Technician Application FAQ’s

How do I become an Ambulance Technician or Ambulance Paramedic?

To become a Paramedic with the Scottish Ambulance Service, you need to apply to be a Trainee Ambulance Technician first.

If you are successful through the recruitment process, you will be employed by the Scottish Ambulance Service as a Trainee Ambulance Technician.  Once you have passed the full year and all studies completed, you are a Qualified Technician.

Qualified Ambulance Technicians with a minimum of one year of service may be eligible to apply for Paramedic training through the Scottish Ambulance Service internal recruitment process.

Please note that in Scotland, obtaining an offer of employment is the only way to become an Ambulance Technician.  In England the process is different and you can apply to become an Ambulance Technician or Paramedic through college or university programmes.

The Scottish Ambulance Service does not recruit for direct entry Paramedics unless you are a qualified Ambulance Paramedic.  If you are qualified please click here for information about direct entry.

Where does the Trainee Ambulance Technician training take place?

The first 13 weeks of your employment are spent at the Scottish Ambulance Academy within Glasgow Caledonian University doing the Certificate of Higher Education in Ambulance Studies and you will also do a three week Emergency Response driving course. 

How long does it take to become a Qualified Ambulance Technician?

If you successfully complete the 13 weeks at the Academy and the Emergency Response Driving course, you then go out on the road with a paramedic for a full year as a Trainee Technician. Once you have passed the full year and all studies completed, including 750 mentored hours, you become a qualified Ambulance Technician.

How much does Ambulance Technician training cost?

An offer to train to become an Ambulance Technician is a permanent offer of employment.  The Scottish Ambulance Service pays for you to complete the Ambulance Technician training and also the Emergency Response Driving.

Do I need a driving license to apply to become a Technician?

Yes, you will need to hold a full UK driving licence and have no more than three penalty points on your licence.

What qualifications do I need?

You will need a minimum of two Highers at level C or above and 5 Standard Grades at level 3 or above to include English and a Science subject, or the equivalent of these qualifications. ie SVQ level 3, SCQF Level 7 or HNC, would all meet this criteria. If you do not meet the above criteria, your local colleges will be able to give advice on what courses you may do to meet this.

Please note – we are currently assessing the programme in light of the introduction of National grades. More information on how these relate will be available shortly.  

Do I need to have the C1 category on my driving license before I apply to become an Ambulance Technician?

No.  If you are made an offer of employment then you will need to obtain the C1 category on your driving licence six weeks before your start date. This can be a very tight timescale, therefore we would encourage you to at least have your C1 provisional licence in place.  Unfortunately we are unable to train anyone without C1 category on their licence.

Do I have to pay to complete the C1 category?

Yes. Although, if you are made an offer of employment to become an Ambulance Technician the Scottish Ambulance Service may be able to give some financial assistance which will be deducted from your salary over the first 12 months of employment. There are various driving schools around the country that provide this training, varying from approximately £700 - £1000.

Will I be eligible for accommodation while I’m training to become an Ambulance Technician?

Accommodation is allocated depending on how far you stay from Glasgow Caledonian University.  There is limited accommodation therefore applications are considered on an individual basis.  Accommodation is free for Trainee Ambulance Technicians.

What is involved in the assessment / interview process?

Applicants who are short-listed may be invited to attend an assessment day.  This includes a fitness test and interview. The interview is the final stage of the application process and a decision over whether an offer will be made will follow the interview.

When will I hear if my application has been successfully short-listed?

The short-listing and recruitment process can be a quite lengthy.  It can take a few weeks for this part of the process, however, candidates will be contacted by email with an update to the progress of their application.

Are there any age restrictions to become an Ambulance Technician?

There are no lower or upper age restrictions on becoming an Ambulance Technician however you will need to have held a full UK driving licence and have no more than three points on your licence.

If successful, where will I be based?

When completing your application you will be asked to indicate what locations you would be prepared to work.  Once interviews have been completed and the Service decide who they wish to appoint, they cross-reference it with workforce arrangements. If there are vacancies in the areas you have specified, then you will most likely be offered a position.

What is the salary for an Ambulance Technician?

The starting salary for Technician Students is £20,323 per annum, rising to £22,440 per annum on successful completion of the Service’s training programme. This will increase in annual increments to £29,034 per annum. (NHS Band 5). 

What hours / shift pattern will I work?

A full time Ambulance Technician would be contracted to work 37.5 hours a week, inclusive of meal breaks.  Most Trainee Ambulance Technicians will initially be placed on a relief roster which means the number of hours they work each week may vary, but average at 37.5 hours.  The Scottish Ambulance Service aims to give members of staff as much notice as possible about their shift patterns.

Can I work as an Ambulance Technician part time?

There is the opportunity to work as a part time Ambulance Technician, however you will need to complete the 13 week training on a full time basis.  To become a Qualified Ambulance Technician you will need to complete 750 hours with a mentor and this will take longer than a year if you work part time.

What opportunities are there for career progression?

The Scottish Ambulance Service support all members of staff’s professional development.  Each member of staff has a personal professional development plan and follows an online learning programme called eKSF- electronic Knowledge and Skills Framework.

There are various opportunities for career progression within the Scottish Ambulance Service.  Once you become a qualified Ambulance Technician you are eligible to apply to do the Paramedic course as they become available.  There may also be the opportunity to apply to become a Team Leader or diversify your experience by working in the SORT teams.  There are opportunities to focus on management based roles such as Area Service Manager or progress to becoming a Head of Service or even a General Manager.