Ambulance Drivers: Salary Overview
Ambulance drivers are qualified to drive ambulances to respond to sick and injured individuals and transport them to hospitals and other medical units.
Their job responsibilities may also include bringing patients into vehicles by using stretchers, replacing ambulance supplies, and administering CPR and first aid.
Having very good driving skills is very important in this profession because, as an ambulance driver you have to drive the emergency vehicle as fast and safely as possible.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for ambulance drivers and attendants was $25,890 as of May 2019.
This means that half the workers in this profession made less than this amount and half earned more.
Factors such as experience, education, the region, and industry of employment may determine how much an ambulance driver makes.
The numbers published by BLS show that ambulance drivers can earn anywhere between less than $20,000 and more than $40,000.
The hourly rate for this profession typically is between $15-$17, less than the average for all professions in the United States.
Ambulance Driver Salary by Level of Experience
Experience is an important factor in determining an ambulance driver’s salary.
As an entry-level employee, your salary will most likely be closer to the minimum for this profession.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10 percent of ambulance drivers and attendants earned less than $19,460 year so your starting salary will typically be somewhere in the $20,000 range.
As you earn a few years of experience your salary may increase and become closer to the 25th percentile, which is $22,150 per year.
Mid-career ambulance drivers typically earn a salary that is close to the median for this profession.
The best-paid 25 percent of ambulance drivers made more than $32,190 and only the most experienced 10 percent made more than $43,570.
However, your salary will also vary depending on the region and the industry of employment but also based on your driving skills and education.
Ambulance Driver Salary by Industry of Employment
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employer for ambulance drivers were companies that provide other ambulatory health care services.
Ambulatory care services include medical care that is performed without admitting the patient to the hospital and is performed in places such as ambulatory surgical centers, dialysis clinics, hospital outpatient departments, and the offices of physicians.
This field hired several thousand drivers and attendants in 2019 and paid them, on average, with $27,740 per year.
The other transit and ground passenger transportation sector (the field that includes companies that provide ambulance services) offered a mean annual wage of $32,180 for ambulance drivers.
The mean annual wage was $34,410 per year for ambulance drivers who worked for local governments and $29,820 for those employed by general medical and surgical hospitals.
Ambulance drivers and attendants who worked for companies that provide taxi and limousine services earned, on average, $27,210 per year as of May 2019.
The report published by BLS shows that the highest average annual wage was reported by ambulance drivers who worked for specialty hospitals.
Ambulance drivers held only a few jobs in this filed but earned, on average, around $42,060 per year, more than the average for this profession.
The average annual wage for ambulance drivers who worked for psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals was $35,650 per year.
Only a few ambulance drivers worked in this field, so we are safe to say that job openings don’t occur very often in this sector.
Continuing care retirement communities had only several ambulance drivers on their payrolls and paid them, on average with $34,850.
These industries that offer a higher-than-average salary for ambulance drivers hire only very few of them and in order to have better chances at finding employment at a psychiatric hospital or continuing care community, you may need a few years of experience working as an ambulance driver in a different sector.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Ambulance Drivers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.