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A Career Guide to the Emergency Services

Published: Friday 17th April 2020

The emergency services UK consists of several different organisations that are called upon to deal with scenarios that constitute an emergency. The emergency services in the UK consist of three main organisations that include the Police Service, the Fire Service and the Emergency Medical Services. These services alone employ over 185,000 people. In addition to these, emergency services jobs exist in Mountain Rescue, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and HM Coastguard.

Types of emergency services jobs

attractive young paramedic sitting in ambulance and looking away, emergency services concept

Obviously within all these services, there are many types of emergency services jobs requiring different levels of qualifications and skills. While some of the work means being on call to attend and deal with emergencies, other emergency services jobs involve education and reducing the risk of critical situations arising. Most employment in the emergency services is carried out locally with regional police, fire and ambulance services. The range of jobs is vast with opportunities for school leavers, graduates and volunteers. A degree isn’t essential to get started in the emergency services but will certainly help for more specialised or senior roles, such as in the ambulance service.

Becoming a paramedic

Emergency services. Paramedic is pulling stretcher with patient to the ambulance car.

There are two main routes to becoming a paramedic in the UK. You can study in a student paramedic role and train up, or study paramedic science at university. Any training you do undertake has to be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), in order for you to work unsupervised as a paramedic. To enter the profession via third level education you’ll need five GCSE’s, including English and maths or a science qualification, along with two A-levels.

Joining the police force

There is no minimum educational requirement for joining the police force. The Recruit Assessment Centre is open to applications for both school leavers and graduates, although there is also the Police Now programme for graduates, which offers a two-year work based training programme, supported by the off-the-job learning.

Two police officers in hi-visibility jacket patrolling in the city. British Police officers

As a police constable, you’ll spend your first two years as a student police officer or probationer, before becoming a fully trained constable. You can then go onto specialise in roles such as dog handler, traffic, or fraud. Many constables go on to be sergeants (responsible for overseeing investigations) or inspectors (with responsible for managing the workforce).

Working in fire and rescue

You won’t need to be a graduate to join the fire service, however the application process is rigorous. The first stage is a detailed application assessed against set national criteria for recruitment. You’ll need to be confident, resilient, adaptable and fit. In addition to a complex testing and interview procedure, you’ll have to pass a number of physical tests. Only the very best make it into the service.

two men talking, fire and rescue services, emergency services concept

Emergency services jobs near me?

Starting salaries in the emergency services begin at around £22,000. Typically, these are very secure jobs with excellent prospects. Consultant paramedics can earn up to £68,000 while a police inspector could be on £50,000. Every region of the UK has a number of emergencies services jobs available at any given time. The best way to find out what you need to get started in your chosen emergencies service career is to contact them directly. In the meantime, you can gain valuable experience that could help your application through one of the many jobs on Zoek website.

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