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Occupation Details

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Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€25k > 40
Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 36
Related Information:
Student Paramedic: Salary at 01.01.2016: 25,702 for the period of training.

Paramedic Salary Scale at 01.01.2016:
25,702 - 36,640 (Basic)

Advanced Paramedic: Paramedic Basic Salary plus 9215 allowance Per annum
Data Source(s):
HSE.ie; National Ambulance Service

Last Updated: March, 2017

Emergency Medical Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 40
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

While no shortages exist, demand is evident for dieticians, cardiac technicians and audiologists.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Healthcare Support Professionals

Also included in this category:

Paramedics; pharmaceutical technicians; medical and dental technicians; dental hygienists.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 27%
Male / Female: 31 / 69%
Non-Nationals: 10%
With Third Level: 64%
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Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Administers first-aid treatment and life-support care to sick or injured persons in pre-hospital settings.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:2

Keith Hayes
Ambulance / Paramedic

Keith works as an Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service and is based in Dublin. He pursued this career directly from leaving school and has gone on to complete a Higher Diploma in Emergency Medicine. Despite the sometimes horrific incidents he is called to attend he remains upbeat and rewarded by the unique and influential role he plays in life and death situations.

Go to Interview

Ambulance Service
Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedic
Hear what it's really like to work on the front line with the National Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic and Advanced Paramedic.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Control Room Manager - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Paramedic - from: UL Paramedic Studies Info [Video]

The Work header image

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the entry-level employment role within the national ambulance service.

EMTs are only authorised to work on non-emergency ambulances. This is because the official requirment for emergency calls is a minimum two-paramedic crew.

Student Paramedics undertake a training programme as well as ongoing training processes thereafter. Once qualified and licensed to practice by the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), candidates will be offered positions at the grade of Paramedic at various locations throughout the National Ambulance Service.

The Paramedic Training Programme is a two year full time programme comprising of:

  • An initial twelve weeks training in the National Ambulance Service College (NASC). Here students learn both the theory and the skills necessary to function as an operational paramedic.
  • An additional four weeks experiential module in various hospital departments such as maternity, coronary care, theatre and the emergency department.
  • Five weeks experiential ambulance placements as an observer.
  • Two further weeks in the classroom cumulating in the first stage PRE-Hospital Emergency Care council NQEMT Paramedic examination. This consists of both theory and practical examinations.

On successful completion of the training programme, student paramedics  progress to a twelve week undergraduate internship based on an emergency ambulance, working under the supervision of a mentor.

Following this, students return to the NASC for a further two weeks training and consolidation cumulating in the second stage PHECC NQEMT examinations. This consists of both a theory and practical element.

On successful completion of these assessments the student progresses to a Post Graduate Internship; where the Student Paramedic is allocated a position in one of the NAS areas and undertakes working as part of an Emergency Ambulance crew.

Paramedics are more highly qualified than EMTs because they undergo a longer period of training. However, EMTs are a vital part of the voluntary and auxiliary services where an emergency practitioner must be on board any ambulance transporting a patient to hospital.

Paramedics respond to emergency calls, perform certain medical procedures and transport patients to hospital in accordance with protocols and guidelines established by physician medical directors.

Advanced Paramedics  - The PHECC Registered Advanced Paramedic is responsible for the care, treatment and movement of patients and maintaining self, vehicles, equipment and station in a manner fit to respond to that role. Paramedics must have a minimum of two years paramedic registration experience in order to be eligible to apply for this training programme.

Some of the Clinical/Patient Care responsibilities of an Advanced Paramedic include:

  • Developing positive working relationships with other staff and stakeholders; internal and external, to ensure seamless delivery of care and to optimise outcomes for their patients
  • Attend to cases of accident and sudden illness and respond to AS1, AS2 and AS3 calls in a prompt and timely manner
  • Deal with emergencies as directed
  • Attend to patients in a professional courteous and compassionate manner using best practice including compliance with Clinical Practice Guidelines

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Administer first aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured persons in prehospital settings.


Operate equipment, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), external defibrillators, or bag valve mask resuscitators, in advanced life support environments.


Perform emergency diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as stomach suction, airway management, or heart monitoring, during ambulance ride.


Observe, record, and report to physician the patient's condition or injury, the treatment provided, and reactions to drugs or treatment.


Assess nature and extent of illness or injury to establish and prioritize medical procedures.


Drive mobile intensive care unit to specified location, following instructions from emergency medical dispatcher.


Decontaminate ambulance interior following treatment of patient with infectious disease and report case to proper authorities.


Administer drugs, orally or by injection, or perform intravenous procedures under a physician's direction.


Immobilize patient for placement on stretcher and ambulance transport, using backboard or other spinal immobilization device.


Coordinate work with other emergency medical team members or police or fire department personnel.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.


Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Training and Teaching Others: Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Medicine and Dentistry: Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

A caring, responsible and mature personality is very important. You must be able to cope with distressing situations. Good social and patient communication skills are also important, as in times of trauma the patient needs to feel as comfortable as possible and you will need to build good working relationships with regular patients.  
You must be fit, healthy and have good stamina, as there is a lot of heavy lifting involved. In some ambulance services, your colour vision may be tested. A full, clean driving licence is essential and you will need to be qualified to drive an ambulance.  
Also highly motivated, stamina as you could be asked to work shifts and also on call which could be twenty-four hours. A clean current full driving licence for a minimum of one year is essential.

Entry Routesheader image

The National Ambulance Service College provides training to Ambulance Personnel, the Irish Coastguard, the Defence Forces, Gardai, Health Care Professionals and members of Voluntary Organisations.

The range of training courses includes patient care programmes, leadership courses, tutor development, major incident planning and preparation and driving.

Student Paramedics gain experience under the guidance of fully qualified Paramedics and the Education and Competency Assurance Officer in that area.

Eligibility Criteria for the Grade of Student Paramedic [October 2016]:

1. (i) Possess a minimum of six passes in the Leaving Certificate Examination Ordinary Level or higher including Mathematics and a Science subject (i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agriculture Science)*

*A Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of Science subject

Or (ii) an equivalent qualification

Or (iii) A Degree at QQI L7 or above from a recognised Higher or Further Education Institute

2. Be the holder of a full unendorsed Class C1 Driving Licence on application. (Note Irish 78 Restriction is not acceptable)


  • The minimum six passes* in the Leaving Certificate Examination must be taken at Ordinary Level or higher. *A pass equals a grade at D3 or above in an ordinary or higher level subject (formally known as pass or honours)
  • Mathematics & Science must be two of the six subjects. Science subjects are Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural Science.
  • A Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of a Science subject where the applicant already possesses six passes in the Leaving Certificate.
  • Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) or Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) will not be accepted.
  • Subjects taken at Foundation Level or Link Modules will not be accepted.

Bachelor of Paramedic Studies LM103 at UL - Undergraduate Entry via CAO

An alternative route open to all those with an interest in patient care in the Pre-Hospital Field is Paramedic Studies at UL. Students get the opportunity to acquire skills, knowledge and competencies required for a career in professional ambulance services. During your 4 years of study you will be taught the basic medical and clinical sciences and afforded the opportunity to hone and practice your skills in a controlled supervised environment. This will hopefully build you into a rounded and knowledgeable registered health care professional.

BSc Paramedic Studies LM236 at UL - Practitioner Entry (Graduate /Mature Sudent Entry) 

The Paramedic Studies programme at UL is open to experienced paramedics/advanced paramedics who can demonstrate current paramedic practice. It has a highly innovative curriculum which offers students the opportunity to complete an honours degree by predominantly distance learning. During your 1.5 years of study, you will be taught the basic medical and clinical sciences necessary to build into a rounded and knowledgeable healthcare professional.

A list of frequently asked questions about how to become a Paramedic with the HSE and current eligibility criteria are available here.

See also: National Ambulance Service Recruitment Information Pack [October 2016]

The HSE periodically run recruitment campaigns for the position of Student Paramedic within the HSE. The recruitment process involves online application, aptitude testing and interviews.

Successful candidates are then placed on a panel which is used by the HSE to recruit new Student Paramedics as positions become available. When the panel is exhausted, a new recruitment competition is opened.

You can register your interest for specific grades by emailing talentpool@hse.ie. When a competition for this grade of staff is about to be launched you will receive an email notification, alerting you to the campaign advertisement.

You can also register for alerts on www.publicjobs.ie where all HSE and NAS recruitment campaigns are advertised.

Campaigns are also advertised on the HSE website 

See alsoNational Ambulance Service

Last Updated: November, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Ambulance Care Assistant - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Ambulance Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Emergency Medical Dispatcher - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Emergency Medical Technician (paramedic) - from: GradIreland
Go..Patient Transport Service Controller - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Ambulance Service
Address: Rivers Building, Tallaght Cross, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Tel: (01) 4631624
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare
Psychology & Social Care

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