FAQs about careers in the ambulance service team

This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in the ambulance service team

  • Working for the ambulance service is much more than flashing blue lights. You'll make a difference every day to patients in emergency and non-emergency situations.

    Explore the range of roles in the ambulance team and get information on what they do and how to start your career. 

  • The primary route to become a paramedic is an approved full-time university course. Visit our paramedic page for more information and search for approved university courses using our course finder.

    Other routes to becoming a paramedic may be available, such as working as a student paramedic with an ambulance trust or doing an apprenticeship but this will depend on local recruitment policies so it’s important to check your local ambulance service's website. Visit aace.org.uk to find them.

  • You may need a C1 category on your licence, but it depends on the ambulance service trust that you are applying to and the types of vehicles that it uses. The requirements will be contained in the person specification for each vacancy.

    Visit the NHS Jobs website to search for vacancies.

  • Students studying a paramedicine degree at university may be eligible to apply for a grant of at least £5,000 per year and can take out a loan from the Student Loans Company (if it is a first degree). See our financial support page for more information and use our course finder to search for courses in paramedic science.

    Those training through the student paramedic route or on an apprenticeship will be paid a salary while studying on a part-time basis.

  • To drive an ambulance, you'll usually be a qualified ambulance care assistant/patient transport service driveremergency care assistant, emergency medical technician or paramedic. However, it's unlikely you will just drive an ambulance.

    If you're working in an emergency, you'll usually be directly involved in assessing and providing patient care and treatment. If you're working in the patient transport service, you'll be expected to help patients get in and out of the vehicle and have a knowledge of first aid and safe transportation.

  • Most ambulance service trusts employ emergency medical technicians, sometimes known as associate ambulance practitioners. Find out more about this role.

  • Dialling 999 gets you through to the emergency services - including the police, ambulance service or fire and rescue service. In terms of the ambulance service, calls will usually be handled by an emergency medical dispatcher/call handler.

  • Yes, the NHS employs motor vehicle mechanics and technicians to check and maintain ambulance vehicles. You can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website.

    Occasionally, there are apprenticeships for motor vehicle maintenance with ambulance service trusts. Again, visit the NHS Jobs website and the National Apprenticeships website to search for vacancies. However, ensuring an ambulance vehicle is suitably stocked with the appropriate medical equipment and supplies is just as important and can be the responsibility of an ambulance care assistant/patient transport service driver.

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