Ambulance Officers and Paramedics provide emergency health care and transport for injured, sick, infirm and aged persons to medical facilities.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed, although entry to this occupation is now with a university qualification and around half of workers have this qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • attending accidents, emergencies and requests for medical assistance
  • assessing health of patients, determining need for assistance, and assessing specialised needs and factors affecting patients' conditions
  • performing therapies and administering drugs according to protocol
  • resuscitating and defibrillating patients and operating life-support equipment
  • transporting accident victims to medical facilities
  • transporting sick and disabled persons to and from medical facilities for specialised treatment and rehabilitation
  • instructing community groups and essential service workers in first aid
  • attending public gatherings and sporting events where accidents and other health emergencies may occur
  • ensuring that ambulances are adequately maintained and stocked with medical supplies, and that equipment is in good working order
  • preparing written reports on the state of patients' injuries and treatment provided

Job Titles

  • Ambulance Officer, or Paramedic
  • Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic
  • Ambulance Officer, or Paramedic

    Provides specialised transport services and emergency health care for injured, sick, infirm and aged persons. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Patient Transport Officer

  • Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic

    Provides intensive pre-hospital health care to injured, sick, infirm and aged persons and emergency transport to medical facilities. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,700 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Associate Degree or Diploma
  • Employment Size

    16,800
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    62.7%
  • Female Share

    37.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    83.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 16,800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Ambulance Officers and Paramedics work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,700 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20059800
200610600
200710200
20088500
20099600
201011400
201115300
201216500
201312900
201411000
201516800
202018600

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings17001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsAll Jobs Average
Full-time83.868.4
Part-time16.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.540.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance94.9
Public Administration and Safety1.8
Education and Training1.3
Mining0.9
Other Industries1.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsAll Jobs Average
NSW34.831.8
VIC31.025.5
QLD15.519.8
SA7.86.8
WA5.311.2
TAS3.02.0
NT1.81.1
ACT0.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.4-5.45.4
20-246.9-9.99.9
25-3416.2-23.423.4
35-4430.5-21.721.7
45-5431.6-21.121.1
55-599.2-8.78.7
60-643.7-5.95.9
65 and Over1.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males62.7Males53.6
Females37.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationAmbulance Officers and ParamedicsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate14.1-8.68.6
Bachelor degree43.8-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma42.2-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed, although entry to this occupation is now with a university qualification and around half of workers have this qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Ambulance Officers and Paramedics who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    91% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Medicine and Dentistry

    88% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  3. Public Safety and Security

    87% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  4. English Language

    87% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Education and Training

    79% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    94% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Documenting/Recording Information

    91% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  3. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    90% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    90% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    89% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

Occupational Information Network Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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