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Want a Rewarding Healthcare Career Without Student Debt? It’s Possible at UVA Health

pharmacy tech in training

You don’t need job experience or a degree to get started in a healthcare career at UVA Health. You just need a desire to work in a dynamic field where you can make a difference in the lives of our patients. Through UVA Health’s Earn While You Learn program, you can get paid a competitive full-time salary as you train to fill key roles.

We launched the program with pharmacy technician training. Recently, we expanded it to include emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Later this year, we plan to expand it to include training for jobs like:

No Experience/Degree Needed: Just a Calling to Serve

A high school diploma or a GED is the only requirement for our pharmacy technician and EMT training programs. If accepted into one of the programs, you’ll get paid a full 40 hours each week.

In the pharmacy program, you'll split your time between:

Once certified, you’ll have the opportunity to qualify for advancement through Level 4 and Pharmacy Technician Lead.

“The UVA Pharmacy Technician Training Program opens many doors for opportunity and growth at UVA Health,” says Veronica Desper, technician manager at UVA Outpatient Pharmacy.

She adds, “We offer roles for all personality types. And patient care is at the center of our work. For individuals looking to pursue a role in healthcare, who enjoy multitasking, and most importantly, making a difference in the lives of our patients, this is a great option.”

Expanding to Lifesaving Roles

Emergency medicine physician William Brady Jr., MD is excited to build on UVA Health’s Life Support Learning Center to train people who can become EMTs and paramedics. “Not only is this program attractive from a zero education-cost perspective, but you’ll get paid an appropriate and competitive salary as you train in the classroom, through simulation, and on the job.”

He adds, “And when you finish training, you’ll have a job at UVA Health that would allow you to work in a number of different environments involving the Emergency Department, acute care floors, and UVA Emergency Medical Services, so you can continue to refine your skills.”

Start Where You Are

This flexible program will allow someone to come in with no medical experience. Or, a person can start training at whatever level they’ve achieved. For example, someone could come in with experience as an EMT basic and progress to the next level to become a state-certified paramedic, Brady explains.

Brady is excited to help develop the program in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College and with key people at UVA Health, including Nelson Figueroa, administrator of emergency medicine and services; nurse educator Beth Mehring; and John Gilday, nurse manager of the Life Support Learning Center.

Start Your Healthcare Career

Our pharmacy technician and EMT training programs are hiring. Complete this form or

Launch Your Career at UVA Health

The Earn While You Learn program will help UVA Health fill key roles as the need for these skills continues to increase. “The program helps speed up the timeframe for UVA Health to grow our skilled healthcare team. Our need for developing talent is especially acute now because of shortages in nursing and other critical support services,” says Wendy Horton, chief executive officer of UVA Medical Center.

She adds, “Entry-level roles like these can lead to so many other exciting healthcare career opportunities. One of our team members started as a pharmacy technician at UVA Health 7 years ago. She has since worked her way up to become a clinical pharmacist in a specialty setting.”

We originally published this post Feb. 16, 2022 and updated it in April 2022. The update notes that the program is also now training EMTs.

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