The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is one of the world’s largest ambulance services. That means many paramedic opportunities in the vast state of Queensland exist to service over 4 million people in an area covering almost 1.8 million square kilometres.
Paramedic Queensland estimates 2,780 paramedics are currently employed by the QAS stationed in over 260 response centres state-wide. These simple facts indicate the growing need of paramedic QLD services and the importance of recruiting more paramedics in the coming years.
Currently, the QAS offers two categories of employment for qualified paramedics: Permanent Full-time and Casual employment. Advanced Care Paramedics and Intensive Care Paramedics are the most common positions held within the Queensland Ambulance Service.and does acknowledge that there may be slight variations depending on specific situations and locations.
To be eligible to work as an Ambulance Paramedic with QAS, you definitely need a Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.
Gaining a degree can be financially challenging for some, although using the government Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) loan system, it is quite achievable, although there is a hefty 20% loan fee applied to the cost of the degree. Despite this, the Bachelor qualification means you can work as a registered paramedical practitioner anywhere in Australia. Registration is conducted via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Typically, the Bachelor takes around 3 years to complete and there are many universities in Australia offering the Bachelor in Paramedic Science. You can find more information on which universities offer the paramedic degree here.
If the thought of going to university full-time or even part-time is not possible, then there are other alternatives to achieving your paramedic dream to work with QAS. One of the most popular pathways is to complete the HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care in your spare time, then go to university to complete the degree. The benefits to this are, you can keep in working in your current job and keep on earning, then when you get to the end of the diploma, you may be ready to apply to university.
Depending on which university you choose, you may be granted credits off your degree because you have completed the diploma. Every university is different of course; therefore it is always prudent to make your own enquiries first. Whichever pathway you choose, to work for QAS, you will need a Bachelor in Paramedic Science degree and be registered with AHPRA.
Paramedics who are successful in gaining employment with the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) on a permanent full-time basis, work a normal roster and are eligible to receive all the leave entitlements allotted to them as per the Award. Remembering that a typical shift will be 12 hours, rostered over a variety of day and night shifts.
A normal roster for full-time paramedics is a rotating shift system that total 38 hours a week. In fact, the rosters are 40 hours a week, with the additional 2 hours assessed as accrued time and can be saved up and taken as holidays. Any scheduled time off as a result of the accrued time must be taken in accordance with QAS Scheduled Absence Policy and Procedure.
Queensland paramedic salaries are some of the best in the country when compared to other state ambulance services. It is also on par with private health service companies for paramedic positions state wide.
The salary of an Advanced Care Paramedic is around $85,000 – 105,000 per year. (subject to change)
Likewise, the combined salary of an Intensive Care Paramedic is around $118,526 (per year).
Those who are employed on a casual basis with the Queensland Ambulance Service are not entitled to annual or sick leave. Alternatively, casual paramedics are paid a loading in lieu of these entitlements. As per paramedic QLD standards, casual paramedics are only entitled to pro-rata “Long Service Leave”. Casual employment is strictly paid on an hourly rate.
It is well worth noting that in addition to the base salary/wage rate, Queensland paramedics are eligible to receive additional penalty rates and allowances. These can be accrued for working weekends or public holidays, in addition to penalties for afternoon and night shifts.
Queensland Public Sector employees are required to use the QSuper superannuation scheme. This is standard for all Paramedic QLD employees with the Queensland Ambulance Service.
In some cases, those who have previously been employed with an interstate ambulance service prior to your appointment as a QAS paramedic you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Service (RPS). Provided there is no break in service of more than 3 months. In this case, interstate ambulance services employees can maintain their leave benefits. This applies to for Long Service and Sick Leave purposes only.