How to become a Paramedic?

As a paramedic, you'll often be the first to arrive when a patient needs help. A fast-paced and incredibly vital role, no two days as a paramedic are the same.


If this sounds like a good fit for you, the National Careers Service also says that you'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding

  • customer service skills

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations

  • excellent verbal communication skills

  • knowledge of public safety and security

  • to be flexible and open to change

  • the ability to work well with others


How to become a paramedic:


To practise as a paramedic, you must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). And to register with the HCPC, you first need to complete an approved qualification in paramedic science.


There are a few different routes to studying and qualifying as a paramedic:


Qualification in paramedic science


One option is to take a full-time approved qualification in paramedic science (e.g. at a university). After which, you'll be in a position to apply directly to an ambulance service as a qualified paramedic.


Courses take between two and four years, and will include a mixture of theory and practical work, such as placements with ambulance services. You will need two or three A Levels, including a science, or equivalent qualifications. Search for courses here.


** You'll receive £5,000 a year to help fund your studies through the NHS Learning Support Fund.


Can I apply directly without an approved qualification?


You could also look to apply to a Degree Apprenticeship through an ambulance service. Search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an apprenticeship website.


Numbers are currently small, however, and so it's worth looking to get some relevant experience to help you stand out in your application. For example, you can get experience as a community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance or an NHS ambulance trust.