OFO No: 325991



What is a Paramedic? 

Thousands of lives are saved by Paramedics every year! 

A qualified Paramedic is the person who gives pre-hospital emergency medical (life support) care to patients.

They are usually the first ‘medical’ person to arrive at an emergency situation like an accident, fire, terrorist attack etc.

They have to be quick, responsible and be able to handle very stressful situation.

This job is not for the faint-hearted.  It takes guts and dedication, but it can be extremely exciting and rewarding.

What does a Paramedic do?

  • responds to emergency situations
  • assesses the scene and prioritises who needs medical assistance in order of most serious to less serious
  • takes vital signs of patients for example blood pressure
  • tries to stabilise patient/s
  • applies emergency bandaging, splints and dressings where necessary
  • administers other treatments: drips, injections, defibrillation (shocks to the heart), etc
  • gets patients ready for transportation to hospital
  • accompanies patients in ambulance
  • drives the ambulance or other emergency response vehicles
  • informs doctors at the hospital on the patient/s injuries or symptoms
  • writes reports and case notes

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in medical care?
  • people orientated?
  • patient?
  • responsible?
  • able to deal with extremely stressful situations?
  • able to think on your feet?
  • thorough?
  • dedicated?
  • willing to work unusual hours?
  • emotionally strong?

How do I become a Paramedic?

  • Please note that the BAA course is to be discontinued by the HPCSA in the future.
  • Please note that employment as a BAA remains your responsibility and employment positions are limited.


Before you study to become a Paramedic – You might think of volunteering for the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to get a feel and some real-life experience in this environment.

If you live in the Western Cape: CLICK HERE. The Paramedics will train you in first aid so you can travel with them to emergency situations and help out.

There are 3 ways to become a Paramedic:

Path 1

The Emergency Care Technician (ECT) Programme:

2 Year, full time programme. Students graduate with a National Certificate in Emergency Care (EMC) at NQF Level 5.

Qualified candidates will be able to practice at Advanced Life Support (ALS) level with a few restrictions. This Certificate will also allow for a direct entry into the Bachelors Degree.

Minimum requirements:  

Grade 12 + good communication skills

Path 2

 Bachelor of Technology Degree (4 years) at a tertiary institution that offers this course.

Qualification will allow candidate to practice as an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedic. You must be registered with the HPCSA: Health Professions Council of South Africa.


Now offers a BTech degree (4 years) in Emergency Medical Care


Path 3

Netcare 911 has a state of the art School of Emergency & Critical Care (SECC). Various courses and qualifications are run here.

  • (A) Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) – 5 week course.
  • (B) Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA) – 3 month course.
  • (C) Critical Care Assistant (CCA) – 1 year, full time programme.
  • NETCARE 911


  • HPCSA: Health Professions Council of South Africa

Paramedics are employed by public and private ambulance services and hospitals.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Occupational Therapist or Medical Doctor

Is becoming a Paramedic the right career choice for me?