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Paramedic: Salary and conditions

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  • Salaries are covered by the National Health Service (NHS) Agenda for Change pay scales. Paramedic salaries start in Band 5, which ranges from £21,478 to £27,901.
  • For team leaders or paramedics who have undertaken extended skills training in critical care or trauma, salaries are in Band 6 which fall between £25,783 and £34,530. Some degree courses include this additional training however it is still likely that you would start your career at Band 5, progressing into Band 6 through an appraisal process when the additional skills have been evidenced in your work.
  • Employee benefits may include an NHS pension scheme, study leave for sponsored courses, relocation package and access to counselling services and physiotherapy treatment.
  • Overtime, shift and out of hours working is rewarded with pay enhancements.
  • The emergency ambulance service is always open requiring paramedics to work in shifts to cover every hour of the day. Paramedics typically work 37.5 hours per week, usually including night and weekend shifts and cover for public holidays. There is an annual leave entitlement of 27 days, rising to 33 days after 10 years' service plus public holidays or time in lieu.
  • Flexible working opportunities such as part time or job share may be available.
  • You may be required for additional stand-by and on-call duties, especially in remote areas.
  • Jobs are available in all NHS trust regions throughout the UK.
  • Uniforms are worn and protective clothing, such as a bright jacket and boots, may be necessary.
  • The work is physically demanding and can be psychologically and emotionally stressful. Debriefing, chaplaincy and counselling systems are in place and stress management courses are available.
  • Ambulance crews are sometimes exposed to verbal and physical abuse, particularly as a result of the increasing number of alcohol-related call-outs.
  • Nightshift and weekend working may impact on social life.
  • Travel within the working day is a regular feature of the role not just within your own region but also partnering trusts when cover might be low. You may finish your shift over an hour away from your base station. Overseas work or travel is unusual.

Salary data from NHS Agenda for Change. Figures are intended as a guide only.

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AGCAS
Written by Jill Freeman, Staffordshire University
Date: 
May 2014
 

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