Paramedics are a key part of Britain’s emergency services. You’ll often be among the first to arrive on the scene and will need to take charge of a situation and make quick, life-saving decisions. No two days will ever be alike.
|Hours||37.5 hours a week|
|Pattern||Shifts, with some evenings,
nights and weekends
A Paramedic is the senior person in a two-person ambulance team. Essentially, you’re trained to be in charge of a high-tech mobile clinic.
You’ll often be one of the first to arrive at a scene, and will need to quickly assess someone’s condition, making potentially life-saving decisions. You could find yourself using high-tech equipment like defibrillators, age-old methods like splints, and taking charge of administering oxygen and drugs. It’s a fast-paced role, with no two call-outs ever being the same.
You’ll collaborate with specialists from a larger multidisciplinary team, and co-ordinate with the police, fire and other rescue services.
Career progression can see you move up to become an Experienced Paramedic, a senior role that lets you carry out specialist treatments. You could also focus on a specific area, such as a strokes or heart attacks, or even join the Air Ambulance.
Physically fit, with a cool, clear head.
The confidence to manage others in an emergency.
The ability to make fast and accurate life-saving decisions.
Open to new ideas and learning about new technology.
“You have to want to be here. You do it because you want to help people”
What makes being a paramedic special?
You’ll save lives and help the injured. You’ll be hope and relief personified.
You’ll be trained to drive a technically-advanced mobile clinic and use the equipment in it.
You’ll deal with all kinds of people, and all kinds of new technology.
You’ll work with other emergency services, and healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and specialists like mental health teams.
How to become a Paramedic
The most popular way to become a paramedic is through a paramedic science course
3 years full-time
Part-time courses may also be available. Contact your chosen university to see if this is an option.
Once you’ve successfully completed your degree you must register with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) before you can start practicing.
- Two or three A levels, including one science subject.
- Five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English Language, Maths and one Science subject.
- Equivalent qualifications:
- A BTEC, HND or HNC with science subjects.
- A relevant NVQ.
- A science- or health-based access course.
- Equivalent level Scottish or Irish qualifications.
There are opportunities to apply throughout the year, with September through to January being the busiest months. During February to October, UCAS Extra and Clearing applications are open, where universities look to fill in any course vacancies.
Keep in mind that individual universities may also set their own deadlines during this period.
Find a Paramedic degree using the UCAS Course Finder
You’ll need to apply for an apprentice position with a healthcare provider.
You’ll be expected to have some relevant experience, either voluntary or paid. For example, working as an emergency care assistant or volunteering with St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross. You must also hold a full, manual driving licence when you apply.
Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while gaining a qualification. Your employer and the government will pay the tuition fees for your apprenticeship, meaning apprenticeships are not eligible for student finance.