Emergency medical technician

As an emergency medical technician, you may operate as a single responder to an incident or support a paramedic on a double-crewed ambulance. You’ll have many of the same skills as paramedics, such as being able to assess, triage and provide lifesaving treatment. 

Emergency medical technicians may also be called associate ambulance practitioners or trainee emergency ambulance crew, depending on the individual ambulance service.

Ambulance outside a hospital

Working life

You will work as part of the emergency and urgent care team. You will have direct contact with service users or others, providing high quality and compassionate care.

Day-to-day duties and tasks involve:

  • working as part of an ambulance crew responding to emergency (999) and urgent calls
  • providing emergency and urgent assistance
  • driving safely and progressively at high speed

You will assess, treat and manage service users at the scene, reducing the need for them to be admitted to hospital if it is appropriate to do so, by either referring service users to alternative care provisions or safely discharging them on scene. 

In your role as an emergency medical technician, you will need to be confident in:

  • evaluating different approaches to solving problems
  • communicating results accurately and reliably, with structured and coherent arguments and the ability to evaluate and interpret these

Who will I work with?

You will work closely with colleagues in the ambulance service (including paramedics, emergency call handlers and medical dispatchers, emergency care assistants), emergency medicine doctors, nurses and the wider NHS. You will also work with the other emergency services.

Want to learn more?

Find out more about the entry requirements and training for emergency medical technicians

Please note each ambulance service trust in the UK is responsible for its own recruitment and there is some variation between them about job titles and training routes in. It is therefore important that you check with any ambulance service directly about the opportunities they provide. 

  • Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales and emergency medical technicians jobs will usually be at band 4. If you are in a trainee position, you may receive a percentage of the band 4 rate, rising to the full band rate once qualified. Check terms and conditions with the employing ambulance service trust.  

    Although emergency medical technicians in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week, these are on a shift pattern. Shifts cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year. So your work pattern includes evenings, nights, early starts, weekends and bank holidays. You need to be prepared to work outdoors in all conditions, where necessary.

    Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.

  • You could apply to train as a paramedic. You would have to pass entrance exams and meet other requirements before being accepted onto a full-time paramedic course, paramedic degree apprenticeship or student paramedic position with an ambulance service trust.

    You could progress to become a team leader or supervisor. You would be in charge of a team of emergency medical technicians, responsible for allocating work and drawing up shift rotas.

  • If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the values of the NHS Constitution apply in your everyday work.  Find out more about NHS values.

    Most NHS ambulance service trusts advertise their job and apprenticeship vacancies on NHS Jobs. Some of the current vacancies are below.

    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician

      York, YO26 7QF

      • Salary:

        £13.75 to £15.00 an hour

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        Central Advertising - Other

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician - Lordswood Chatham

      Chatham, ME5 8RZ

      • Salary:

        £17.00 an hour

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        G4S

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician (Qualified) - West Norfolk

      King's Lynn, MK41 0RG

      • Salary:

        £21,892 - £24,157 per annum

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        East of England Ambulance Service Trust

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician (Qualified) - Mid & South Essex

      Basildon & Southend, MK41 0RG

      • Salary:

        £21,892 - £24,157 per annum pro rata

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        East of England Ambulance Service Trust

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician (Qualified) - Bank Luton

      Luton, MK41 0RG

      • Salary:

        £21,892 - £24,157 per annum pro rata

      • Type:

        Bank

      • Employer:

        East of England Ambulance Service Trust

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Emergency Medical Technician (Qualified) - Hertfordshire & West Essex

      Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City, Harlow, Watford, MK41 0RG

      • Salary:

        £21,892 - £24,157 per annum pro rata

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        East of England Ambulance Service Trust

      • View Vacancy
  • For a list of NHS ambulance services, visit the Association of Ambulance Service Chief Executives website.

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