How much will I earn in the emergency services?
Quick links for this article
You can expect to start on a salary of around £22,000 in many of the key jobs in the emergency services. Depending on how your career progresses you could have significant pay increases to look forward to. For example, station managers in the fire service can earn up to £41,000, while a senior emergency planner with responsibility for leading planning in a large area could earn as much as £75,000 or more.
Staff who work in high-cost areas, such as around London, receive extra pay. If you work in a frontline operational role, such as being a paramedic or emergency care assistant, you could receive additional unsocial hours payments worth up to 25% of your basic salary.
- Emergency care assistants typically earn between around £17,000 and £22,000.
- Student paramedics can expect to earn around £16,000 to £19,000. Some ambulance trusts deduct a contribution towards university tuition fees from a student paramedic’s salary.
- Qualified paramedics earn between around £22,000 and £28,000.
- Senior paramedics and emergency services team leaders earn between around £26,000 and £35,000.
- Emergency services area managers earn between around £31,000 and £41,000.
Salaries can vary between police services. There may be extra pay for overtime and for working in the London area. These allowances can add a significant amount to your salary; for example, if you join the Metropolitan Police as a new police constable, you could receive around £6,600 in London weighting and allowances in addition to a basic salary of £22,443.
- The minimum starting pay for a police constable with no previous relevant experience is £19,000 and the maximum is £22,000. Some forces have opted to offer the maximum. Forces can also offer starting pay of around £22,000 where candidates have relevant experience or a policing qualification.
- The minimum salary for police constables who have completed their initial training is £22,000.
- A police sergeant can earn between around £36,500 and £41,000.
- A police inspector can earn up to around £50,000.
- Trainee firefighters start on just under £22,000, progressing to £29,000.
- Crew managers earn around £31,000.
- Station managers earn between around £37,500 and £41,000.
- Area managers earn between around £51,000 and £56,000.
Emergency planners have often gained experience working in the emergency services first, and may have a relevant degree. Those working in the NHS typically earn between £26,000 and £41,000. Emergency planners working for local authorities are likely to be paid salaries within a similar range.
Senior or consultant emergency planners can expect to earn between £40,000 and £55,000, or even more. Generally speaking, big national or multinational organisations are likely to pay higher salaries.