Paramedics in the 2011 Census

As background to consideration of regulatory policy, PA has placed a high priority on presenting a factual picture of paramedics in Australia. It is only with the best possible knowledge of the operating environment that good policy can be made.

Continuing earlier work on the nature of the paramedic workforce in Australia, PA has developed a paper that provides updated information on paramedics following the release of 2011 census data by occupation on Tuesday 30 October 2012.

PA has analysed the census data set and provided a comprehensive report on the paramedic workforce in Australia. The full report is AVAILABLE HERE.

Just some of the key statistics were:

  • There were 11940 ambulance officers and paramedics in the 2011 census.
  • 9729 or 82 per cent of all paramedics were employed by State and Territory governments.
  • 2148 or 18 per cent of all paramedics worked in the private sector.
  • Private sector employment was the dominant form of paramedic employment in NT and WA.
  • Of those employed in the private sector, 722 or 34 per cent of all paramedics worked in ambulance services in WA and the NT where private providers have contracts with governments to supply public ambulance services. The remaining 1426 or 66 per
    cent worked in other private sector employment.
  • Women comprised 32 per cent of the paramedic workforce in 2011 compared to 26 per cent in 2006. In the 20-29 age group, 53 per cent of paramedics are now women (compared to 49 per cent in 2006).
  • In 2006 only 29 per cent of paramedics had a bachelor degree or above. By 2011 this figure was 40 per cent.
  • Paramedics tended to work longer hours in 2011 than the rest of the employed population working full time. 36 per cent of paramedics worked 49 and over hours per week compared to 26 per cent of the wider population.
  • Paramedics also volunteer more than average. 29 per cent of paramedics did volunteer work in 2011 in addition to their paid jobs. The comparable figure for the general population of employed Australians was 19 per cent.

Read more about the Paramedic Profession in Australia.