Be the one saving lives. A career in health services is an exciting opportunity to provide a vital service and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Career Overview

Paramedics respond immediately to 911 emergency calls involving any type of accident, disaster or medical emergency. At the scene of the emergency, they quickly assess patients’ conditions and take action using recommended guidelines and procedures. After dispensing initial treatment at the scene, they then help transport patients to medical facilities, monitoring them all the way until they are handed over to hospital staff. Sometimes, depending on the patient’s condition, they may be required to perform certain types of invasive procedures such as injecting pain-relieving drugs, intravenous cannulation, administering advanced airway management and fluid resuscitation. 

Increasingly, paramedics are also working in communities as part of community health teams to provide primary care services to increase access to basic health care services in non-urgent settings, in patients' homes or the community.

To work as a licensed paramedic you will need to have several key qualities to be able to deal with the different scenarios you are likely to encounter during the course of the job. You may not need to spend four to eight years or more in medical school to become a paramedic but that does not make your responsibilities any less critical. What you do during those first few minutes on the scene will make the difference between life and death.

Career Prospects

WorkBC reports that the median annual salary for paramedical occupations in British Columbia is approximately $64,800 with a $31.07 median hourly wage rate across the province. In addition to their salaries, full-time paramedics often receive benefits, such as dental care and paid vacation and sick days. 

WorkBC reports that for the period 2015-2025, the expected annual demand growth rate for this occupation will be 2.1% across the province.

Regions with Greatest Growth
  • Lower Mainland & Southwest (2.1% annual employment growth with 660 job openings from 2015-2025)

  • Vancouver Island Coast (2.3% annual employment growth with 290 job openings from 2015-2025)

  • Thompson-Okanagan (1.8% annual employment growth with 170 job openings from 2015-2025)

Sources 
WorkBC Career Profile for Paramedical Occupations
Career Cruising database,

 https://www.vpl.ca/siic/guide/employment-guides/paramedical-occupations

Personal Qualifications

  • Good moral and caring character 

  • The ability to stay calm in stressful situations

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

  • Physical fitness and strong communication and interpersonal skills 

  • Flexibility

Minimum Requirements

  • Graduate of a certified paramedic program

  • High school graduate with English language proficiency

  • Criminal background check 

  • Immunization and medical screenings as required

PROGRAMS

Explore programs in this area of study

Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) Refresher
Professional Training
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
Associate Certificate
Health Sciences (EMS)
Diploma
Primary Care Paramedicine (PCP)
Certificate
Advanced Care Paramedicine (ACP)
Advanced Diploma