Patient transport service driver, ambulance staff
Ambulance care assistants take patients to and from hospital for appointments.
Salary range: £19,737 to £21,142
How to become an ambulance care assistant
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as an ambulance support worker.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You may have an advantage if you’ve worked or volunteered in a health or social care role. You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about this.
First aid work would also be useful, for example with St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.
You can apply directly for jobs. You’ll need:
- driving experience
- the ability to read maps and knowledge of the local area
- experience of working with the elderly or disabled people
Some ambulance services may ask you for 4 GCSEs, including English, maths and a science at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent.
If you passed your test after 1996, you may need an extra driving qualification for larger vehicles and for carrying passengers.
You can find out about becoming an ambulance care assistant from Health Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have a full driving licence
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a good level of fitness
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- helping patients out of their home and into the ambulance (it may involve lifting)
- helping patients settle back home after their appointments
- using a radio to keep in touch with the ambulance control room
- checking and maintaining the ambulance and its equipment
- keeping accurate records of journeys
You could work on an ambulance.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a team leader or supervisor. You could also become an emergency care assistant or apply to be a student paramedic.
You could also move into personnel, training, health and safety, or operations management.