Using Your GI Bill for Apprenticeship and OJT Training

student running a lathe in technical school

Did you know you can use your GI Bill benefits to receive job training in an on-the-job training (OJT) or apprenticeship program? If you are a veteran or currently in the Guard or reserve, both the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills offer an alternative way to use your benefits. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay your 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 six months as your salary increases. At the end of your training, you will be certified in your skill.


Post-9/11 GI Bill

On-the-job trainees and apprentices eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill can receive up to $1,000 per academic year for books and supplies plus a monthly housing allowance that's based on the military's basic allowance for housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents in the employer's ZIP code. VA may reduce the full housing allowance rate according to the percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits the trainee is eligible for; how many hours a month the person will train (120 hours equals full time); and how long the person has been in training (100% of the applicable 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 

Those using the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty in the 2024 fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2024, can get $1,768.50 a month for the first six months of training, $1,296.90 for the second six months of training and $825.30 for remaining training.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve

VA pays Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve participants on a similar scale but at the following reduced rates in fiscal 2024: $349.50 a month for the first six months of training, $256.30 for the second six months of training and $163.10 for remaining training.

Surviving dependents and spouses and dependents of permanently and totally disabled veterans are also eligible to apply for on-the-job training and apprenticeship benefits.

Qualifying Jobs

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 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.

Organizations That Have Participated in OJT or Apprenticeship Programs

Here is a list of well known organizations that have participated in the VA's OJT and apprenticeship programs 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 and training commissions (carpenters, linemen, electricians, pipefitters, roofers, HVAC, etc.)
  • Pratt and Whitney Engine Co.
  • Law enforcement (police, sheriff, state patrol)
  • Departments of corrections (prisons, detention centers)
  • Local fire departments
  • Department of Homeland Security (customs and immigration officers)

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

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