How To Become An Ambulance Driver
An ambulance driver works for either a hospital or a private ambulance company. You will transport ill patients as well as injured victims from accidents. Ambulance drivers load patients into the ambulance and sometimes administer first aid and CPR to patients. Because of this, you will need to have all appropriate certifications, including first aid, in order to work as an ambulance driver. Ambulance drivers must also be physically fit.
Why Become An Ambulance Driver
When it comes to dealing with patients, often there are life or death situations. There may only be seconds to spare before a victim dies. An ambulance driver must know how to drive as quickly as possible to the scene, while also navigating streets carefully amongst traffic.
An ambulance driver is a rewarding career for those who want to work in the medical field. As an ambulance driver, you will be directly responsible for saving the lives of people. It is an opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment with new challenges every day.
An Ambulance Driver should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Good Driver
- Critical Thinking
- Good Decision Making
- Quick Acting
- Active Listener
- Physically Fit
Ambulance Driver Work Environment
An ambulance driver drives an ambulance. They are usually on the roads of their local city or towns, driving from one patient to the next, and transporting them to area hospitals. This is a fast-paced work environment that involves new risks and challenges on a daily basis. Ambulance drivers need to be able to arrive to the patient and bring them to the nearest medical facility in record times. At the scene, an ambulance driver is able to perform basic first aid on a patient.
When not rushing to the scene of a patient, an ambulance driver is responsible for cleaning an ambulance and making sure that everything is organized and fully stocked. An ambulance driver ensures that equipment is working properly.
Medical emergencies are ongoing and ambulance drivers will be expected to work at any time – days, nights, overnights, weekends and holidays.
Ambulance Driver Salary
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for ambulance drivers was $24,080 in 2014, about $11 per hour. The top 10 percent of ambulance drivers earned more than $16 per hour. Salary may increase with years of experience on the job and may also depend on location and whether a person is employed by a hospital or private company. Arkansas, Massachusetts, and New York have the highest wages for ambulance drivers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average Ambulance Driver Annual Salary
The average annual salary for ambulance drivers is $26,740 a year. Salaries start at $18,810 a year and go up to $39,140 a year.
Average Ambulance Driver Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a ambulance driver is $12.85. Hourly wages are between $9.04 and $18.82 an hour.
Stats were based out of 15,310 employed ambulance drivers in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Ambulance Drivers
- 1. New York $16.34 / hr $33,980 / yr
- 2. Nebraska $15.98 / hr $33,250 / yr
- 3. North Carolina $15.69 / hr $32,640 / yr
- 4. Washington $15.54 / hr $32,330 / yr
- 5. Massachusetts $15.24 / hr $31,690 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Ambulance Drivers
- 1. Washington, DC $17.46 / hr$36,320 / yr
- 2. New York, NY $17.09 / hr$35,560 / yr
- 3. Des Moines, IA $15.32 / hr$31,860 / yr
- 4. Boston, MA $15.15 / hr$31,510 / yr
- 5. Wilmington, DE $15.08 / hr$31,370 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Ambulance Driver Career Outlook
The medical field is growing rapidly and all jobs in this field are needed, including ambulance drivers. Overall ambulance drivers experience 13 percent job growth, which is more job growth than average. There is an average growth of two percent each year. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2018 there will be 5,800 ambulance driver job openings. The states with the most job openings for ambulance drivers include New York, California, and Pennsylvania.
Ambulance Driver Degree
There is no specific education needed to become an ambulance driver. Ambulance drivers will be expected to complete training and certification in the medical field.
Step One: Get a Driver’s License You can’t drive without a driver’s license. Get licensed in your state and maintain a clean driving record. Some states may additionally have requirements for receiving a license to operate an ambulance.
Step Two: CPR Certification Hospitals and private ambulance companies require ambulance drivers to be certified in basic life support and CPR. You can get certified in just one day of training. Several places offer these courses; check your local college or university, library, hospital, or American Red Cross chapter.
Step Three: EMT Certification Some states will require an ambulance driver to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Or, you may decide as time goes on that becoming an EMT is something that you want to do. Check your state requirements to see if you need to be an EMT to drive an ambulance. You will need to pass a written and practical exam to become certified.
Once you become an ambulance driver, it is important to maintain a clean driving record. One violation could lose you your job. You will also need to get recertified in first aid and basic life support every year, to stay current on updates that the American Red Cross is making and hone your skills. Be sure to stay active when you are not working, so you can be in the best physical condition possible.