Earning While She Learns

Jovan Hernandez

Jovan Hernandez

Class of 2022

Area of Study
Emergency Medical Science
Favorite Aspect of Wake Tech
When I found myself in need of a new career plan, Wake Tech was there. I've always been an adrenaline junkie, and becoming a paramedic is perfect. I think fast, and I'm really calm in emergency situations!
Career Goals
To become a paramedic.

Although I have experience in healthcare, the EMT class is very challenging. We are in deep -- we're not just learning surface level knowledge here! I'm loving it!

    — Jovan Hernandez

In early 2020, Jovan Hernandez was enrolled in Wake Tech’s nursing program and employed as a Nurse Aide for a home health agency. She had an ambitious career plan: “My goal was to become a Nurse Practitioner within six years!”

But as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, she found herself, like so many others, out of a job. Jovan, married with three teenagers, was up late one night when a TV commercial about Wake Tech caught her eye. “I saw that commercial many times over the next few days, and something told me I needed a new plan.” She turned to the Wake Tech website and found the WakeWorks Apprenticeship program.

WakeWorks Apprenticeships offer students an opportunity to earn income while they learn. The program, a partnership between Wake Tech and Wake County, provides full scholarships to students learning skills in high-demand fields. Wake Tech helps students get hired at local companies as paid apprentices, where they learn on the job while continuing to go to school – tuition-free.

Jovan applied to WakeWorks Apprenticeships and joined the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/Paramedic program. “I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie,” she explains, “and becoming a paramedic is perfect. I think fast, and I’m really calm in emergency situations.”

The EMT/Paramedic apprenticeship class is one of 10 training options in the WakeWorks Apprenticeship program, which also includes Carpentry, Welding, Automotive Technician, Building and Code Inspector, and Tower Technician. Other apprenticeships in healthcare and IT are currently in the works.

At the completion of their free apprenticeship training, students’ resumes will be stacked with multiple credentials. These credentials, such as EMT certification and the Career Readiness Certificate, are industry-recognized; the Journeyman Certificate is a nationally-recognized credential given to those who complete employer-sponsored training and become a registered apprentice. The average starting salary for a registered apprentice is $50,000, and a worker can expect to make an extra $300,000 over the span of his or her career as a result of this training. 

How does Jovan’s new apprenticeship career plan compare to her original? “I’m loving it!” she says.  “Although I have experience in healthcare, the EMT class is very challenging. We are in deep – we’re not just learning surface-level knowledge here!”

Learn more at wakeworks.waketech.edu.

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