Ambulance technician

Ambulance technicians work with paramedics to deliver high-quality pre-hospital care. They provide a front-line response to accidents and emergency incidents, including 999 calls.

They provide immediate care to people in very difficult and challenging environments. Most importantly, ambulance technicians need to be able to keep calm under pressure, make good decisions and take control.

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become an ambulance technician, you need a good standard of education. Subjects include:

  • English
  • Human Biology
  • Maths

Work placement

If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service. Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS. It would be helpful to have some experience in a driving job.

The role

As an ambulance technician, you’ll work with qualified paramedics to deliver the highest possible level of care possible. This could include working in you a range of environments and with a huge range of people.

Each day, patients and situations are different and ambulance crews must manage the challenges they face with flexibility, compassion and professionalism.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • carrying out basic scene safety checks to assess the risk to yourself and other people
  • assessing, treating and monitoring the patients that you attend
  • contacting the emergency control centre to ask for more support
  • safely transferring patients to and from the ambulance
  • ensuring the ambulance is clean, roadworthy and fully stocked after every call
  • completing a handover report with a record of all patient information

You’ll also be expected to have a good geographical knowledge of your work area and be able to use GPS systems to navigate safely.

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring for people
  • communicating with people
  • critical thinking
  • decision making
  • listening
  • problem-solving

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • paramedics
  • ambulance care assistants
  • emergency call handlers
  • emergency dispatchers

Working environment

You could work in:

  • an adapted ambulance or standard car
  • local ambulance station
  • a person’s own home
  • a hospital

Useful information

To work as an ambulance technician in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

  • complete occupational health checks
  • have a full current UK driving license including category C1
  • to pass an occupational fitness test
  • join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland

Did you know?

The Scottish Ambulance Service operates around 450 emergency ambulance vehicles from more than 100 stations.

Learning and development

You’ll be trained through an internal education programme lasting 16 months. From your start date, you will be an employee of the service and enrolled on the clinical programme. This includes:

  • 10 weeks of classroom training
  • a four-week Certificate in Emergency Response Ambulance Driving
  • placement at an ambulance station

You will need to successfully pass two qualifications to qualify as an ambulance technician:

You may progress to become a paramedic. To do so, you must obtain an undergraduate degree in Paramedic Science or Paramedic Practice. 5 universities currently offer this degree:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • University of Stirling
  • University of the West of Scotland