Ambulance Driver Job Facts

If you enjoy driving and are interested in helping people in emergency situations, you might be interested in getting more information about a career as an ambulance driver. Although being an ambulance driver can be demanding, it also is a very rewarding job since you are instrumental in helping get people the emergency care that they need.

License and Certification

In order to become an ambulance driver, you will have to be at least eighteen years old with a good driving record and be licensed to drive a bus. You may also be required to have your Red Cross first-aid training certificate. If you also want to be a paramedic or emergency medical technician (EMT), you’ll have to complete a formal training program and get certified and then be recertified every two years.

A Typical day

Often the first people to arrive at the scene of an emergency are ambulance operators. They work in close conjunction with fire departments, police personnel and hospitals. Their main job is to make sure the individuals they are transporting get to their destination both quickly and safely. Although many ambulance drivers are volunteers, some are salaried employees. Ambulance drivers are usually trained to give basic life support and CPR to people who are sick or injured.

Work Duties

In general, ambulance drivers work forty hours a week, but the hours are irregular, and many have to work nights, weekends and holidays. Unfortunately, the job entails high levels of stress and pressure. Your work will also be physically demanding, especially since you will often be helping lift people into the ambulance. Not only will you have to transport patients as an ambulance driver, you will also have to make sure that the gurneys have clean linens and are serviceable. You also may be asked to check the ambulance to make sure it has adequate supplies and that all the equipment in working order. Many times you will be expected to fill out reports to give accurate information to officials about various emergency situations you witnessed. Sometimes you will be required to restrain violent patients. You may even be asked to perform minor vehicle maintenance, wash the ambulance and keep it clean, as well as make sure it has necessary fuel.

Employment Outlook

Full time ambulance drivers make about $25,000 per year and usually have benefits like paid holidays, vacations, health insurance and retirement plans. Part time workers often make around $10 per hour. The number of jobs available for ambulance drivers, EMTs, and paramedics is projected to increase by over 20% through the year 2014. In fact, the projected need is almost 5,000 more jobs by the year 2016. The best place to look for work is at private ambulance services, hospitals and municipal governments.

An ambulance driver has growth potential if you are interested in training to become a paramedic. If you are interested in putting yourself in the middle of life and death situations on a regular basis, a career as an ambulance driver could be the right one for you.