How To Become A Paramedic In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students are searching for steps on how to become a paramedic in Australia in NSW, QLD, VIC, WA, SA, NT and Tasmania.


If you have ever seen a paramedic at work, you will know that there is something highly noble about this profession. Looking at how they work so seamlessly as a team is enough motivation to become a paramedic at one point.


Life as a paramedic can be both physically and emotionally exhausting as it demands a lot of dedication, study, and hard work. However, helping people in need makes this profession rewarding and worthwhile.


If you want a change and make a real difference in society by saving lives, consider becoming a paramedic. Read the post below for detailed information on becoming a paramedic in Australia.



1. What Does A Paramedic Do?


Being a paramedic is more than rushing to support and help people in need. They are well-trained medical professionals who often work under intense pressure situations, which requires them to have quick decision-making skills. 


Besides, they communicate with people, respond to medical emergencies, and transport patients to health facilities daily.


Furthermore, paramedics also attend to people facing non-life-threatening situations like sporting injuries, minor pains, etc. They must manage ambulances with various clinical equipment, stretchers, and medicine.


Paramedics not only provide first aid kits during emergencies. They also perform clinical procedures, maintain patient records, administer drugs, and quickly decide on the most suitable action for a specific situation. For instance, to which medical facility to bring the patient.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Paramedic


Here are the most common tasks and duties performed by paramedics in Australia:


  • Drive ambulances to medical emergency or accident sites that may require advanced life support administration.

  • Assess, treat, and manage a patient's treatment on-site or on the way to the hospital.

  • Lift patients, place them on stretchers, load the stretcher into the ambulance, and transport patients to a health facility. 

  • Prepare and deliver written reports mentioning the state of a patient's injury and the treatment provided.

  • Instruct essential service workers and community groups on how to provide first aid.

  • Supervise and support new staff and student paramedics. 

  • Replace fluids and administer pain-relieving drugs according to the protocol. 

  • Use specialist equipment, including defibrillators and ventilators. 

  • Offer routine transport services between home and hospital to patients who require further treatment or other specialised treatment, such as chemotherapy or occupational therapy.

  • Decide whether admission to the hospital is needed, and assess how to transport patients and what is the best health facility for them.

  • Attend public gatherings like sporting events, where health emergencies or accidents may occur. 

  • Provide hospital staff with patient information, including the condition and treatment.

  • Act professionally at all times and maintain the confidentiality of patients.

  • Perform daily vehicle and equipment checks to ensure that the ambulance is in good working order and that medical supplies are stocked.



3. What Are The Study Pathways To Become A Paramedic in Australia


There are different educational pathways to enter a career in paramedicine. Depending on your chosen specialisation, each state's education and training requirements may also vary. Here are the three most common study pathways you can choose to become a paramedic in Australia:



  • Pathway 1: You can directly enrol at a university and study a three-year Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree full-time. While studying, you can also choose to work as a student Paramedic for one year with a state ambulance service and then apply for a full-time job later. After completing paramedic studies, all university graduates must send their applications to the Paramedicine Board of Australia to become accreditated paramedics.


  • Pathway 2: You can study full-time paramedical courses in a classroom from a TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institute. You can even work in the private sector while studying and then later apply for a university to earn your bachelor's degree.


  • Pathway 3: If TAFE is not an option, you can take an online course and obtain a Diploma of Paramedical Science, a nationally recognised qualification. This qualification will help you to find a well-paid job in the private sector as an emergency medical technician, event medic, private medic, mining medic, and other similar positions. This pathway works best for working people who need more time and resources to attend a university physically.


Note: You cannot apply to become a registered Ambulance Paramedic with a Diploma. For that, you need to complete your Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.



4. Steps To Become A Paramedic in Australia


We all know that paramedics are the first to reach the scene during an accident or medical emergency. They provide immediate care to the sick or injured and, if required, take them to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. 


As a paramedic, you have a crucial role to play and help people in need. Perhaps, you can make a difference between life and death in a few seconds with your quick actions and thinking.


Suppose you can handle the pressure of being a paramedic and take on every responsibility with a relaxed mind. In that case, you are ready to become a paramedic.


The demand for paramedics in Australia has steadily increased over the last ten years, so now is the best time to get started. Now, let us check the steps below to find out how to become a paramedic in Australia:



Step 1: Prove You Are an Australian Resident


The first step towards becoming a paramedic in Australia is to possess a valid passport or ID that shows you are a citizen or resident of Australia. Almost all paramedic services in Australia require this information. Having New Zealand citizenship can be accepted as well.



Step 2: Achieve and Maintain an Unrestricted Driver's License


As a paramedic, you will often drive an ambulance and be responsible for equipment and passengers. Therefore, you must ensure you can operate a vehicle by holding an unrestricted driver's license.



Step 3: Obtain a Degree in Paramedics


Ambulance services in all states of Australia require you to have a degree in Paramedic Science to become a paramedic. Therefore, you need to apply to a university that offers degrees in Paramedic Science.


You can contact universities directly or online to see if they have programs that will enable you to complete a bachelor's degree in Paramedic Science.


Note: Before applying to any university, read and check the instructions carefully — they may ask you to submit necessary documents like letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, a copy of your CV, or a statement of interest. 



Step 4: Register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia


Once you complete your studies, you must register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia through AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Health Regulation Agency). This is necessary to become a registered and qualified paramedic in Australia.


Note: It is compulsory to renew your AHPRA registration yearly and maintain a record of your CPD (continuing professional development) activity.



Step 5: Look for a Job


There are plenty of ambulance services you can join, including New South Wales Ambulance (NSW), Queensland Ambulance Service (QLD), or Ambulance Victoria (VIC). You can apply for a particular service based on their requirements or location. 


Make sure you research these services thoroughly before applying to know what the work entails.



Step 6: Consider a Specialised Role


When you become a paramedic, there are various specialisations on offer. So it is always worthwhile to take your time and explore your options. Here are some of the specialised roles that you can consider:


  • Intensive Care Paramedic: An intensive care paramedic deals with serious emergencies like car accidents and heart attacks. They provide intensive treatment to patients before arriving at the hospital. Intensive care paramedics receive rigorous training in pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology. It enhances their ability to make tough clinical decisions without consulting other medical professionals.


  • First Responder: A first responder works in various settings and gives first aid to needy patients. If you are not qualified as a paramedic, this field is a great way to start and build up your experience.


  • Paramedic Clinical Instructor: A paramedic clinical instructor delivers training and support to paramedic interns.


  • Patient Transport Officer: This profession allows you to work with different people and help them reach the hospital for non-emergency care or other appointments. A patient transport officer's job is perfect for applicants looking to work in a healthcare setting but does not want to deal with highly stressful emergencies.



Step 7: Submit your Job Application


Once you decide on the paramedic job role that you want to take up, visit the specific ambulance service's website and check out their application process. Remember, each service may have different criteria, so thoroughly review the application forms and submit the correct information.


The application may ask you for information like which university you received your degree from and other records such as a driver's license and passport copy. They may even ask for previous experience that makes you the right candidate for the job.


If you face any difficulty while filling out the application form, contact a representative from the ambulance service via phone or email and ask them for further details.



5. What Skills Do You Need to Become a Paramedic in Australia?


To work as a paramedic, you need to possess several critical skills to deal with situations you are likely to encounter during your job. So let us find out what skills you need to be a paramedic in Australia:


  • Strong teamwork skills to work alongside hospital staff and other crew. 

  • The ability to remain focused and calm under pressure.

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, their family and friends, and the public in general.

  • The ability to think clearly and act quickly.

  • Exceptional listening, written, and oral skills for reporting conditions.

  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • The ability to work autonomously and as a team.

  • A highly-motivated and responsible approach towards work.

  • Caring, compassionate, and non-judgmental attitude.

  • Excellent driving skills for driving an ambulance.

  • Physical strength and stamina to lift and transport patients and heavy equipment.



6. How Long Does It Take To Become A Paramedic In Australia?


Most states and ambulance services in Australia have different training processes for paramedics. However, it usually takes around three years of full-time study and at least one year of practical on-road experience to become a paramedic in Australia. 


Overall, making it a total of four years to be a paramedic.



7. How Much Do Paramedics Earn In Australia?


The Paramedic's salary in Australia may vary, depending on your qualifications, level of training, and work experience. Remember, the more skills you acquire and the more time you spend on the job will increase your earning capacity.


Usually, a private firm pays more than a government position as they may require you to be in a remote location or off-site.


According to PayScale, a paramedic's average annual salary may range between AU$60,000 to AU$94,000.


Now that you know everything about becoming a paramedic in Australia, you are ready to enter the exciting field of paramedics and make a real difference in the world. 


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