American Paramedic moving to Australia

sir.shocksalot

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I am a paramedic in Colorado working for, in my opinion, the world's worst EMS system, and in my search for bigger and better things I keep looking at becoming a Paramedic in Australia. I am an Australian citizen by birth so moving back isn't the issue, my concern is getting a job and performing at the level of other paramedics in Australia.
I went to one of the best Paramedic schools in Colorado however I don't feel my educational level will be on par or even close to that of Australian medics. My question is there a way I can work for an ambulance service (specifically St Johns WA) in Australia as an Ambulance Officer or Patient Transport Officer and then go to University (Edith Cowan seems to be the Paramedic University for WA) for my Paramedic degree?
How competitive are the Paramedic school positions over there? Will it be easier for me to get in since I am already a Paramedic?
If anyone can PM me or give me any further information about the transition I would greatly appreciate it, I would really like to move back home and have a career in EMS.
 

ExpatMedic0

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Ill let the guys from Australia take this one but... I was going through a process with the NSW. It is a very long process, not including your visa process. I lost interest in the whole thing.
Reciprocity is a case to case basis. All your education, experience, and training will be evaluated. From what I have seen if your lucky you will come in as a "Paramedic" and have to go back to school for a little while or be preceptored for months for your ICP

Anyway The guys from oz can provide more info, Mine is based on 2 guys I have spoke with and my communicating with NSW

http://www.nsw.gov.au/
 
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MrBrown

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Oh good gosh mate stay far, far away from St John in WA they are friggin death merchants, seriously.

There are multiple threads out there on the boards, do a search but schulz has it right given that education and professional standards in Oz have increased exponentially in the last decade and are only going to get better.
 

sir.shocksalot

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Oh good gosh mate stay far, far away from St John in WA they are friggin death merchants, seriously.

There are multiple threads out there on the boards, do a search but schulz has it right given that education and professional standards in Oz have increased exponentially in the last decade and are only going to get better.
I have heard and read that in other places as well, however my entire (very large) family lives in WA so thats where I would rather be :unsure:. I have read some of the other threads but no one really talked about going in at a lower provider level and going back to school to be a paramedic. So I was just seeing if any Aussies could let me know if I would be able to go in as an AO and get into school fairly easily and go from there?
 

MrBrown

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The old Ambulance Officer position in Australia has been phased out over trhe last ten years. It's now either Paramedic (a highly educated, upskilled AO with a good bag of tricks) or an Intensive Care Paramedic.
 

Melclin

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Case by case reciprocity here in Vic I would think. It is very competitive but I would expect the fact that you are a paramedic already would count in your favour for university selection. They tend to want to see life experience and dedication to the field. Your experience shows both. You may be able to transfer directly as an Ambulance Paramedic..sort of like and EMT-I.

Considering how desperate they are for medics at the moment, I reckon they'd have rocks in their head not to take you. Shoot off an email and ask.

WA and NT have THE WORST systems in Australia, SA probably has the best (pay). But if your family is there, well then u can't go past that.
 

medic417

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So what is the pay? And if possible relate it with cost of living to USA money so others that might be thinking about this can have a realistic ideal.
 

akflightmedic

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I have posted on this before but it may have been buried.

100K in AUD = 89K in USD

Tax withholding can be up to 46% of that.

You do get national healthcare, but it isnt superb and most who can afford it opt to use private hospitals and docs.

So essentially, you will pay more for food, gas, clothes, electronics, beer...Everything! Because Oz imports like nobodys business.

In exchange, you get fairly nice folks with funny accents and a country full of animals that kill you. Even the dang ol Drop Bears which we think are cute and cuddly.


Here is quote from a reader on this website: http://www.expatforum.com/articles/cost-of-living/cost-of-living-in-australia.html
As a person living in the US. I can assure you that living in Australia is not cheap at all. It may seem cheaper coming from the UK - but I would say it is half as cheap for me to live here in the US.

All in AUD - my last trip to Australia saw petrol at $1.30 per litre, Milk at $2.20 per litre and eggs (free-range) at $6 per dozen. Your average fast food meal combo is up to $8-$9 and the cost of clothing, luxury items and high-income tax means that you really don't save. Public transport is at $11 a day for daily travel ticket and have a look at the cost of some small properties within inner Sydney or Melbourne - they can get up to 600-700k

The only thing that I think works well in Australia are social services, medical and 401/Superannuation.

I compare this to the US where income tax is significantly lower, food/clothes/gas is dirt cheap (though I question the food quality here) - I'm willing to wear the lack of government amenities if it lives me with more money in my pocket.
 

Melclin

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Tax withholding can be up to 46% of that.

You do get national healthcare, but it isnt superb and most who can afford it opt to use private hospitals and docs.

So essentially, you will pay more for food, gas, clothes, electronics, beer...Everything! Because Oz imports like nobodys business.

In exchange, you get fairly nice folks with funny accents and a country full of animals that kill you. Even the dang ol Drop Bears which we think are cute and cuddly.
Oh you yanks and your fear of tax :p The top tax bracket is 45% for any dollar earned above the 180,000 dollar a year mark. So if you earn 182,000 you are taxed less for the 180,000 and 45% on the 2000 above the bracket. As you move down through the brackets its becomes less and less. On the kind of wage you'll earn in ambulance I estimate an overall percentage of about 22%. If you don't wanna pay that, then that's fair, you can have your American system (how does your income tax compare to 22%?), but lets not bang on with that old "they take half your money" stuff.

We do pay a fair bit for goods and services but you will not be worrying too much about petrol and groceries. You can raise an average 2 child family with relative comfort on the basic paramedic (EMT-I) base wage. Some paramedics here (read: most) will complain that you can't, but it is a relative matter. I was on placement once with a paramedic who complained endlessly about how hard it was to support a family on his wage. Later we visited his lovely large home in a nice neighbourhood, his wife (who didn't work), their three children, their two cars and plasma TV. We can earn significantly above the national average wage. Initially at least, I will earn ~10k more than my friends moving into the business, IT and economics world after their degrees and actually get paid for the time I work rather than earning a salary and being expected to do unpaid OT like everyone else. Unless they become particularly successful, I may always earn more than them. I will probably earn more in my first year of qualification (2 years from now) than either of my parents have ever been paid. We live perfectly comfortably.

Also, if you are injured at work, or have a health complaint that is work related (backs?) you're entitled to workers compensation and if you cannot return to work, they will retrain you.

As far as the animals go, I wouldn't worry about it. Unless you 'go walk-about', a 1000 miles from the next person, you're pretty right for the most part. I've spent a bit of time in rural areas, camping and so on and I have never been bitten, stung, attacked, or even seen any of those nasties...except for drop bears...they will kill you...and they are everywhere.

So what is the pay? And if possible relate it with cost of living to USA money so others that might be thinking about this can have a realistic ideal.
On internship the base rate is 54k, 64k when you qualify. It raises with experience and with different roster types. In South Australia (best pay) the base rate is 88k :blink: . Rising to the MICA level (what you would consider Paramedic) sees a relatively minor pay increase about 72k. It is important to realise though that most people earn more than this. It is almost impossible not to earn overtime here and there, and you get extra money for broken meal breaks, taking students etc (you just have to fill out the paper work). Some basics earn as much as 100k.

As far as I can tell this does not include superannuation (which is the compulsory contribution to employee retirement funds made by an employer based on a percentage of wage). This increases the worth of a given wage considerably given that you do not HAVE to salary sacrifice to save for retirement or for any future healthcare expenditure.

When you say those wealthy enough chose to pay for healthcare, it means that we employ private insurance companies, we still receive many of the same services as public patients, we simply pay less for them, and get them quicker. They also cover dental and optical expenses, that are not covered under the public health system. It is not at all similar to the concept of paying for healthcare in the US. Also if you employ private insurance companies, you pay less tax for the public healthcare system.
 

sir.shocksalot

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Yeah I'm not too worried about changing lifestyles since I'm an Australian and like the way things work over there (and sausage rolls mmm love sausage rolls). Would you guys recommend going through paramedic school again over there? Can I skip ahead some classes from having an associates degree in paramedicine (equivalent to a diploma)? Thanks again for your guy's help.
 

ExpatMedic0

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Sir I dont wanna get your hopes up but the one U.S. medic I know that had a college degree was allowed reciprocity as a "paramedic" and simply preceptored with some additional training from the ambulance agency and in less than a year became an ICP.
 

Melclin

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Yeah I'm not too worried about changing lifestyles since I'm an Australian and like the way things work over there (and sausage rolls mmm love sausage rolls). Would you guys recommend going through paramedic school again over there? Can I skip ahead some classes from having an associates degree in paramedicine (equivalent to a diploma)? Thanks again for your guy's help.
I wouldn't. And I don't think that you'd have too. I think an associates degree would be enough, if you have experience. But like I said you have to ask the agencies themselves. It would really be case by case I think.

You could be from an agency that barely has three leads, no thermometers, average 5 min transports times, zero CME, and still requires approval med control before you pick your nose.

Or you could be from a Lee County type agency.

From you description its more of the first which may cause problems. I think its the kinds of scope you have experience with and how much experience you have that would really be the determining factor. I'm pretty damn sure that an AAS would be fine education wise.
 
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whitepunkgirl

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I'm an Australian as well living and working as a paramedic in New York City. I was interested in becoming a paramedic in Australia as well, but moving to NSW were my family is right now. Any schools in NSW anyone would know of that I should look into?
 

Melclin

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Lise80

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I'm an Australian as well living and working as a paramedic in New York City. I was interested in becoming a paramedic in Australia as well, but moving to NSW were my family is right now. Any schools in NSW anyone would know of that I should look into?
Hi, this is my first post on here. I am an Australian paramedic that would absolutely love to work in New York. I have no idea where to start though. Is it easy to get work there? I understand the US is difficult to get a Visa. Any tips? What's the working conditions like? Hours, pay, etc.

And to answer your question, Charles Sturt in NSW is great, Vic Uni may do online courses too.
 

Death_By_Sexy

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Not trying to thread hijack, but I have a similar situation but instead looking to go to New Zealand. Who would one talk to about reciprocity? Is there an EMS director for the country/ region? BTW this would be after I've been a medic for a while in the states.
 

ExpatMedic0

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last I checked reciprocity is based on a case by case basis. EMS training, education, experience ect vary's greatly in the united states so every person's case is different. In fact even NSW and Queensland look like they may have differences in taking international candidates.
I am sure the aussie guys can give better and more info.
 

MrBrown

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I .... would absolutely love to work in New York. I have no idea where to start though. Is it easy to get work there? I understand the US is difficult to get a Visa. Any tips? What's the working conditions like? Hours, pay, etc.
No you wouldnt.

You really wouldmt.

You will not get a work visa as a Paramedic, even an Intensive Care Paramedic is technically an unskilled third preference for an E3 visa.

Working conditions? Sitting on a street corner for minimum wage.

Not trying to thread hijack, but I have a similar situation but instead looking to go to New Zealand. Who would one talk to about reciprocity? Is there an EMS director for the country/ region? BTW this would be after I've been a medic for a while in the states.
Case by case. The Ambulance Service is rather suspicious of US qualifications and looks at them harder than say, from Australia, Canada or the UK. But that doesn't mean we will say no, we value internationally qualified Ambulance Officers and have several American Intensive Care Paramedics.

You will be probably bought in as a Technician, mentored for a while, then upgrade to Paramedic and eventually to Intensive Care Paramedic.
 

exodus

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No you wouldnt.

You really wouldmt.

You will not get a work visa as a Paramedic, even an Intensive Care Paramedic is technically an unskilled third preference for an E3 visa.

Working conditions? Sitting on a street corner for minimum wage.



Case by case. The Ambulance Service is rather suspicious of US qualifications and looks at them harder than say, from Australia, Canada or the UK. But that doesn't mean we will say no, we value internationally qualified Ambulance Officers and have several American Intensive Care Paramedics.

You will be probably bought in as a Technician, mentored for a while, then upgrade to Paramedic and eventually to Intensive Care Paramedic.
You're backwards ;)
 
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