How to Become an

Ambulance Driver

The complete career guide to be an Ambulance Driver: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $25,470
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 33.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

Ambulance drivers transport injured, sick or convalescent patients to medical facilities. When not transporting patients, ambulance drivers will provide assistance at the medical facility they’re been assigned.

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What is an Ambulance Driver?

Ambulance drivers must utilize an eclectic array of skills beyond simply operating responsibly behind the wheel of an ambulance in order to be successful, as the job demands its employees wear many ‘hats’. They are physically capable individuals, able to assess problems quickly, with strong decision making skills. They must be patient and possess a strong sense of empathy and sensitivity to those people encountered in the course of the job. Compensation tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum, however the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives lends a high level of satisfaction to the career.

Over the course of their job, ambulance drivers typically fulfill the following duties:

  • Driving an ambulance to and from hospitals; transporting the sick, infirm, and critically injured
  • Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on non-responsive individuals
  • Provide basic first aid or rescue assistance during emergencies, such as bandaging wounds, splinting and administering oxygen
  • Assist with the loading and unloading of patients from the vehicle
  • Between patient transports, assist with simple tasks at the medical facility they’ve been assigned to
  • Place patients on stretchers and load stretchers into ambulances, with or without assistance
  • Safely navigate busy streets without endangering the person(s) being transported or the general public at large
  • Ensure the vehicle is fueled, clean and properly maintained with the appropriate medical supplies

The primary responsibility for ambulance drivers is to be responsible, safe drivers. The job necessitates a flexible set of skills above and beyond driving, however. Accidents and emergencies encountered during the workday must be immediately reported to law enforcement or hospital personnel. Assistance to patients and coworkers, including medical attention, personal care and emotional support, are essential in the performance of a drivers’ duties. Drivers must also maintain a calm demeanor amidst chaotic situations.

Driving an ambulance is a stressful and oftentimes physically demanding job. Minor injuries are not uncommon if careful attention is not paid  and additionally, because of the rigors inherent in the job, most ambulance drivers cannot work a traditional Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule. This provides flexibility in the workday, but presents its own unique set of challenges.


The medical industry as a whole is a rapidly growing field and opportunities for ambulance drivers will increase at well above the national average for all occupations as a direct result.

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How To Become an Ambulance Driver

A valid driver’s license is the only firm requirement as educational and licensing requirements vary, even within the same state or region. However, the majority of employers do require a high school diploma or its equivalency, the successful completion of an EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course) and a special endorsement on your state driver’s license. Certain employers demand a year or two of driving experience and/or EMT training, and most prefer a BLS or CPR certification. These are easily obtained in courses lasting 2-3 days.

Advancement in the field can be furthered with EMT certification. Courses are offered through community colleges and graduates must successfully complete a written and oral exam. It is also vital to keep a clean driving record.

Ambulance Driver Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Ambulance Driver salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Ambulance Driver's can make an average annual salary of $25,470, or $12 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $20,230 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #770 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Ambulance Driver. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Ambulance Drivers

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 1.9%   Masters
  • 9.4%   Bachelors
  • 8.9%   Associates
  • 29.3%   College
  • 41.6%   High School
  • 8.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Ambulance Driver job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 6,500 jobs for a total of 26,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 33.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #10 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Ambulance Drivers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Ambulance services 11,800 4,900 5%
Other transit and ground passenger transportation 2,700 900 1%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 2,300 100 0%

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