What does a paramedic do?

Paramedics comprise the first response unit of emergency medical care, often providing critical aid to those in need. The tasks and duties performed by a paramedic will be dictated by your particular field and qualification level. A broad overview might include daily tasks such as providing first aid, patient transportation to hospital, driving and operating an emergency response vehicle, providing emotional support for on scene bystanders and the handling and replenishment of medical supplies.


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

What skills do I need to be a paramedic?

Being a paramedic can be both a trying and fulfilling profession. The working conditions of a paramedic can vary wildly from patient to patient, they must possess both technical and interpersonal skills to cope effectively with patients and their loved ones in the midst of a medical crisis. Administering life support, operating an emergency response vehicle, communicating with people who may be stressed, injured or traumatised and working nights and shift work are just some of the required skills.

  • Ability to perform in highly stressful situations
  • Communication skills
  • Speedy decision making
  • Possession of unrestricted driver’s license and ability to operate vehicle safely


The title paramedic covers a number of different health care professions that specifically target patients requiring emergency medical assistance outside of a hospital setting. There are a number of different pathways to consider when becoming an emergency services provider.

Intensive Care Paramedic

An intensive care paramedic must complete tertiary study in intensive care and paramedical training. They work from well-equipped ambulances that aim to provide a standard of care similar to an intensive care ward while patient transport is underway.

First Responder

While not a fully qualified paramedic, first responders work in a variety of settings, including volunteer organisations and private first aid companies medical care to patients. This is a great first step fro those considering a career in paramedicine before committing to a full course of study.

Patient Transport Officer

A patient transport officer is required to have completed a Certificate III in Non-Emergency Patient Transport. They provide hospital transport services for patients who lack mobility and transport options in situations when their health is not in immediate danger but hospital attention is required.

Study pathways for paramedics

There are a number of different pathways leading to a career in paramedicine. Depending on your chosen specialisation, the educational and training requirements will vary for each state.

Getting Started

For beginners, there are a number of different entry-level health care courses.

Skill Building

Identify your interests within health and find courses that put you on the right track.

Professional Development

These study options will help you develop useful skills in health care, allowing you to further your career.

Industry Recognition

In order to work as a qualified paramedic, you will need to meet the requisite qualification and training levels for the position and your state.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your emergency healthcare career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for emergency healthcare jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

The last ten years has seen an increase in employment opportunities for paramedics in Australia with the trend expected to continue