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Schools for Aspiring Ambulance Drivers: How to Choose

Ambulance drivers are responsible for transporting patients from an emergency situation to a hospital or other health facility. They must have the requisite training to perform emergency medical procedures as part of the emergency medical team. Certificate programs at the emergency medical technician (EMT)-basic level, available at schools across the U.S., typically qualify students for ambulance driver positions.

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Aspiring ambulance drivers can enroll in emergency medical technician training programs at community colleges or 4-year colleges and universities. EMT's must be licensed by their state, and have the option of studying on site or online.

Schools with Ambulance Driver Programs

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered*
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Certification
Florida SouthWestern State College Fort Myers, FL 4-year, Public Certificate
University of Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City, MO 4-year, Private Certification
University of Hawaii-Kapi'olani Community College Honolulu, HI 2-year, Public Certificate
Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, AL 2-year, Public Certification
University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 4-year, Public Certificate
Santa Fe College Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Certificate
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-year, Public Certification
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private Certification

Source: School websites*

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School Selection Criteria

There are many important considerations for choosing an ambulance driver training program.

  • Because the certification and licensure of EMT professionals and ambulance drivers vary between states, students are encouraged to review their individual state's requirements and be aware that certification with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is advantageous in most states, as well as at the professional level.
  • Students are also encouraged to enroll in EMT-basic certificate programs that include classes in ambulance driver instruction, such as an emergency vehicle operation course (EVOC), as completion of an EVOC is advantageous when seeking employment and could be mandatory in some cases.
  • EMT certification is available at multiple levels, including EMT-intermediate and paramedic, based on the intensity and duration of education and training, with higher levels of EMT training potentially leading to more advanced knowledge, responsibility and rate of pay.
  • Students should also check prerequisites because, in some cases, students must already hold some emergency medical credentials to enroll in EMT-basic certificate programs, such as CPR registration or certification as a first responder, which is an entry-level emergency medical services position.

EMT-Basic Certificate

Depending on specific state requirements, certificate programs for ambulance drivers may be completed in as little as one semester, with only a few courses. Certificate programs for prospective ambulance drivers at the EMT-basic level prepare students for state and national certification examinations. Students gain practical experience by working with or observing hospital staff and EMTs through clinical and field experiences.

Ambulance drivers are qualified EMTs who prepare for their career by taking a certificate or certification program. Many colleges and universities offer EMT programs with the option to complete programs online.

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