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How to Become a Paramedic

Insight into career opportunities for paramedics.  
Paramedics providing emergency medical care to a patient in an ambulance.
Ambulances zoom by on the roads every day, often with sirens blaring and lights flashing. If you’re interested in what the paramedics inside this fast-moving vehicle actually do, how they became qualified as medical professionals, or if this career is right for you then we’ve got just the blog, keep reading…  

How to become a paramedic in Australia  

So you’re interested in pursuing a career in paramedicine – where do you begin? In Australia, the pathways to becoming a paramedic might differ depending on which state or territory you live in. To become a paramedic in Queensland you need to complete a bachelor degree in paramedicine, such as UniSQ’s Bachelor of Paramedicine. Our degree, delivered by leading academics and highly experienced professionals, is accredited by the Paramedicine Board of Australia (PBA) and listed as an approved degree with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Upon graduation, in order to gain registration as a paramedic you will need to satisfy specific registration criteria as well as meet qualification and suitability standards of the PBA. 

Tasks and duties: a day in the life of a paramedic  

The short answer to the question ‘what do paramedics do?’ is that they respond to medical emergencies and provide out-of-hospital care. In reality, the role of a paramedic is highly varied and brings something new each day. As a paramedic your day might involve:  

  • Responding to medical emergencies, for example a heart attack  
  • Attending accidents, such as car crashes  
  • Assessing and treating a patient while transporting them to hospital  
  • Attending events, such as sporting games or festivals, where accidents might occur 
  • Transporting non-emergency patients to and from hospital for routine treatment  
  • Restocking the ambulance with medical supplies and performing daily equipment checks  
  • Reporting on the treatment provided to patients  

How long does it take to become a paramedic?  

UniSQ’s Bachelor of Paramedicine is made up of 24 units (inclusive of clinical placement) and can be completed in three years if studied full-time. A full-time study load is typically four units per semester. If part-time study is a better fit for you, take advantage of our flexible ways to study. You can take one subject at a time, study over summer, or take extra subjects when life allows it.  

How to apply for a paramedicine degree at UniSQ? 

You’ve done your research and now you’re ready to apply for Paramedicine at UniSQ – here is what you need to know.  

Undergraduate applications are generally submitted through QTAC but can also be submitted directly to UniSQ – discover the application process that’s right for you.  
Before you start your application ensure you meet the entry requirements. To be eligible to complete the practical components of the degree you will also need to provide documentation such as a first aid certificate, Blue Card or Working with Children Check, and immunisation evidence. More information can be found on the Bachelor of Paramedicine degree page.  

At UniSQ, we know embarking on a new learning journey can be daunting at times. So remember that our team are always here to help – whether you want to talk through what’s involved in the degree, the application process, study options, or check if you meet entry requirements. You can call, chat, email or visit us on campus to learn more. 

Is a paramedicine degree right for me?  

If you’re considering a career as a paramedic, having the below characteristics would be to your advantage: 

  • Enjoy helping others 
  • Compassionate   
  • Good at problem-solving  
  • Strong communication skills  
  • Willingness to learn  
  • Thrive under pressure  
  • Able to deal with blood and injury  
  • Work well in a team  
  • Physically fit 
  • Open to shift work  

There are many positives to a career as a paramedic – for one thing saving lives is pretty amazing! Working in emergency services can also be very fast-paced and provide you with opportunities to work in a variety of settings. You can be sure that no two days will ever the same. Most importantly, this fulfilling career path will allow you to provide help and support to people during their most vulnerable moments. Your role will make an impact in people’s lives every day. 

There are of course also many challenging aspects to a position like this, including the need to navigate confronting situations, and manage shift work with family and life commitments. Take the time to consider what’s important to you in your career and remember you aren’t alone on your journey! If you have any questions along the way, contact us to chat through your options.  

What is the average paramedic salary in Australia?
According to Seek (2023) the average paramedic salary is between $100,000 and $120,000. However, this figure will vary depending on your position and experience. 
What do paramedics do?

Paramedics are one of the first responders to medical emergencies. Often as an ambulance is in transit, paramedics will attend to patients with life-threatening and non-life-threatening injuries. The role of a paramedic also involves tasks such as: 

  • patient transfers between hospitals 
  • documenting the condition of a patient to ensure accurate handover 
  • attending events where injuries may occur 
  • performing regular checks of the emergency vehicles 
  • restocking medical supplies.  
What qualifications do you need to be a paramedic?
Depending on where you live, the requirements to become a qualified paramedic will vary. Generally, in Australia you will need to complete a Bachelor of Paramedicine or a Bachelor of Paramedic Science which will include a mandatory professional experience element. If you choose to study UniSQ’s Bachelor of Paramedicine, you will be required to complete extensive clinical placements with the Queensland Ambulance Service and in other health care settings. You will also need to be registered with the Paramedic Board of Australia (PBA) via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).