Ambulance technician

Emergency care assistant
Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would work alongside an ambulance paramedic to care for sick and injured people in a range of situations.

You’d use advanced driving skills to respond rapidly and safely to medical emergencies. You’d lift and move patients by hand and using specialist equipment.

You would:

  • Carry out basic scene safety checks to assess the risk to yourself and other people
  • Assess, treat and monitor the patients that you attend
  • Make decisions about the right care for the patient
  • Contact the emergency control centre to ask for more support
  • Safely transfer patients to and from the ambulance
  • Complete a handover report with a record of all patient information
  • Check that your ambulance is roadworthy and fully stocked after every call
  • Make sure your ambulance is cleaned – particularly to prevent the spread of infections – after every call

On the way to an emergency, you may not have much information about the exact circumstances. You would need to judge the situation and make quick decisions when you arrive.

You’d talk and listen to the patients and their relatives who may be upset, scared and angry. You’d need to treat everyone with dignity and respect in often challenging circumstances.

You’d work closely with other emergency services, relevant authorities and health and social care professionals.

Most jobs are in the National Health Service (NHS), working for the Scottish Ambulance Service. You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the ambulance technician 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

Hours

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 may be available once you have completed your training.

Environment

You would be based at a local ambulance station. You would wear a uniform, which includes protective clothing such as a bright jacket and safety boots. Your work may involve heavy lifting, when transferring patients. Your work is likely to involve attending to emotionally distressed patients in difficult situations, and you may occasionally face verbal aggression from people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Travel

You're likely to spend a lot of time travelling to patients in different areas, and taking them to hospital if needed. You'll need a full current UK driving licence including category C1.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Explaining things
  • Caring for people
  • Being tactful
  • Being physically fit
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

You would need to complete the Diploma in Emergency Care Support and the Diploma for Associate Ambulance Practitioners. You'll also need an additional four weeks' driving training to accident and emergency standard.

You will need National 4s or Standard Grades in Maths and English. Alternatively you can undertake an online numeracy and literacy test. 

Useful subjects

  • English 
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Care

You will also need

  • To pass the Scottish Ambulance Service entrance test including a fitness test 
  • A full current UK driving licence including category C1, with no more than three points
  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland

Helpful to have

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

  • Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF Level 6)
  • Health and Social Care (SCQF Level 4/5)
  • SQA Wellbeing Award (SCQF Level 3-5)

Some experience in care work.