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Job Description

An emergency care assistant responds to emergency calls alongside a paramedic, helping them to provide patients with potentially life-saving care and, where needed, getting patients to hospital. They attend every kind of accident and emergency, sometimes covering considerable distances, using expert emergency driving skills to get to the scene with the greatest speed possible. 

For further information take a look at the NHS healthcare careers website.

Entry Requirements

You can get this job through:


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

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Direct Application

There are no set entry requirements to become an ECA. Most employers expect good standards of literacy and numeracy. Some may ask for qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQs or equivalent. 

To drive an ambulance, whether emergency or non-emergency, you need a full, manual driving licence.  Most employers expect you have a driving licence when you apply. Ambulance service trusts use vehicles of different sizes, so check carefully which classifications you need on your licence.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

Career Tips

Employers look for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked with elderly or disabled people, either in paid employment or voluntary work. First aid work would also be useful, such as volunteering with St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.

Career Path and Progression

You could progress to become a team leader or supervisor.  You would be in charge of a team of ECA's, responsible for allocating work and drawing up shift rotas.

You could also apply to become a paramedic.

Required Skills

  • Able to understand a situation quickly
  • Calm in stressful situations
  • Confident and reassuring
  • Resilient in dealing with other people’s strong emotions
  • Able to follow procedures
  • Able to work quickly and carefully
  • Able to work alone or in a team
  • Prepared to go into unknown or unpredictable situations
  • Good listening and communication skills
  • Organised
  • Excellent driving abilities

Salary Range

£19,737 to £24,157

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