How to Be an Ambulance Driver: Requirements & Training Program

Need to know what it takes to become an ambulance driver? Here you'll find the education requirements, job duties, average salary and job outlook for ambulance driving as a career. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Ambulance drivers transport injured and sick patients to the hospital for treatment. They're responsible for driving the ambulance quickly and safely through crowded, busy streets, often in adverse conditions. Drivers often help EMTs load patients at the scene and unload them once at the hospital. There is no degree required to be an ambulance driver, though some have special licensing and EMT training. The table below offers a quick-glance overview of the ambulance driver profession.

Degree Required High school diploma or equivalent
Training Required Basic Life Support (BLS), CPR
Key Skills Navigation skills, safe driving, critical thinking
Licensure Required Driver's license, Ambulance Driver Certificate sometimes required
Job Growth (2016-2026) 22%*
Average Salary (2017) $26,740* (all Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, except EMTs)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Responsibilities Do Ambulance Drivers Have?

When an emergency happens and someone is injured, ambulance drivers navigate to the scene in a speedy yet safe manner. They often help EMTs and paramedics lift passengers into the ambulance and then drive the sick or injured patient as quickly and safely as possible to the hospital or ER, where they might also help unload the passenger. Ambulance drivers are always ready to spring into action at a moment's notice and, as such, they're responsible for helping keep the ambulance stocked and sanitized. Sometimes, they may be called upon to write up reports giving the details of a transport.

What Training is Required to Become an Ambulance Driver?

There is no specific degree for ambulance driving. However, many community colleges and hospitals offer training for ambulance drivers. These programs generally don't require applicants to have any prior training in healthcare -- they typically teach students basic first aid, CPR and other the skills they'll need for the job.

Do You Need Licensure to Be an Ambulance Driver?

This depends on your state. Some states only require ambulance drivers to have a valid driver's license, while others require a special license. For instance, the state of California requires drivers to get an Ambulance Driver Certificate. In addition, some employers may require their ambulance drivers to have at least some EMT training so they can assist in life-saving procedures when necessary.

How Much Do Ambulance Driver's Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an ambulance driver in May 2017 was $26,740; the average hourly wage during the same time period was $12.85. Among the top-paying industries for ambulance drivers were specialty hospitals -- where drivers earned an average wage of $36,300 per year -- and retirement communities and assisted living facilities , where drivers made a mean annual salary of $33,870.

What's the Job Outlook for Ambulance Drivers?

The estimated job growth for ambulance drivers is well above the national average for all other occupations. According to the BLS, careers for ambulance drivers and attendants are predicted to grow by an astronomical 22% between 2016 and 2026. By comparison, the national average is 7%.

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