South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind



Medical Field

Boss or Team



Good Communicator

Work With


Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years


Busy Environment

Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ Paramedic

Ambulance Officers, Emergency service and rescue officials and paramedics are often the first responders at an accident or medical emergency scene.

Their role is to stabilise patients and provide immediate, stabilising emergency care  (from basic first aid to highly specialised treatment) on-site for patients or victims and ensure their safe and fast transport to medical facilities for further care. 

The learning path for careers in this field range from general and basic first aid and care, to highly specialised expert advanced life support skills, from certificates in basic emergency care all the way through to masters degrees – the choice is yours).

Ambulance officers may also transport the elderly to hospitals as well as ill patients between hospitals and other care facilities. 

Emergency service and rescue officials often also carry specialised equipment for rescuing people from very dangerous emergency situations.

Paramedics are highly skilled emergency medical rescue personnel, with knowledge of advanced life support protocols. 

How to become qualified in this field (learning path)

  1. NSC/NC(V) 
  2. Emergency Care Certificate – 1 Year
  3. Code 10 and Professional Drivers Licence (PrDp) are also required
  4. National Diploma in Emergency Medical Care – 2 years (1 year if ECA course has been completed)
  5. Bachelor of Emergency Medical Care (4 years)

Level of Schooling & School Subjects

  • NSC/NC(V) 
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology and/or Physical Science

Duration of study

1-Year (Certificate)
2- Years (Diploma)
4-Years  (Bachelor’s degree)
+ Other specialised courses (depending on how far you want to go)


South African paramedics are highly sought after not only in our country but throughout the world due to their level of expertise and training. 

Paramedics may be employed at government or private hospitals as well as private ambulance and emergency services companies.

Further Information

South African Emergency Services Institute –
Health Professions Council of South Africa –

Educational Institutions offering this qualification

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Certificate/Higher Certificate/Diploma/Degree):

University of Johannesburg (Diploma/Bachelor degree):

(Satellite campuses around the country offer the diploma course under the auspices of UJ).

Sefako Makgatho Health Services University:

Durban University of Technology:


Nelson Mandela University:

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