Ambulance Officers and Paramedics
Ambulance Officers and Paramedics provide emergency health care and transport for injured, sick, infirm and aged persons to medical facilities.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 21,000 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 86% of people employed as Ambulance Officers and Paramedics work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 20 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 48 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than three-quarters of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $2,333 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,886
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,788
Median hourly earnings are $56, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Ambulance Officers and Paramedics||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Most Ambulance Officers and Paramedics work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Ambulance Officers and Paramedics||All Jobs Average|
Around 53% of Ambulance Officers and Paramedics live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Victoria and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Ambulance Officers and Paramedics is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 37% of the workforce. This is 11 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Ambulance Officers and Paramedics||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in paramedicine, health science or an equivalent course is usually needed to work as an Ambulance Officer or Paramedic. Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses may be available for some Ambulance Officer specialisations (volunteer paramedics and non-emergency patient transport officer for example).
Registration with the Paramedicine Board of Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Health Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Ambulance Officers and Paramedics||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||7.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Ambulance Officers and Paramedics who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
55%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Talking to others.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Looking for ways to help people.
52%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
45%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Teaching people how to do something.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
89%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
74%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
70%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
65%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
58%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
51%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
48%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
46%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
42%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
41%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Read and understand written information.
See details that are far away.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
52%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
86%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
81%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
78%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
77%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
76%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
73%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
72%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
72%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
72%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
71%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
70%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
67%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
62%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
61%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
57%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
56%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
52%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
50%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
97%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
97%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Work with people in a group or team.
96%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
96%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Talk with people face-to-face.
94%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
92%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
92%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
92%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
91%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
91%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
91%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
91%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
88%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
86%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
85%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-2041.00 - Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.