What Does An Ambulance Driver and Attendant Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients.

Salary
$30700
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients.

  • Remove and replace soiled linens or equipment to maintain sanitary conditions.
  • Drive ambulances or assist ambulance drivers in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons.
  • Report facts concerning accidents or emergencies to hospital personnel or law enforcement officials.
  • Place patients on stretchers and load stretchers into ambulances, usually with assistance from other attendants.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Ambulance Drivers and Attendants clean and wash rigs, ambulances, or equipment. They drive ambulances or assist ambulance drivers in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons.

A typical day for an Ambulance Driver and Attendant will also include:

  • Perform minor maintenance on emergency medical services vehicles, such as ambulances.
  • Remove and replace soiled linens or equipment to maintain sanitary conditions.
  • Report facts concerning accidents or emergencies to hospital personnel or law enforcement officials.
  • Replace supplies and disposable items on ambulances.
  • Place patients on stretchers and load stretchers into ambulances, usually with assistance from other attendants.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Ambulance Drivers and Attendants also remove and replace soiled linens or equipment to maintain sanitary conditions. They may also accompany and assist emergency medical technicians on calls.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Ambulance Drivers and Attendants clean and wash rigs, ambulances, or equipment. They might also place patients on stretchers and load stretchers into ambulances, usually with assistance from other attendants.

In addition, they perform minor maintenance on emergency medical services vehicles, such as ambulances.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them report facts concerning accidents or emergencies to hospital personnel or law enforcement officials.

To some Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, it is also their responsibility to administer first aid, such as bandaging, splinting, or administering oxygen.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
13%

Limited freedom
20%

Some freedom
12%

A lot of freedom
55%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
8%

Limited freedom
24%

Some freedom
19%

A lot of freedom
50%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Average

61% said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they found their job meaningful.


Jeff Byer, NREMT
Village of Waukesha, Waukesha WI

I am a Firefighter/EMT with the Village of Waukesha, in Waukesha WI. When I run EMS calls, I am either a driver or an attendant in the back, so I have done both jobs. Driving an ambulance is a very rewarding experience. Anytime I can deliver the patient safely to the hospital and bring my crew safely back home, it’s a great day. While driving an ambulance, there is a lot you have to do, especially when you are arriving at the scene. Generally, you run hot (light and sirens) to the scene initially, and then run silent (no lights and sirens) to the hospital, unless the patient’s condition requires otherwise.

When running hot, there is a lot to watch out for. Other drivers, pedestrians, and road conditions. Generally, you are going faster than everyone around you, so it is certainly exciting. You definitely have to learn how to control your adrenaline, so you can focus on what is going on around you. There are a lot of blind spots in an ambulance, so constantly knowing where everyone around is located is very important. You also have to listen to the dispatch information and prepare a plan with your partner, on how to help the patient when you arrive. While en route, my partner and I will discuss who will do what on the call. Such as patient assessment, applying oxygen, getting medication, etc. We will also have to think if we will need to ask for additional units, based on the initial dispatch information. Finally, knowing where you are going as the driver is probably the most important. You can’t help the patient if you can’t get to the patient. Knowing your community is very important to help you get around quickly, as you can’t rely on GPS, because you need to focus on the road. Being in the ambulance as a driver or attendant is the best job ever! I get to help people when they need it the most, and that is very rewarding.

Pros:

  • Helping people
  • Getting to do something that a lot of other people can’t do.
  • Being involved in a person’s life, at the moment they need you the most.
  • Ever-changing and challenging
  • Never sure what you are going to have when you arrive on-scene.
  • The ability to quickly see something and know exactly how to fix it.

Cons:

  • The things you see, you can’t unsee. Since you are being called to help someone at the worst time in their life, it can be very difficult at times.
  • Time away from your family
  • Sometimes you have to miss different events or activities because a call came out and you have to run it.

Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$30700 per year

Average hourly wage

$15 per hour

Entry-level Ambulance Drivers and Attendants with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $20,660 to $23,620 per year or $10 to $11 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $20 $41,440
Senior (Top 25%) $16 $32,880
Middle (Mid 50%) $13 $27,930
Junior (Bottom 25%) $11 $23,620
No experience (Bottom 10%) $10 $20,660

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
27%

40 hours
37%

More than 40 hours
35%

Working schedule

57%

44%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
12%

Important
13%

Very important
21%

Extremely important
54%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
20%

Important
9%

Very important
15%

Extremely important
56%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
8%

Fairly important
0%

Important
25%

Very important
38%

Extremely important
30%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
23%

Every day
31%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
29%

Every day
42%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
24%

Every day
60%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
31%

Once a year
40%

Once a month
10%

Once a week
4%

Every day
16%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
6%

Once a year
39%

Once a month
25%

Once a week
15%

Every day
15%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
8%

Once a year
8%

Once a month
37%

Once a week
11%

Every day
36%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
21%

Once a year
25%

Once a month
42%

Once a week
6%

Every day
6%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
25%

Slightly competitive
18%

Moderately competitive
11%

Highly competitive
17%

Extremely competitive
28%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
11%

Fairly important
2%

Important
20%

Very Important
23%

Extremely Important
44%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
6%

Moderate impact
9%

Important impact
26%

Very important impact
59%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
6%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
22%

Every day
61%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
0%

Moderate responsibility
4%

High responsibility
15%

Very high responsibility
81%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
3%

Limited responsibility
32%

Moderate responsibility
21%

High responsibility
17%

Very high responsibility
26%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
27%

Once a year or more
12%

Once a month or more
41%

Once a week or more
2%

Every day
18%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
27%

Once a year or more
4%

Once a month or more
41%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
22%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
2%

Once a year or more
8%

Once a month or more
20%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
63%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
11%

Once a year or more
24%

Once a month or more
7%

Once a week or more
13%

Every day
44%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
1%

High School Diploma or equivalent
56%

Post-Secondary Certificate
20%

Some College Courses
23%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
43%

1 month
1%

1 to 3 months
17%

3 to 6 months
9%

6 months to 1 year
25%

1 to 2 years
4%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 6 years
0%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
15%

1 month
31%

1 to 3 months
11%

3 to 6 months
11%

6 months to 1 year
25%

1 to 2 years
8%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

100%

24%

19%

81%

48%

43%

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

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