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Paramedical Occupations (NOC 3234) may also be called:

  • paramedic, advanced care
  • paramedic, advanced life support
  • advanced care paramedic (EMT – P/ACP)
  • EMA (emergency medical attendant)
  • EMT (emergency medical technician)
  • EMT-P (emergency medical technologist)
  • medic
  • assistant, advanced emergency medical
  • attendant, advanced life support
  • attendant, ambulance / infant transport
  • co-ordinator, advanced life support
  • driver / attendant, ambulance

What Would I Do?

Paramedics administer pre-hospital emergency medical care to patients with injuries or medical illnesses and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities for further medical care. Their duties may include:

  • assessing extent of injuries or medical illnesses of trauma victims, patients with respiratory disease and stress, overdose and poisoning victims, industrial accident victims and other ill or injured individuals to determine emergency medical treatment
  • administering pre-hospital emergency care to patients such as oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), spinal immobilization, bandaging and splinting
  • establishing and maintaining intravenous treatment (IV), applying equipment for ventilation and circulation complications
  • administering medications and providing other advanced emergency treatment to patients
  • transporting patients by air, land or water to hospital or other medical facility for further medical care
  • collaborating with ambulance dispatch centres, hospital staff, police, firefighters and family members to ensure relevant information is collected and proper treatment is administered
  • documenting nature of injuries and illnesses and treatment provided
  • maintaining ambulances and emergency care equipment and supplies
  • may assist with triage of emergency patients

More information:

Am I Suited For This Job?

Paramedics must be:

  • able to make decisions calmly and efficiently in moments of crisis
  • emotionally mature
  • compassionate
  • physically fit
  • able to work well independently and as part of a team

Paramedics must have:

  • excellent communication skills
  • a strong desire to help people
  • good eyesight and colour vision

Most emergency medical assistants (EMAs) in B.C. work for the BC Ambulance Service. Full-time paramedics work assigned shifts. Part-time paramedics work on call, depending on need, scheduling and availability. The BC Ambulance Service hires emergency medical responders (EMRs) only on a part-time, on-call basis. Since services are provided 24 hours per day, weekend, evening and holiday work is required. Workers may also have to work some overtime.

Paramedics work both indoors and outdoors in a physically demanding job. Workers spend a great deal of time standing, kneeling, bending and lifting patients in stretchers. Work can be physically demanding, as well as emotionally stressful.

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Paramedical Occupations,  Career Cruising database

What Are The Wages And Benefits?

WorkBC reports that the median annual salary for Paramedical Occupations in British Columbia is approximately $59,690 with a $28.62 median hourly wage rate across the province. JobBank Canada lists hourly wages for BC’s regions where paramedics can expect to make:

b.c. regional hourly wages for paramedical occupations

Table from Job Bank Canada Wage Report

In addition to their salaries, full-time paramedics often receive benefits, such as dental care and paid vacation and sick days

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Paramedical Occupations,  Career Cruising database

What Is The Job Outlook In BC?

Most job opportunities will come from the need to replace retiring workers. The creation of new jobs for paramedics reflects the fact that B.C.’s population is both growing and aging, which is leading to greater demand for emergency medical services.

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

Growth will be greatest in these regions:

  • Lower Mainland & Southwest (2.1% annual employment growth and total 660 job openings from 2015-2025)
  • Vancouver Island Coast (2.3% annual employment growth and total of 290 job openings from 2015-2025)
  • Thompson-Okanagan (1.8% annual employment growth and total 170 job openings from 2015-2025)

job outlook for paramedical occupations, NOC 3234 in BC

JobBank Canada reports that for the 2015-2017 period, the employment outlook for Paramedical Occupations NOC 3234 is expected to be ‘fair’ across the province of B.C. with two regions, Lower Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island Coast, forecast to have a ‘good’ outlook.

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Paramedical Occupations, JobBank Canada, Employment Outlook

How Do I Become a Paramedic?

Licensing:

In B.C, the Emergency Medical Assistants (EMA) Licensing Board is responsible for examining, registering and licensing all emergency medical assistants (EMAs), including first responders. There are five practitioner levels within the Emergency Medical Assistant (EMA) occupation:

  • emergency medical responder (EMR)
  • primary care paramedic
  • advanced care paramedic
  • critical care paramedic
  • infant transport team.

Education:

Before you are eligible to apply for a license, all EMAs must successfully complete a training program recognized by the EMA Licensing Board. See EMA Licensing Board Recognized Training Programs for more information.

  • Emergency medical responder (EMR) requires a 105-hour entry-level training program in emergency patient care and transportation
  • Primary care paramedic (PCP) requires a six-month (including practicum) certificate program
  • Advanced care paramedics (ACP) must complete an 18-month diploma program
  • Critical care paramedic (CCP) and infant transport team (ITT) are the highest levels of paramedic certification within B.C. The CCP program training in B.C. is currently only accessible to advanced care paramedics. The requirement for infant transport team training is PCP certification plus clinical experience.

Additional Requirements for all EMAs:

  • must have a Class 1, 2 or 4 B.C. driver’s license; a Class 4 unrestricted license is preferred
  • should have a driving record that demonstrates safe and competent driving behavior
  • must pass a physical abilities test and a comprehensive criminal records review

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Paramedical OccupationsJustice Institute of BC, Paramedic Academy

Occupational First Aid (OFA)

For information on working as an Occupational First Aid (OFA) attendant and for WorkSafeBC’s Paramedic in Industry course, see WorkSafeBC: First Aid Attendant Certification.

For information on training providers of OFA attendants, see WorkSafeBC First Aid Training Providers (Public Agencies).

How Do I Find A Job?

Where would I work?

Paramedical Occupation workers

  • are primarily employed by the BC Ambulance Service, sole provider of pre-hospital emergency health care for the province
  • may work in industrial, hospital and other settings
  • may work for private ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, government departments and agencies, manufacturing firms, industrial sites

Finding Advertised Jobs

Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and, in The Province on Sundays..

Online Job Postings

  • BC Emergency Health Services
    Careers as Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic, and Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Finding “Hidden Jobs”

Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.

Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers

You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who are in this industry. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “paramedical services”, “paramedics”, “ambulance service” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies

Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.

Networking and the Hidden Job Market:

When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.

  • Canadian Red Cross
    [provides disaster management team of volunteers for relief and recovery assistance]
  • St. John Ambulance
    [Community Services volunteers include uniformed members who serve communities across Canada, providing first aid and emergency response support]
  • Charity Village
    [in ‘Position Type’ box, select ‘unpaid volunteer position’]

For additional tips see:

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

For more information see:

Where Can This Job Lead?

With further training and considerable work experience, workers in this occupational group may be able to work as supervisors, operations managers or senior administrators. Other related careers include emergency medical dispatcher, instructor and salesperson of emergency medical equipment.

Where Can I Find More Information?