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Paramedic Ambulance paramedic

Paramedics deal with emergencies, giving people life-saving medical help.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £35,250 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need a foundation degree, diploma of higher education (DipHE) or degree in paramedic science or paramedic emergency care.

You could start as a student paramedic or trainee technician for an ambulance service. 

You'll need:

The College of Paramedics has more information about becoming a paramedic.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent driving skills
  • the ability to think and act quickly under pressure
  • excellent communication skills

3. What you'll do

You'll deal with a range of situations, from minor wounds and substance misue to serious injuries from a major road or rail accident. 

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • checking a patient's condition and deciding action to take
  • using electric shock equipment (a defibrillator) to resuscitate patients
  • carrying out surgical procedures like inserting a breathing tube
  • giving medicines and injections
  • putting dressings on wounds
  • working closely with the police

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 (qualified paramedic)

Experienced: Up to £28,500

Highly Experienced: £35,250 (senior paramedics and team leaders)

Your salary may increase if you work shifts or work on standby.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week. You'll work shifts at night, weekends and bank holidays.

You'll wear a uniform including protective clothing. Your work may involve lifting. 

You'll work on an ambulance, or you may work on your own, using a car, motorbike or bicycle.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior paramedic, also known as emergency care practitioner. For this, you'll need around 3 years’ experience.

You could also move into operations management, education and training, research or human resources.


Last updated: 21 December 2016