, you have a career. One of the many qualities that makes us unique is that we work independently as a 3rd service 911 Public Safety provider for the City of Austin.  This means our main focus is the practice of emergency medicine. 

Throughout your career with ATCEMS, you will have the opportunity to participate in at least one of  20+ specialized teams. Promotional opportunities are available, if you are interested in expanding your knowledge as a clinician and stepping into a leadership role. Whatever you're looking for, ATCEMS has options for you!

Review the chart below to read about our rank structure, some of our specialized teams, and opportunities for career advancement. To learn more, check out our Medic Testimonials and Meet-A-Medic blog posts to read the stories that tell about what makes ATCEMS a great place to work.

 

The City of Austin will not discriminate against any applicant or employee based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, religion, veteran status, disability, or sexual orientation. In addition, the City will not discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of an individual's AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, or HIV status; nor will the City discriminate against individuals who are perceived to be at risk of HIV infection, or who associate with individuals who are believed to be at risk. ADA Office: (512) 974-3256 TDD (512) 974‑3303

Cadet


All Field Cadets hired will be credentialed at the Basic Life Support (BLS) level (no matter the level of EMT- certification).  A Cadet-Field will attend 10 weeks of paid training at the Academy. Upon graduation, cadets are placed in the position of Medic at which time they will be paid at the Medic-Field rate on a 42 hour work week. All Medics will be individually assigned to a Field Training Officer or Captain for approximately 4 to 6 months of training. At the successful completion of training, the Medic will be credentialed by the Medical Director to practice at the BLS level. Once credentialed, advanced providers (AEMT, EMT-P, or LP) at the Medic level can provide advanced care after successful skills testing. Newly hired Cadets are considered “at will” employees until the completion of a 12 month probationary period starting from the date of hire.

All Communications Cadets hired will be credentialed at the Basic Life Support (BLS) level (no matter the level of the EMT- certification). A Cadet-Communications will attend 8 weeks of paid training at the Academy. Upon graduation, cadets are placed in the position of Medic at which time they will be paid at the Medic-Communications rate on a 42 hour work week. All Medics will be individually assigned to a Communications Training Officer or Captain for approximately 4 to 6 months of training. At the successful completion of training, the Medic will be credentialed by the Medical Director to practice at the Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatch (AEMD) level. Newly hired Cadets are considered “at will” employees until the completion of a 12 month probationary period starting from the date of hire.

Medic


Medic-Field is a BLS credentialed position that works alongside an ALS credentialed provider (EMS Clinical Specialist-Field or Captain-Field). A Medic-Field can be certified at the EMT-Basic, Advanced-EMT (AEMT), EMT-Paramedic, or Licensed Paramedic level. They have the opportunity to perform both basic and a limited number of advanced procedures such as: i-gel airway placement, nebulized medication administration, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), and 12 Lead ECG acquisitions. Once credentialed in the field, AEMTs and Paramedics are allowed to work at the advance provider levels after successfully completing skills assessments. 

Medic-Communications is a 9-1-1 call-taking position. A Medic-Communications is required to maintain an EMT-Basic certification or higher and an IAED Certification as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Medics in Communications respond to calls, triage medical complaints, assess life threats, and provide medical care and interventions over the phone.

You can review our Clinical Operating Guidelines and the various provider levels on the Office of the Medical Director website.   

Educational Opportunity:

Paramedic Certification Program


Austin-Travis County EMS is committed to the development of our medics. In 2017, ATCEMS launched its in-house Paramedic Program. The program is 14 months in length (not including ambulance and hospital rotations or Capstone). Clinical rotations require students to practice their medical skills at approved hospitals and external ambulance services under the supervision and approval of a preceptor. The department covers the expenses for the program, tuition and books. However, students are not compensated for class time or time required to complete the course. Students attend classes on their days off with schedule accommodations available.

To be considered for the program, candidates (current credentialed employees) participate in a competitive selection process and are ranked based on their test score. Top scoring employees will be offered placement into the class of up to 20 students. The class is a TEEX A&M Paramedic Program satellite course with all didactic instruction being completed by the Continuing Education Department Captains. We’ve had amazing success with first attempt passing rates with National Registry testing (both written and psychomotor portions). 

Clinical Specialist


Promotion to Clinical Specialist-Field requires an EMT-Paramedic certification or Licensed Paramedic; Clinical Specialist-Communications requires an EMT-Basic certification or higher. Once you have cleared to independent duty in the Medic position, you are eligible to sit for the next promotional exam for Clinical Specialist (internal employees only). Individuals who pass the exam will be placed on a Civil Service list ranked by score and tenure in the department. Promotions are subject to vacant positions only and the Civil Service list is only valid for two years. In the event that the Civil Service list expires with individuals remaining on the list, those individuals will have to repeat the testing process. 

Clinical Specialist-Field exercises independent judgment, performs basic and advanced medical procedures to access, stabilize, evacuate, and transport patients to an appropriate medical facility, as defined by the Medical Director and Clinical Operating Guidelines. Provides pre-hospital emergency medical care effectively and safely in emergent conditions and environments as part of a City of Austin medical team. Clinical Specialists in the Field are lead medics with Medic-Field partners and operate at an Advanced Life Support level. They also assist with training and credentialing of employees.

Clinical Specialist-Communications performs tasks related to the operation of the emergency communications center and use of equipment to receive, send, and relay pre-arrival emergency medical information to the caller over the phone.  Additionally, they dispatch and give pre-arrival information to the Field medics prior to them arriving on scene. They are responsible for managing the deployment of 38+ ambulances, multiple special event units, 2+ multi-mission capable helicopters, a regional mobile communications & command unit, a mass casualty ambulance bus and intake requests for the Region 7 Emergency Medical Task Force.

Specialized Teams


Our employees are provided with many career opportunities to extend their knowledge and experience throughout multiple areas. Provided below is a list of over 20 Specialized Teams that are offered within our department. Each assignment and/or special event team will vary in eligibility, rank, and/or physical requirements.

  • Academy Instructor
  • DMO Quality Improvement team
  • QA/QI Communications
  • Special Operations- Rescue and Tactical Medics
  • Continuing Education Instructor
  • Community Health Paramedic Program (CHP)
  • Injury Prevention
  • Safety
  • Homeland Security & Emergency Mgmt.
  • Field Training Officer
  • Public Information Officer
  • Recruiter
  • Community Relations/Outreach
  • Fleet Management
  • Special Response Units (SRU) 
  • Bicycle Medic
  • Motorcycle Medic
  • COTA Track Medic
  • Honor Guard
  • Explorer Post Advisor
  • Aeromedical Communications Specialist
  • Car Seat Technician
  • Blood Draw Specialist

Click a thumbnail image to read about the duties and functions of each of the featured teams below.

COTA Track Medic

COTA Track Medic

Motor Medics

Motor Medics

Special Operations - Rescue

Special Operations - Rescue

Special Response Units

Special Response Units

Special Operations - Tactical

Special Operations - Tactical

Continued Education Instructors

Continued Education Instructors

Captain


Clinical Specialists in the Field and Communications who have held their rank for a minimum of two years are eligible to sit for their division-specific Captain promotional exam. Individuals who pass the exam will be placed on a Civil Service list ranked by their final score, which includes the written exam score, Assessment Center score, and tenure in the department. Promotions are subject to vacant positions only and the Civil Service list is only valid for two years. In the event that the Civil Service list expires with individuals remaining on the list, those individuals will have to repeat the testing process.

Captains in the Field and Communications divisions exercise independent judgment in a leadership and entry level supervision role in operations, training, quality improvement and administrative programs in the department.

Commander


Captains in the Field and Communications who have held their rank for a minimum of two years are eligible to sit for their division-specific Commander promotional exam. Individuals who pass the exam will be placed on a Civil Service list ranked by their final score, which includes the written exam score, Assessment Center score, and tenure in the department. Promotions are subject to vacant positions only and the Civil Service list is only valid for two years. In the event that the Civil Service list expires with individuals remaining on the list, those individuals will have to repeat the testing process.

Commanders serve as supervisors over their assigned district(s) throughout the city, provide support to ambulance crews, and also assist in emergency response. Commanders in the Field and Communications supervise and coordinate the daily operations and activities of personnel in support of the goals, objectives and leadership principles of the EMS Department.

Division Chief


Commanders are eligible to promote to Division Chief through an appointment process by the Chief of EMS. Division Chiefs can be compared to civilian division managers.

Under general direction of the EMS Assistant Chief, the Division Chief manages and supervises the daily activities, operations, and personnel in support of the goals, objectives, and leadership principles of EMS Department.

Assistant Chief


Division Chiefs are eligible to promote to Assistant Chief through an appointment process by the Chief of EMS.

Under general direction of the Chief of EMS, the Assistant Chief is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and activities of assigned divisions, sections, programs, resources, and personnel.
 

Chief of Staff

The Chief of Staff is an Assistant Chief, but more specifically works closely with the Chief of EMS and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and activities of assigned divisions, sections, programs, resources and personnel.

Chief of EMS


The Chief of EMS (currently Chief Ernesto Rodriguez) is appointed by the Austin City Manager and requires approval by members of the Austin City Council.

The Chief of EMS serves as the head of the organization and oversees all business operations for the department. The Chief of EMS works closely with City Council, city management, other City of Austin Public Safety chiefs (Austin Fire Department, Austin Police Department), department managers, and external public safety agencies to create a safer and healthier Austin.