Using Your GI Bill for Apprenticeship and OJT Training

Air Force Maintenance Technician

Did you know you can use your GI Bill to receive job training in an On-the-Job or Apprenticeship training program? If you are a veteran or currently in the guard or reserve, the GI Bill offers you an alternative way to use your GI Bill benefits. The following is a summary of these GI Bill benefits.

VA will pay you GI Bill benefits on a sliding scale depending on how long you are in training. You will also receive a salary from your employer. The VA benefit usually decreases every 6 months and the salary increases every six months. At the end of your training you will be certified in your trade.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship & On-the-Job Training Payments

If you are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you will get 100% of the monthly housing allowance for the first six months of training, 80% for the second six months, 60% for the third six months, 40% for the fourth six months, and 20% for the remaining months of training.

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty Apprenticeship & On-the-Job Training Payments

Those using the Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill program can get $1,495.00 a month for the first six months of training, $1,096.70 for the second six months of training and $697.90 for remaining training.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve Apprenticeship & On-the-Job Training Payments

VA pays GI Bill Selected Reserve participants on a similar scale but at the following reduced rates; $288.00 a month for the first six months of training, $211.20 for the second six months of training and $134.40 for remaining training.

Surviving dependents and spouses and dependents of permanently and totally disabled veterans are also eligible to apply for OJT/Apprenticeship benefits.

Qualifying Jobs

To qualify, your job must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be supervised at least 50 percent 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 OJT or Apprenticeship Programs

Here is a list of well-known companies who have participated in the VA's OJT & Apprenticeship Program in the past:

  • Pirelli Tire Co.
  • Proctor & Gamble Co.
  • Merck Pharmaceuticals
  • Cessna Aircraft
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Bell South
  • Local Union Joint Apprenticeship & Training Commissions (Carpenters, Linemen, Electricians, Pipefitters, Roofers, HVAC, etc.)
  • Pratt and Whitney Engine Co.
  • Law enforcement (police, sheriff, State Patrol)
  • Dept. of Corrections (prisons, detention centers)
  • Local Fire Departments
  • Department of Homeland Security (customs & immigration officers)

Eligibility for the OJT/Apprenticeship Program

You may be eligible if you are eligible for the GI Bill either under the Active Duty (Veteran) or Reserve GI Bill programs and:

  • You are no longer on active duty
  • You were recently hired or promoted
  • You left active duty less than 10 years ago for Montgomery GI Bill or 15 years ago for Post-9/11 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.

Take the Next Step

Your next step should be to contact your nearest the VA or local State Approving Agency (SAA). Your SAA can help you will help you get started on the process and answer any questions you may have.

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