If you are a veteran or currently in the Guard or reserve, the GI Bills' on-the-job training (OJT) or apprenticeship programs offer you an alternative way to use your 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
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)
- 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).
On-the-Job/Apprenticeship Training Under the Montgomery GI Bill
Under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, you would receive:
- $1,768.50 a month for the first six months of training
- $1,296.90 a month for the second six months of training
- $825.30 a month for the remainder of training
Under the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, you would receive:
- $349.50 a month for the first six months of training
- $256.30 a month for the second six months of training
- $163.10 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 job experience in that field.
- You must be recently hired (within one to two years).
- The job must require at least six months of training to become fully trained.
- The employer may be private, local or state government.
Organizations That Have Participated in the Apprenticeship Program
Here is a list of well known organizations that have participated in the VA's apprenticeship programs 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)
- Departments of corrections (prisons, detention centers)
- Local fire departments
You may be eligible if you are eligible for either GI Bill and:
- You are no longer on active duty
- You were recently hired or promoted
- You are still eligible for the GI Bill, or
- You are currently a member of the Guard or reserve
So, if you are qualified for a 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, 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.
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