Ambulance care assistant

patient transport service (PTS) driver

Career outlook for ambulance care assistant

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would be responsible for safely driving elderly or infirm people to their appointments at hospitals, healthcare and social services. You'd assist them in and out of the ambulance and take them home afterwards.

The people you drive may be frail or ill as well as being anxious and worried. Some patients will be elderly, have physical disabilities or mental health problems. Your kindness will reassure and comfort the patients and their relatives.

You would:

  • Help people out of their home and into the ambulance (which may involve some lifting)
  • Take them to their appointments on time
  • Take them home and make sure they are settled in before leaving
  • Carry out routine care of ambulance equipment and daily vehicle checks
  • Keep accurate records of journeys

You will often see the same people on a regular basis, some of whom may be lonely and vulnerable.

In some ambulance services, you could be trained to work in a high dependency team, where you would regularly drive patients with specific medical problems. You would keep in contact by radio or telephone with support staff at the control room who would give you advice about how to help the person if there was a medical emergency.

Most jobs are in the National Health Service, working for the Scottish Ambulance Service. You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the ambulance care assistant page on the NHS Scotland Careers website. See the learning and development section for information about career structures, progression and rates of pay.

Working conditions


You would typically work 37.5 hours a week. Ambulance services operate 365 days a year, so you will be working shifts which will include evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Part-time hours are also available.


This work is quite physically demanding. Occasionally, you may deal with distressing situations or circumstances with seriously ill patients. You would wear a uniform and, at times, additional protective clothing such as a bright reflective coat and boots. You may work alone or in a two-person team, in an adapted ambulance or a standard car.


You would spend a lot of time driving, covering a particular geographical area.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Resilience
  • Building relationships
  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Although there are no formal entry requirements, three subjects including English, Maths and a science subject is recommended.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Science subjects

You will also need

All applicants must:

  • Pass the Scottish Ambulance Service entrance test, including a retention and recall test, fitness test and driving assessment
  • Have a full current UK driving licence, including categories C1 and D1, for a minimum of two years
  • Pass a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check


Helpful to have

Any qualifications that demonstrate understanding of health and wellbeing such as:

  • Skills for Work Health and Social Care (SCQF Level 6)
  • SQA Wellbeing Award (SCQF Level 3-5)

Some experience in care work.

Experience in a driving job, preferably with larger vehicles.