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Medical

Emergency care assistant

Emergency care assistants drive ambulances under emergency conditions and support paramedics.

Annual Salary

£19,737 to £24,157

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

8%
Future employment

There will be 8% more Emergency care assistant jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You may:

  • use advanced driving skills to respond to medical emergencies
  • carry out basic scene safety checks by assessing the risk to yourself and others
  • contact the emergency control centre to request extra support
  • transfer patients to and from ambulances, using special equipment and manual handling skills
  • help ambulance paramedics deal with urgent hospital admissions
  • support the delivery of first aid and minor emergency treatments
  • monitor and treat patients until they are transferred to hospital
  • complete handover reports and record all patient information
  • make sure your vehicle is roadworthy, properly kitted out and cleaned after every call

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or on an ambulance.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as an ambulance support worker.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You may have an advantage if you've worked or volunteered in a health or social care role. You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

First aid work would also be useful, for example with St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You'll usually need:

  • 3 or 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science subject
  • excellent driving skills and current knowledge of the highway code

Some ambulance services may also want you to have experience of working in a patient care setting, ideally in the NHS and with a current first aid certificate.

If you passed your driving test after 1996, you may need an extra driving qualification for larger vehicles and for carrying passengers.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an emergency care assistant from:Health Careers; College of Paramedics; Local Ambulance Trusts

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With experience, you could apply for a trainee technician job or a student paramedic post. You could then take an approved paramedic science degree, leading to registration as a paramedic.

You could also become a team leader or supervisor with responsibility for a team of ECAs, or move into a human resources or training role.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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