Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Most paramedics work for ambulance services. You’ll deal with a range of situations, from minor wounds and substance misuse to serious injuries from fires and major road, rail, and industrial accidents.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • checking a patient’s condition to decide what 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
  • dressing wounds and applying supports for broken bones
  • delivering babies
  • working closely with the police and fire services
  • keeping accurate records and checking equipment (organisational skills)


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of healthcare and medicine
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • excellent driving skills
  • the ability to think and act quickly under pressure and the patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (adaptability)
  • practical skills and the ability to follow procedures
  • excellent communication skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)



Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You’ll need a foundation degree, diploma of higher education (DipHE) or degree in paramedic science or paramedic practice.

You could start as a student paramedic, a trainee technician or an emergency care assistant for an ambulance service.

Working as a volunteer community first responder may help you to get onto a training course.

To become a paramedic you’ll need:

  • to register with the local Health Care Professions Council
  • a driving licence, including ability to drive medium sized vehicles (Category C1 in the UK)
  • to pass a medical check
  • you are likely to need criminal or security clearance from the local authorities in the county you intend to work

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week on shifts, including nights, weekends and bank holidays.

You’ll wear a uniform including protective clothing.

You’ll work in an ambulance, or as a specialist you may work on your own, using a car, motorbike or bicycle.

The job is physically and emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With around 3 years experience, you could become a team leader or a specialist paramedic or emergency care practitioner.

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