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How to become an ambulance technician

You can become an ambulance technician by applying for training opportunities on our recruitment website.

What is a ambulance technician?

Ambulance technicians work with paramedics to deliver high-quality pre-hospital care. They provide a front-line response to accidents and emergency incidents, including 999 calls.

They provide immediate care to people in very difficult and challenging environments. Most importantly, ambulance technicians need to be able to keep calm under pressure, make good decisions and take control.

Starting your career as ambulance technician

Choosing subjects at school

To become an ambulance technician, you need a good standard of education. Subjects include:

  • English
  • Human Biology
  • Maths

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Training programme

As a trainee, you'll complete a Scottish Ambulance Service internal education programme lasting 16 months. You will be an employee of the service from your start date and enrolled in a clinical programme. Training includes:

  • 10 weeks of classroom training
  • a four-week Certificate in Emergency Response Ambulance Driving
  • placement at an ambulance station

You will need to pass 2 qualifications to become an ambulance technician:

Get to know the role

As an ambulance technician, you'll work with qualified paramedics to deliver the highest possible level of care possible. It could include working in a range of environments and with a range of people.

Each day, patients and situations are different, and ambulance crews must manage the challenges they face with flexibility, compassion, and professionalism.

Your main tasks include:

  • carrying out basic scene safety checks to assess the risk to yourself and other people
  • assessing, treating, and monitoring the patients that you attend
  • contacting the emergency control centre to ask for more support
  • safely transferring patients to and from the ambulance
  • ensuring the ambulance is clean, roadworthy, and fully stocked after every call
  • completing a handover report with a record of all patient information

You'll also need to have excellent geographical knowledge of your work area and use GPS systems to navigate safely.

You'll need these skills:

  • caring for people
  • communicating with people
  • critical thinking
  • decision-making
  • listening
  • problem-solving

You could work with:

  • paramedics
  • ambulance care assistants
  • emergency call handlers
  • emergency dispatchers

You could work in:

  • an adapted ambulance or standard car
  • local ambulance station
  • a person's own home
  • a hospital

Learning and development

During your career, you must keep your skills and knowledge up to date. The Scottish Ambulance Service will provide training specific to your role.

Career progression

As an ambulance technician, you may progress to becoming a paramedic.

You'll need to complete an undergraduate degree in Paramedic Science. In Scotland, 5 universities offer approved degree programmes:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • University of Stirling
  • The University of the West of Scotland

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