Emergency medical dispatcher


Career outlook for emergency medical dispatcher

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 managing all emergency resources over a particular geographical area for the ambulance service.

You will need to send the right resource to the patient as quickly as possible. 

You would pass on as much information as you can to the paramedics so that they will be as prepared as possible when they arrive at the patient.

You would be responsible for deciding what type of response is needed and send the nearest and most appropriate vehicle. This could be an ambulance, a rapid response car, a motorcycle or a paramedic helicopter.

You would need to work quickly and often under a lot of pressure. 

You need to train as an emergency call handler before you can become an emergency dispatcher.  Most jobs are in the National Health Service (NHS), working for the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The NHS salaries for these roles are covered by the Agenda for Change pay rates. You can check the salaries on the NHS Careers website.

Working conditions


You would work shifts, including evenings and weekends, providing cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week (including public holidays).


You would be based in a control room as part of a team, and you would work under a supervisor. This is a busy and often stressful job, but it can also be very rewarding.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Questioning
  • Empathising
  • Developing a plan
  • Making decisions

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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.


There are no formal qualifications required to get into the role but a good general education is valued.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Care

You will also need

You will need to undertake the Emergency call handler training before you can train to become an emergency dispatcher. To do this you must be able to type at a minimum of 30 words per minute.

Helpful to have

Any qualifications and experiences that demonstrate understanding of the health sector, good administration and communication skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure, such as:

  • Scottish Vocational Qualification in Customer Services (SVQ Level 2/3)