In this article, you will learn how to become a paramedic in South Africa, along with understanding what the levels of EMS providers are, how much school costs in Rand, where you can get your education, and what the job market is like in South Africa’s many provinces.
We have received many inquiries about South African paramedic training over the past couple of years, so we wanted to create this in-depth article to help anyone in need of guidance.
How To Become a Paramedic in South Africa
Before you can even think of becoming an”EMT” or paramedic, it’s important to understand the different levels of EMS in South Africa. They are as follows:Learn How to Become a Paramedic Inside South Africa’s 9 provinces
BAA (Basic Ambulance Assistant)
AEA or ILS (Ambulance Emergency Assistant, which is an ILS or Intermediate Life Support certification)
ECT (Emergency Care Technician)
CCA/ND (Critical Care Assistant and “National Diploma”)
ECP (Emergency Care Practitioner)
Now, let’s go over each of these levels briefly.
The Basic Ambulance Assistant is a Basic Life Support certification. This is a position that, if you were to compare it to the United States, would be very similar to that of an EMT-Basic. Training for a BAA can take anywhere from 120 to 160 hours, and requires things like a Matric Certificate (Grade 12) and a certified copy of your ID. It is said that the BAA will soon be discontinued by the HPCSA in the future, so that’s something to keep an eye on.
The AEA or ILS is equivalent to being an EMT-Intermediate in the United States.
The Critical Care Assistant and National Diploma are both registered as a Paramedic with the Health Professions Council South Africa (HPCSA). And should you want to obtain your Btech degree, it will require one additional year of post-secondary education.
And lastly is the Bachelor Degree Technology or Bachelor Degree in Emergency Medical Care. This is a four-year degree where students will be registered as an Emergency Care Practitioner. Like many programs, students will learn a lot through classroom instruction and textbooks. You will also gain valuable experience by working in clinics and hospitals, where you can put your education into practice.
How Long Will It Take to Become a Paramedic?
As expected, each school or training academy will have a slightly different length of time it will take to become properly trained and educated. But, for example, if you were to attend the training provided by NetCare, it would take you 6 weeks to finish the BAA entry-level course, 13-weeks to complete the Ambulance Emergency Assistant course, and 11 months to conclude the CCA portion of your education.
On top of that, post-graduate education is also an option, so you can stay on top of what’s going on in patient care and even earn CPD or Continuing Professional Development points.
Netcare even offers students International Trauma Life Support courses, as well.
But should you be interested in earning a degree, expect to stay in school a lot longer. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for example, offers students a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Medical Care. But it will take you four years to receive it.
How Much Will Paramedic School in South Africa Cost?
The cost of your courses will vary a lot based on what you’re trying to achieve.
For those seeking to enroll in a Basic Ambulance Assistant course, you can expect to pay anything from R8500.00 if you’re a full-time student to R9000.00 if you can only go part-time.
In U.S. dollars, this equates to about $800 for full-time and $840 for part-time.
Conversely, if you took the same exact course at Action Training Academy, it would only cost you R7,000.00 or about $650.
Of course, if you wanted to become a CCA or earn a degree, it would cost you more money to become a trained paramedic. It’s not possible to tell you how much classes will cost with absolute certainty, because it’s up to each school or program to set those fees. But hopefully this gives you some helpful idea and better insight.
What Schools Can I Go To?
Thanks to the HPSCA, we’re going to list the schools that offer accredited programs in emergency care in South Africa. We will list each institution by province, while also detailing what specific courses are actually offered at each school.
Action Training Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Ambusave: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
COJEMS Training Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant course
Critical Care Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
De Vries Ambulance Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Elihle College of Emergency Care: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
ER 24: Ambulance Emergency Assistant, Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Global Emergency Technologies: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
IET Fire Rescue and EMS Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Impact Emergency Technologies: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Kernbridge FET College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Lebone College of Emergency Care (Pretoria): Ambulance Emergency Assistant Course, Critical Care Assistant, ECT
Netcare Education: Faculty of Emergency and Critical Care (FECC): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant, Critical Care Assistant
North West Private Ambulance Training College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Rescu-Life Africa: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
School for Military Health Training (Z): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant, Operational Emergency Care Orderly Course, ECT
University of Johannesburg: National Diploma: Emergency Medical Care, B Tech: Emergency Medical Care, 4-year Bachelor: Emergency Medical Care
SRQ Ambulance Training College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Emergency Ambulance Assistance Course
Bokone Bophirima Ambulance Training College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Mokgojwa College of Emergency Care (used to be Tshedimosetso Trauma Training Ambulance Academy): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Mankwe Ambulance Training Centre: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Northern Cape College of Emergency Care: Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Bokamoso Pre-Hospital Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Ingozi Medicals: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Golden Hour Ambulance Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Impact Emergency Technologies: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Free State College of Emergency Care: National Certificate: ECT
Leximed Training College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Academy of Emergency Medical Training (AEMT): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Action Training Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Africa Medical: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
College of Emergency Care- KwaZulu Natal: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant, ECT course
Durban University of Technology (DUT): NDip: EMC, BTech: EMC, MTech: EMC
KwaZulu Private Emergency Care Training Academy (KPECTA): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Netcare Education: Faculty of Emergency and Critical Care (FECC): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
St. John Ambulance Foundation: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Eastern Cape Ambulance Training College (ECATC): Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Mary Grace Ambulance Academy: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Queensland Ambulance College: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU): Bachelor of EMC
Ambutek: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course, Ambulance Emergency Assistant
Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT): National Certificate: Emergency Care, National Diploma EMC, BTech: EMC, ECT
Provincial Government of the Western Cape College of Emergency Care: Ambulance Emergency Assistant, CCA, ECT
St John Ambulance Training Centre: Basic Ambulance Assistant Course
How Much Does a Paramedic Make in South Africa?
While paramedic salary in South Africa can vary quite a bit, we’re going to provide you with a few estimates to help you better understand what you can expect to earn while on the job.
It’s important to note, however, that your salary will vary significantly based on your region, as well as how many hours (or potentially, how much overtime) you work.
With that said, the salary of a South African paramedic can range from anywhere between R100,000 to R250,000. Of course, there are some EMS workers who may earn slightly more or less than these numbers.
According to the website PayScale, paramedics in South Africa make a median salary of R149,451.
To put that particular number in perspective, that would equate to approximately $13,926.00.
You will also see some job ads state that they pay paramedics, Basic Ambulance Assistants and more on a per shift basis. In that case, it may depend whether you are working in the public or private sector.
In cases like these, you may be paid between R450.00 and R500.00 per shift.
Where Can I Find a Job as an EMT or Paramedic?
The job search website Indeed is always a great resource to find jobs. And while the website URL in America is simply Indeed.com, in South Africa, you can search for Emergency Medical Care jobs here:
What Are the Job Requirements?
Every single job requires something a little different, and it’s highly dependent upon the EMS level you’re attempting to apply.
For example, if you’re seeking a job as a Basic Ambulance Assistant, you may need an HCT certificate (HIV Counseling and Testing) certificate, a Certificate in Audiometry and Spirometry, and some experience in the occupational health field.
Conversely, if you want to become an ECT, you’ll not only need to have great interpersonal skills and be a strong communicator, but you’ll need to provide proof of your HPCSA ECT professional registration, along with a valid EB driver’s license (light motor vehicle) with PDP (Professional Driving Permit).
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some great insight on how to become a paramedic in South Africa. While things differ slightly depending on whether you are in Johannesburg, Centurion, Pretoria, Roodepoort, Sandton, or Randburg, this guide should better serve you in meeting your Emergency Medical Care goals.
Please be sure to bookmark Paramedic Training Spot, as we plan on providing you with even more in-depth information pertaining to medical care, jobs, schools, and training in South Africa.
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