Six Possible Career Paths for Paramedics

paramedics officer
paramedics officer

The paramedic career path is a promising choice for Canadians. Paramedics are in demand across Canada and earning a Master of Public Safety could open the door to traditional or unconventional paramedic jobs. 

If you’re passionate about providing emergency medical care, using proper techniques for first aid, and educating the public on health and safety issues, there are many other jobs for paramedics that offer exciting opportunities. 

Learn more about unconventional paramedic jobs, job requirements, job outlooks, salaries, and other details that will help you find the best career path for you.

What is a Conventional Paramedic Job? 

A paramedic is a health and safety professional who responds to emergency calls, provides medical care, transports individuals to medical facilities, educates the public about essential health and safety protocols, and more. 

Job Requirements:

  • One- to three-year college program, hospital-based paramedical, or emergency medical technology program
  • Licenced by a regulatory body in the appropriate province
  • A licence of the proper class to operate a vehicle for transporting people during an emergency

Job Outlook: The government of Canada anticipates 8,300 and 8,800 paramedical occupation job openings from now through 2028. 

Salary: The median salary for a paramedic in Canada is $68,640 per year. Entry-level paramedics in Canada earn approximately $44,990 per year, while the most experienced paramedics make up to $91,187 per year.

on duty paramedics officer

Six Other Jobs for Paramedics

What other jobs can a paramedic do? We have outlined six health and safety occupations that closely resemble the paramedic career path.

1. Firefighter

Firefighters are first responders and often the first crew to arrive at an accident or emergency after 911 has been called. Firefighters help extinguish fires, engage in rescue operations, and provide necessary emergency medical responses to individuals. If you are currently pursuing the paramedic career path, you are not far from becoming a registered firefighter.

Job Requirements:

  • Grade 12 diploma or equivalent
  • Provide a valid Standard First Aid and CPR Certificate
  • Complete a physical fitness assessment and medical evaluation
  • Pre-Service Firefighter Education and / or Training Program Certificate 
  • Initial volunteer experience may be helpful. Several years of experience is required to advance to a lieutenant or captain.

Job Outlook: The Government of Canada expects approximately 12,100 firefighter jobs to become available through 2028. The labour market conditions also indicate that the job outlook is fair for prospects in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario.

Salary: The typical base salary for firefighters in Canada amounts to approximately $84,000 per year

2. Police Officer

As a professional with an interest in the paramedic career path, have you ever considered becoming a police officer? Canadian police officers help protect the public, identify crime, and perform activities that uphold law and order to serve the greater community. In Canada, police officers possess various titles, including: a police detective, RCMP officer, community relations officer, highway patrol officer, and more.

Job Requirements:

  • Completion of secondary school 
  • Many local services may require post-secondary education based upon provincial legislation. In Quebec, for instance, a CGEP diploma is required 
  • Completion of a college program or university degree in law and security or the social sciences 
  • A three- to six-month police training program (Ontario Police College requires 2 months for Probationary Constable Training)
  • Physical agility, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met
  • Experience as a constable and the completion of specialized courses are required for detectives and sergeants

Job Outlook: New job openings for police officers in Canada are expected to total 24,500 through 2028.

Salary: RCMP and police officers in Canada can earn anywhere from $53,144 to $146,735 per year depending on seniority and rank. 

3. Registered Nurse

If you have considered a paramedic career path you are probably interested in optimizing the health and well-being of individuals through medical care. Paramedics can also consider becoming a registered nurse (RN). 

A registered nurse treats patients, educates patients and family members, and provides necessary emotional support. RNs work in a variety of environments, from addiction centres and geriatric care to oncology and critical care settings. RNs play an important role in healthcare by advocating for patient needs.

Job Requirements:

  • University, college or approved registered nursing program
  • Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in nursing for clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurses, nursing consultants and nursing researchers
  • Registration with a regulatory body (required in all provinces and territories)

Job Outlook: Registered nurses are in high demand in Canada. The expansion and demand for replacement RNs will open up 191,100 job opportunities in Canada through 2028. 

Salary: A registered nurse in Canada can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $99,840 per year. 

4. Physician’s Assistant

Another possible job for paramedics is working as a physician’s assistant (PA). A PA is a licensed medical professional who has an advanced degree and can provide patient care such as diagnosing and treating common illnesses. A PA works with patients of all ages and works in specialty and primary care settings. 

A PA is responsible for duties like prescribing medication, administering immunizations, and stitching wounds. 

Job Requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Complete two to four years of undergraduate study at the university level.
  • Complete a Physician Assistant program at an accredited Canadian PA school.
  • Write the PA Entry to Practice Examination issued by the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada .
  • Get a PA job and maintain your PA Certification with CPD/CME hours.

Job Outlook: From 2016 to 2018, employment growth for PAs in Canada was above the national average for all occupations. Jobs in this area are expected to total 19,700 through 2028 with only 15,400 qualified job seekers. Working as a PA in Canada has a very positive job outlook. 

Salary: A full-time PA in Canada earns $122,116 per year on average. 

5. Emergency Medical Call Taker or 911 Dispatcher

Emergency medical call takers (EMCTs) combine customer service and patient care to answer emergency phone calls, gather critical information, use designated protocols, and dispatch callers to the correct resources. EMCTs are essential personnel for reassuring people in distress and delivering the best possible service to the greater community.

Job Requirements:

  • Grade 12 diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum 19 years of age
  • Legally eligible to work in Canada
  • Knowledge of the geography of the local area
  • A Standard First Aid and CPR-C Certificate 

Job Outlook: There are approximately 13,500 job openings that need to be filled by 911 dispatchers in Canada through 2028. Nunavut currently has the highest number of job opportunities for 911 dispatchers in Canada.

Salary: EMCTs or 911 dispatchers earn between $14.69 and $36.06 per hour in Canada and must be available for shift work including nights, weekends and statutory holidays.

Emergency Medical Call Taker

6. Emergency Medical Attendant (EMA)

An emergency medical attendant (EMA) is a worker who provides medical care to patients before they reach the hospital and are employed by private ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, government departments and agencies, among others. What is the difference between an EMA and a paramedic? Paramedics who are supervisors are considered EMAs but EMAs also have job titles such as Supervisor of Ambulance Services, Ambulance Attendants, or Emergency Medical Technician. 

Job Requirements:

  • One- to three-year college program, hospital-based paramedical, or emergency medical technology program
  • Licenced by a regulatory body in the appropriate province
  • Driver’s licence to operate an emergency vehicle

Job Outlook: The job outlook for EMAs is good over the next three years in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan. 

Salary: Emergency Medical Attendants usually earn between $21.63 per hour and $43.84 per hour in Canada.

Launch Your Paramedic Career Path with a Master of Public Safety

Starting a career as a paramedic, nurse, firefighter, or physician’s assistant requires different educational pathways and distinctive credentials. A Master of Public Safety (MPS) is the best option for professionals who want to excel as paramedics or in the field of emergency service management. 

Pursuing a Master of Public Safety (MPS) provides a deep understanding of public safety and the knowledge, tools, and skills for current and future leaders in public health and safety settings. 

Jeff Brooks is the Deputy Manager for the Emergency Medical Services Department in Lambton County, Ontario. Jeff is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Safety program, working towards earning his degree online at Wilfrid Laurier University.The program’s flexibility allowed Jeff to work full-time while completing his training 100% online. Jeff reflects on the program by saying:

“I’ve been working in EMS for about 35 years and in Emergency Management for about 20 years and I’ve been impressed by how much information I have learned from this program.”

Studying at Wilfrid Laurier University makes it easier than ever for students to enrol in higher education and complete an advanced degree in public safety. When you choose to study at Laurier, you can expect: 

  • Courses designed by professionals and academics with years of field experience 
  • Flexible and convenient asynchronous courses
  • 100% online delivery
  • Focus on one subject at a time 
  • Earn your credentials while working full-time, from anywhere in the country
  • Personalized support from success advisors

Connect with an advisor to elevate your career with Wilfrid Laurier University.