GI Bill - Not Just for College

student running a lathe in technical school

Did you know that you can use your GI Bill for more than just college?

Many veterans are not aware they can use their GI Bill benefits for on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs with most businesses. These programs are excellent ways to enable a veteran to acquire a skill under the supervision of an experienced worker in a practical 'hands-on' way.

There are a wide variety of on-the-job and apprenticeship opportunities available. Some examples include:

  • Union plumber
  • Hotel management
  • Firefighter
  • EMT
  • Journeyman electrician
  • Operating Engineer
  • Gunsmith
  • Taxidermist
  • Diesel mechanic

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 and On-the-Job Training Payments

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 Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill program 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 GI Bill Selected Reserve participants on a similar scale but at the following reduced rates; $349.50 a month for the first six months of training, $256.30 for the second six months of training and $163.15 for remaining training.

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

To use GI Bill benefits while enrolled in an on-the-job training or apprenticeship program, you must work 30 hours or more per week, and the employer must agree to establish the program.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, can help. Subscribe to to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Story Continues
Education Veteran Benefits