How to Become a Paramedic
Looking to become a hero? One of the most fulfilling careers you can go into is that of a paramedic. If you’re ready to get started in this fast-paced role working in the ambulance service, you’ll need to know what to expect and how long it takes to get fully qualified. Health careers and NHS jobs can be very fulfilling. With that in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the main highlights.
What does a paramedic do?
You will have heard the term paramedic, but do you know what they do? These modern-day heroes are the backbone of the NHS and play a vital role in saving people’s lives. Ahead of joining the health and care professions council, you need to do your research. Understanding the demands of the job ahead of time will help you know whether it’s right for you. Here are some of the core tasks and duties:
Of course, when you work in this role, your duties will vary on a daily basis. When you gain a full-time role in the NHS, it can be very demanding. The main point is that you will need a high amount of energy and perseverance to keep up with the demands of this position.
What qualifications are needed to become a paramedic?
If you think that a role in the NHS is for you, you will first need to understand the entry requirements it takes to work as a paramedic. As a minimum, you will need to gain five GCSEs, including maths, English, and one science-based qualification. You will also need to gain two A-Levels or an NVQ of the equivalent credits.
Additionally, you may want to study paramedic science, so you get an overview of this interesting subject. You can do an NVQ, BTEC, and alternative qualifications—such as a degree apprenticeship—in paramedic science. Speak to your careers advisor for more information.
While you can learn this role on the job, there are additional qualifications you may want to undertake. For example, you can study to be a paramedic at university as many campuses offer vocational courses. You will also need to take certain first aid certificates and gain a membership to St. John Ambulance. Aside from all of the above, you will need to ensure that you have a full, clean driving licence.
Once you have ticked all of the above boxes, you can become a student paramedic and start practising. Working in emergency departments is far from easy. However, most healthcare professionals manage to create a sufficient work-life balance.
What skills do you need to be a qualified paramedic?
Excellent communication skills
Proficient driving skills
A clean fitness assessment
An understanding of paramedic practice
The full paramedic training
Relevant work experience
An ability to cope with unpredictable situations
How long does it take to qualify as a paramedic?
Ready to start a flourishing new career? When you have completed your high school education, gaining two A-Levels typically takes two years. You may need to do additional training on the job as well.
Keep in mind that everyone’s path is individual. What’s more, you will need to take driving lessons alongside your education. The final stage of your education will be becoming a student paramedic. At that point, you will learn on the job.
How much does a paramedic earn?
When you first start out in this career, you can expect to make an average of £24,907 per year. However, the longer you stay in the role, the more you can expect to make. For example, an experienced, qualified paramedic will make around £37,890 per year. You will likely see incremental raises in your pay package every year when you work in this type of role, especially if you’re an NHS worker.
The average working week for a paramedic is between 36 and 38 hours. You should understand that this will be shift work, meaning that you will be needed during the weekends and evenings. Therefore, before deciding whether a healthcare career is right for you, you should ensure that you are prepared to work long hours. You can be faced with stressful situations. However, this role is highly fulfilling as you will have the opportunity to save lives and make a real difference.