- 09 July 2021
- 5 min read
Paramedic Salary And Pay Guide
Here we outline the starting & average salaries for Paramedics, as well as career prospects, Locum work and what the future holds for Paramedic pay.
Paramedics provide specialist emergency treatment to patients who have been involved in accidents or other crises.
They’re normally the senior member of a two-person ambulance crew, and the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency.
You’ll make life-saving decisions rapidly and use your skills to manage highly pressured and fast-paced situations.
And if you're thinking of becoming one, there are some things you need to know.
This guide examines the most important questions around Paramedic pay, covering average salaries, long-term career prospects and much more besides.
What Is The Starting Salary For A Paramedic?
The starting salary for a Paramedic is currently £24,907 – which is an NHS Band 5 salary.
You receive an incremental pay increase within each banding for every year of service, so this is your salary in your first year only.
What Is The Average Salary For A Paramedic?
The average salary for a Paramedic is between £33,000 and £35,000 a year, according to the best available data.
This data takes into account Paramedics with at least a few years of experience, who have likely moved into a Band 6 salary.
Paramedics with two years’ experience normally move into a Band 6 salary thanks to the so-called Paramedic Pathway.
Band 6 salaries currently start at £31,365.
What’s The Most A Paramedic Can Earn?
Paramedics who successfully climb the ranks and ultimately become a Consultant Paramedic could earn up to and beyond £70,000 a year – a Band 8c salary.
Pay for the most qualified and experienced Paramedics within private organisations isn’t widely shared – and the vast majority of roles are in the NHS.
However, some industries like oil and gas or the prison service do employ Paramedics, and in some cases salaries can be higher than in the NHS.
How Much Do Locum Paramedics Get Paid?
Locum Paramedics might sometimes earn a higher hourly rate than in an equivalent full-time role.
However, locum roles don’t offer the same financial security as full-time positions, nor the same benefits – such as holiday and sick pay.
So the higher rates sometimes on offer have to be balanced with how the role differs from a full-time position.
What Are The Career Prospects For Paramedics?
Paramedics have a huge range of choices about where to take their careers.
You can choose to become a Senior Paramedic and then, through a combination of experience and qualifications, you could become more specialised.
This could lead to becoming a Critical Care Paramedic, or a Consultant Pandemic.
There is also the opportunity to move into a management or operational position.
Broadly speaking, these different routes would all come with gradually increasing salaries too.
Paramedics also sometimes choose to work in other services, including the armed forces, police or fire service.
What Does The Future Hold For Paramedic Salaries?
Like other NHS workers, Paramedics wait for government announcements on NHS pay rises.
These have been relatively low for many years, with all public services facing budgetary challenges.
However, with the pandemic shining a light on the exceptional work and bravery of frontline workers like Paramedics, expectations are rising for more generous increases in the coming years.
Furthermore, ambulance waiting times have risen – an inevitable consequence of the pandemic, and a reminder that more Paramedics are needed.
Paramedics have been added to the Shortage Occupation List – which helps to remove barriers in recruiting specialists from overseas.
It’s also been estimated that the NHS has a shortage of at least 1000 Paramedics.
And in 2019, it was revealed that the NHS spends £92 million a year on private ambulances and taxis because of the Paramedic shortage.
All in all, it’s clear that qualified Paramedics are in high demand – and will continue to be.
That makes it a very secure career choice, and increases the pressure for better pay rises in the not-too-distant future.