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GI Bill Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training

GI Bill Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training (OTJ) are available to veterans or current members of the Guard and Reserve. Not every veteran is interested in going back to school and the Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training Program gives these veterans a way to use their GI Bill benefits to improve themselves while still working.

To be eligible for the Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training Program you must be eligible to receive either Active Duty or Reserve GI Bill benefits. Active duty members of the Guard or Reserves are also eligible to receive Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training assistance.

To qualify for Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training, your job must also qualify and your employer must agree to meet the requirements of the program. You must be a full-time employee (not paid on commission) in an entry-level position to qualify for OTJ assistance. You must be new to the job (within 1 to 2 years of being hired), new to the field and the position must require at least six months of training to attain proficiency. You cannot receive OTJ money while you are receiving other educational GI benefits. Your employer can be from the private or public sector but they must agree to meet the reporting requirements of OTJ which include:

  • They must supervise you at least 50% of the time.
  • Your training must be documented and reported according to the programs requirements.

The Apprenticeship and OTJ Program pay you tax-free money from the VA in addition to the salary you will already be earning in your apprenticeship or OTJ. Apprenticeships and training jobs often don’t pay particularly well so this extra VA money can really help. You will be paid on a tiered schedule earning more money the first six months of training, less the second six months and even less the third six months you are in training. Reservists receive about ¼ the benefit amount received by Active Duty Veterans. The amount of money you can receive through Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training changes almost yearly so a veteran should compare his/her OTJ and GI Bill educational benefits to make sure that they are getting the most out of their GI Bill benefits. The VA will sometimes pay OTJ money retroactively if you have all your documentation but didn’t apply for assistance at the time of your training.

For Veterans who don’t want to or can’t return to college full time, Apprenticeship and On-The-Job-Training GI Bill assistance is a way to access GI Bill benefits. As a veteran the extra tax-free money is just one way VA can help you to transition successfully back into civilian society.

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