Paramedics deal with emergencies, giving people life-saving medical help.
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What does a paramedic do?

As a paramedic you could be:

  • 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

What do I need to do to become a paramedic?

You can become a paramedic through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards it
  • a trainee scheme


You'll need to get a university paramedic qualification that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Full-time courses usually take three years.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • two to three A levels for a degree


You can take a paramedic degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship


You could start as an ambulance care assistant. With further training and experience, you could apply for a training scheme as a paramedic.

Volunteering and experience

Entry is very competitive, and it may help you if you've volunteered as a community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance or an NHS ambulance trust.

Other routes

You could apply for a training scheme as a student paramedic for an ambulance service, and you would do your university paramedic qualification on the job.


You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.


You'll need to:

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Discipline
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Patience
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work on an ambulance, at a client's home or in the community.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors some of the time.

Career opportunities

You could go on to become a senior paramedic, with additional skills and responsibilities.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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