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How to become a paramedic in Australia: careers in emergency healthcare

Paramedics provide pre-hospital emergency health care to those who need medical attention. They are often the first response unit for the injured and sick and provide urgent care and transport for those who require immediate medical assistance. To practise as a paramedic in Australia, you need to complete a training course and register with your state’s ambulance service. Requirements vary from state to state.
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Being a paramedic: daily duties

Paramedics are the first response unit of emergency medical care, providing critical aid to those in need. Daily tasks and duties will be dictated by a paramedic’s particular field and level of qualification. In general, a paramedic might provide first aid, transport patients, drive and operate an ambulance or other response vehicle, and handling and replenishing medical supplies.


  • On-site emergency medical assistance
  • Transporting patients
  • Operating and maintaining emergency response vehicle
  • Administering life support

Being a paramedic: skills for success

Paramedics need to possess both technical and interpersonal skills to effectively cope with patients and their loved ones during medical emergencies. They need to be able to communicate with people who might be stressed, injured, or traumatised. Willingness to work nights and shift work and in challenging situations is also necessary.
  • Ability to perform in highly stressful situations
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Speedy decision making
  • Hold an unrestricted driver’s licence and ability to operate vehicle

Specialised roles within emergency healthcare

There are a number of different occupations that paramedics can specialise in when they consider becoming an emergency services provider.
  • Intensive Care Paramedic
    Intensive care paramedics work from well-equipped ambulances designed to provide a standard of care similar to that of an intensive care ward while patients are being transported to hospital.
  • First Responder
    First responders aren’t fully qualified paramedics, but is a great first step if considering a career in paramedicine before committing to a full course of study. First responders work in a variety of settings including private first aid companies, and volunteer organisations, delivering medical care to patients.
  • Patient Transport Officer
    Patient transport officers provide hospital transport services for patients who have limited mobility and transport options in situations where their health is not in immediate danger, but they require hospital attention.

Educational pathways for paramedics

Different pathways exist to enter a career in paramedicine. Depending on any chosen specialisations, education and training requirements vary in each state.
  • Start your career
    Start your career by completing one of many different entry-level health care courses.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Identify your interests within health and find courses to put you on the right track.
  • Build your resume
    Develop useful skills in health care that will enable you to further your career with these study options.
  • Industry requirements
    To work as a qualified paramedic in Australia, you must meed the required qualification and training levels for the position and your state.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your emergency healthcare career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    There has been an increase in employment opportunities for paramedics in Australia over the last 10 years, with the trend anticipated to continue.

Resources for paramedics

Career FAQs makes every effort to ensure the information we provide is correct at the time of publication. We welcome your input to help keep our career profiles as accurate and up to date as possible. All queries and feedback will be taken into consideration as we conduct periodic reviews of our content. Add your voice to the conversation!

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