Paramedic Ambulance driver

How to Become an
Ambulance Driver

Dasha Castillo
By Dasha Castillo - Content Writer
Last Updated: May 08, 2023
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Being able to help people when they are most vulnerable during a wide range of emergencies can be a rewarding profession. If you want to learn how to become an ambulance driver, this article outlines the job outlook, expected salary and hiring requirements. We also include tools to build a resume that will attract more recruiters. With over 30+ customizable templates and various ambulance driver resume samples, you will find everything you need to keep you moving toward your professional goals!

Our team of certified resume writers have created a library of resume examples to show you how to craft a strong resume. Study them to learn to write your own.

Impress your future boss! According to a 2020 survey, most hiring managers read cover letters for candidates they’re considering interviewing before making their final decision. Make a cover letter that seals the deal with our professionally designed cover letter templates.

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What Does an Ambulance Driver Do?

Ambulance drivers transport patients to hospitals, nursing homes or other medical facilities. They operate emergency vehicles and assist emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in helping stabilize the patient.

They operate emergency vehicles and may assist with basic patient care needs. Their driving requires synchronization and multitasking, and they must analyze speed, the time spent on the road and the patient’s medical condition.

An ambulance driver must communicate effectively between the paramedics and the patient to determine adequate care during transport. They are tasked with managing stressful situations aggravated by traffic, time pressure, sirens and reassuring frightened patients.

Ambulance drivers often work closely with police officers and firefighters, depending on the nature of the emergency. After a 911 call, the operator dispatches an ambulance driver to locations where immediate medical attention is needed.

Overall, the specific nature of an ambulance driver’s job depends on the state in which they work and their certification level. Some typical ambulance driver duties and responsibilities include:

  • Report observations of patients and treatment given to medical facility staff.

  • Assist emergency medical technicians during emergency dispatch calls.

  • Take inventory of supplies and disposable items on ambulances and replace them as needed.

  • Report factual information about accidents or emergencies to medical staff or law enforcement personnel.

  • Administer first aid as needed to patients, such as giving oxygen, bandaging wounds or splinting.

How to Become an Ambulance Driver

Demand for ambulance drivers is developing much faster than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 7% growth in the next decade, projecting more than 20,000 openings for EMTs and paramedics annually. Let’s break down the steps of how to become an ambulance driver.


Education requirements:

Ambulance driver candidates need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. While there is no specific degree for ambulance driving, some programs teach basic first aid, CPR and other skills needed for the job.


Get the license:

You will need a valid driver’s license for the state where you will be deployed. Some states may require a special endorsement such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) Class-B to drive vehicles over a specific weight limit, such as a bus or an emergency vehicle.


Go for a specialized certification:

Although no specific certifications are required to become an ambulance driver, it does make one more marketable. Here are a few examples of certifications to make you stand out:


Create a job-winning resume:

Your resume is the tool used to demonstrate your qualifications to recruiters. Stand out in this tough job market with a professional ambulance driver resume. We have professionally designed resume templates with customizable options to create a resume in just minutes. Match your resume with a powerful cover letter that expresses your interest in the position and showcases what you can bring to the role.

Check out our collection of cover letter samples to see how other ambulance drivers describe their experience, or use our Cover Letter Builder, which will create your document for you in just minutes!

Ambulance Driver Skills

An ambulance driver's essential skills are using logic and reasoning to approach problems, asking questions as needed, and demonstrating sound judgment.

Social perceptiveness is also helpful because it allows one to observe and understand other people’s reactions. A willingness to serve others is important because much of the job involves dealing with people in need.

In addition, an ambulance driver needs to be able to observe details about situations, remember them and report them to nurses, doctors, police officers and firefighters.

Other key ambulance driver skills include:

  • Problem sensitivity: Ambulance drivers must be able to tell when a situation is unstable or is about to be unstable.

  • Arm-hand steadiness: Keeping your arm and hand steady when performing different tasks is critical.

  • Precise control: Adjusting machines or vehicles in different positions to accomplish the task is critical.


Hard skills:

1Medical knowledge is essential to identify symptoms and traumatic injuries.
2Triage is a critical skill needed to evaluate the scene and determine speed and priorities quickly.
3Driving and navigation are required to be a safe ambulance driver and interpret maps for alternate routes during emergencies.
4Physical stamina is vital for lifting patients and heavy medical equipment.
5Medical terminology is needed to communicate effectively and interpret abbreviations commonly used in the medical field.
6First aid helps you minimize the severity of the injury and can save lives.

Ambulance driver soft skills:

6Organizational skills
9Interpersonal skills

Insights from an Ambulance Driver

In this section you will find real world answers from some of the Ambulance Drivers we have interviewed. Take a look.

What is the common career path for an Ambulance Driver?

Required education is a high school diploma or equivalent. Apart from that, you need some certifications and licensures. An Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certificate, Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR certificate are the most required from employers.

What should someone consider before becoming an Ambulance Driver?

Before considering to be an Ambulance Driver you should analyze your ability to drive under pressure in urgent scenarios. Sometimes you're going to have to run through red lights with a patient on board in a life or death situation or you might need to maneuver through cars strategically in order to avoid an accident. Another thing you should consider is if you have the ability to focus and make quick decisions on the fly.

What type of person excels in this job?

Nerves of steel people who don't buckle under high-pressure situations and can think rationally during any situation.

What are some of the most important skills for Ambulance Drivers to have?

The ability to think rationally in situations, have a sense of urgency and not let your feelings get in the way. Other important skills are dexterity, skillful driving, along with life-saving Paramedic techniques.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being an Ambulance Driver?

Being part of a life-saving team of professionals is something to feel very proud of. Being trained to handle life and death situations gives you a sense of self-worth and confidence that other jobs don't. Getting an injured patient to the hospital in time to save his or her life, is very rewarding.

How Much Do Ambulance Drivers Get Paid?

Ambulance Drivers earn a median hourly wage in the United States of over $15. The lowest-paid Ambulance Drivers make around $10 hourly, while the highest-paid can earn more than $36 per hour.

Top 10 States for Ambulance Driver’s Salary

Ambulance Drivers in the following states make the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.:

    District Of Columbia












    New York








    Ambulance Driver Resources

    Need more information? We put together this list of extra resources to assist you as you continue exploring a career as an Ambulance Driver.

    On the Web

    the most comprehensive online destination for pre-hospital emergency services

    EMS World
    news and information resource for all those in the emergency medical services field


    A Paramedic’s Story: Life, Death, and Everything In Between
    First-person account of the daily life of a paramedic, Steven “Kelly” Grayson

    Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
    a go-to resource for medical terminology and illustrations

    Industry Groups

    American Ambulance Association
    represents countless ambulance services across the nation that take part in non-emergency and emergency medical care and transport.

    a leader in the industry of emergency and mobile healthcare that strives to advance the profession.