What Qualification is Needed to be Classed as a ‘Paramedic’?

Re-published 21st February, 2024.

As Australias leading specalist college for emergency and non-emergency healthcare courses, we’re often asked the question, “How can I work as a Paramedic in Australia?”. For many, studying paramedicine or a paramedical course is a life-long dream, one of which we love to support. 

In good news, the answer to this question is quite simple. In even better news, there are multiple pathways one can take to to pursue this life-long dream!

Where can I study a Paramedicine course?

There are two main options to study healthcare in Australia – either via higher education or within the VET sector

What is higher education?

To simply answer this question, higher education can be best referred to as ‘university’ or similar establishments. Higher education is often at a degree level, whether a bachelor, master doctorate etc. 

What is VET education?

VET standards for “Vocational Education and Training” and can be best defined by hands-on training. These courses are often shorter than higher educational courses. 

What is the difference between higher education and VET education?

The biggest difference between higher education and VET is that VET is more practical, hands-on and involved rather than the ‘learning through a textbook’ approach higher education takes. Whilst higher education does have a practical aspect attached, it’s more involved with thinking skills rather than ‘learning on the job’. 

How to work as a Paramedic in Australia

As mentioned already, there are two ways to study a paramedicine course in Australia, but not all allow you to work as a paramedic immediately upon graduation. To work as a Registered Paramedic in Australia, whether you wish to work for the State Ambulance service or within the private sector, you need to undertake a Bachelor of Paramedical Science (or equivalent). This degree is typically 3-years full time at a recognised university.

What to expect studying a Bachelor of Paramedic Science

Homing 42 universities across the nation*, Australia is a very well-educated nation. According to the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), in 2021 the rates of participation of tertiary education in 2021 skyrocketed from 31% in 200 to 54%*.
*Source: Study Australia (2024)
*Source: Financial Review (2024)

Typically, a Bachelor of Paramedic Science is run across 24 core units, with reccommendations for individuals to pursue prior education in biology, physics or* or chemistry*. The degree prepares individuals with the skills to pursue a career in emergency medicine across remote, regional and urban areas.
*Source: University of Southern Queensland (2024)
*Source: Central Queensland University (2024)

To learn about the costing of a degree in paramedicine, click here

How to apply for Bachelor of Paramedic Science 

Applying for a Bachelor of Paramedic Science is quite easy and foolproof. 

Before you lodge any type of application, make sure to complete your own research, ensuring that the university (and course) is suited towards your needs as an individual. Once you have done this, review all of the pre-requistes and apply! You’ll likely be guided by the university for the next steps, including on the further details you need to supply, documents etc. 

It is important to note that gaining entry into the Bachelor of Paramedic Science is extremely competitive, given the strict ATAR requirements. Due to this, a popular pathway for graduates to pursue is by studying a HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care (or similar) to offer them the chance to hone in on their skillsets and gain employment in the sector before even starting the degree!

What are the benefits of completing a Diploma for VET entry into the degree?

If you didn’t receive the ATAR needed for university admission, or maybe you’re a mature aged student wanting to look to change careers – VET entry pathway might be ideal for you!

Studying APC’s HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care can place you on the best pathway to success for VET entry into university, with the below universities and their programs having previously offered admission to our Diploma graduates in prior years:

Studying and graduating from APC’s HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care can offer the chance to earn a stable income as an Emergency Medical Technician (or similar) whilst studying the degree but also provide you with the confidence needed in-field, plus the chance for discounted university fees and time off your degree too. 

Do Diploma graduates excel at university?

Not yet convinced of the power in VET? Watch the video below to listen to Sam Willis, Paramedical Lecturer at Curtin University explain how APC graduates in his class are taking such significant strides in their bachelor degree.  Not only is their clinical knowledge advanced, but they demonstrate the correct way to interact and engage with others, which is a huge part of the job.

About Australian Paramedical College

No matter your age or circumstances, Australian Paramedical College (APC) wants to assist you in pursuing a career in paramedicine. 

Our nationally recognised paramedical pathway training provides a flexible and affordable training pathway to employment in the private sector or as a stepping stone to university to study a Bachelor of Paramedic Science.

Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. With online learning a part of everyday life, it’s easier to fit study around your lifestyle. A few hours here and there each week is often all it takes to begin progressing your studies. click the button below learn more on becoming a paramedic with APC today!

What is your career journey?

To discover how you can become a fully qualified Ambulance Paramedic or Basic/Advanced Life Support Medic, complete a personalised paramedical career development plan.