Career Change To Paramedic

For some people, a desk job just doesn’t cut it. They need something more intense; a job in which no two days are the same. If you’re one of those people considering a career change to paramedic, then read on to find out all the information you need.

What Does a Paramedic Do?

A paramedic responds to emergency call-outs and provides life-saving medical care to those who need it. They work in a variety of environments from inside people’s homes in the community, to in an ambulance, to on the street. Paramedics need to be capable of remaining calm under pressure and have the ability to make swift decisions. They must be skilled communicators as they work with numerous people in high-pressure situations.

Changing Careers to a Paramedic

If you’ve been working in a career unrelated to medicine, changing careers to a paramedic will likely involve some retraining. You’ll need to do further study, work or an apprenticeship. Nevertheless, you’ve also acquired a transferable skillset in your previous career which will stand to you when making a career change. We’ll go through the different entry roles to become a paramedic below:


You can become a paramedic by studying for a paramedic science degree which must be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. As a full-time course, it will usually take three years to complete. The entry requirements are 2 to 3 A-Levels or equivalent. Be sure to check out the NHS Learning Support Fund to see if you’re eligible for student financial support.


A Level 6 paramedic degree apprenticeship will also allow you to enter this role. There are no set entry requirements but 4 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 or A-Levels will help you get into the degree apprenticeship.


It’s also possible to work to become a paramedic. You would have to start off as an ambulance care assistant or an emergency medical technician. After you’ve gained some experience, the next step would be to apply for a place in the paramedic training scheme. Depending on the specific ambulance service trust you are going for, varying entry procedures and requirements may apply.


It’s always a good idea to have some experience under your belt before applying to training courses. This is because competition is generally high. Therefore, doing some volunteer work with any of the following organisations could greatly improve your chances of being accepted:

  • Volunteer with a charity or social enterprise like St. John ambulance as a first responder
  • Volunteer with an NHS ambulance trust
  • Work at a daycare centre or care home
  • Get certified in first-aid
  • Find work in an office-based job for the ambulance service

Career Path and Progression

There are a number of different roles that a paramedic can progress to once they’ve worked in the position for three years. After this time, you can go on to become a team leader, a specialist paramedic, or an emergency care practitioner. There are also areas for possible growth in operation management, education and training, and even nursing.

Finding Paramedic Jobs for Career Changers

Sound like something you’d be interested in? For all the latest paramedic jobs, be sure to check out Refreshing a Career’s live jobs board. We’ve got help and advice for career changers, including information on refreshing your skills and settling into a new career later in life.

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