If you are a veteran or currently in the guard or reserve, the On-The-Job Training (OJT) or Apprenticeship Program offers you an alternative way to use your GI Bill benefits.
When you are trained for a new job, you can receive monthly training benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs in addition to your regular salary.
On-the-Job/Apprenticeship Training Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill
If using the Post 9/11 GI Bill you would receive:
- 100% of the monthly housing stipend for the first six months of training
- 80% for the second six months of training
- 60% for the third six months
- 40% for the fourth six months
- 20% for the remainder of your training.
On-the-Job/Apprenticeship Training Under the Montgomery GI Bill
Under the Active Duty GI Bill you will receive:
- $1,341.75 a month for the first six months of training
- $983.95 a month for the second six months of training
- $626.15 a month for the remainder of training
Under the Reserve GI Bill you will receive:
- $276.00 a month for the first six months of training
- $202.40 a month for the second six months of training
- $128.80 for the remainder of training
Normally when you are employed as an apprentice your pay will increase every six months until you reach journeyman or full employment level.
To qualify, your job must meet the following criteria:
- You must be supervised at least 50% of the time.
- Job training must lead to an entry-level position. (Management training programs do not qualify.)
- You must be a full-time paid employee — not on commission.
- Your training must be documented and reported.
- You cannot have previous experience job experience in that field.
- You must be recently hired (within one to two years).
- The job must require at least six months training to become fully trained.
- The employer may be private, local or state government.
Companies Who Have Participated in the Apprenticeship Program
Here is a list of well-known companies who have participated in the VA's Apprenticeship Program in the past:
- Pirelli Tire Co.
- Proctor & Gable Co.
- Merck Pharmaceuticals
- Cessna Aircraft
- Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
- Lockheed Martin Corp.
- Bell South
- Toyota Motor Company
- Local unions (pipefitter, iron worker, roofer, carpenter, etc.)
- Pratt and Whitney Engine Co.
- Law enforcement (police, sheriff, state patrol)
- Dept. of Corrections (prisons, detention centers)
- Local fire departments
You may be eligible if you are eligible for the GI Bill and:
- You are no longer on active duty
- You were recently hired or promoted
- You left active duty less than 15 years ago (10 years ago for the Montgomery GI Bill) or
- You are currently a member of the Guard or Reserve (Reserve GI Bill)
So, if you are qualified for the GI Bill and you have started a new job or apprenticeship program, you should apply for this little known GI Bill benefit. In some cases, the VA will even pay retroactively for OJT from the past 12 months.
Note: You may not receive GI Bill OJT benefits at the same time you receive the GI Bill education benefits.
Take the Next Step
Your next step should be to contact your nearest VA Regional Office or local State Approving Agency (SAA). Your SAA will help you get started on the process and answer any questions you may have.