Hey Veteran Thank you for your Service
Now that you are done with your time in the military you may be looking to start a new career or get some additional training to help you better transition to civilian life. While most veterans look to utilize their GI bill at either a 2 year or 4 year college one of the most underutilized options is apprenticeships. In this blog post I will be explaining what an apprenticeship is and how you can use your GI Bill with it to create a bright future for yourself and your family.
What are Apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships have a long and rich history that dates back centuries. The concept of apprenticeship can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where skilled craftspersons would pass down their knowledge and skills to the next generation.
Modern apprenticeship programs designed to provide on-the-job training and learning experiences to individuals who want to acquire new skills and knowledge in a particular field. These programs combine classroom instruction and practical training to prepare individuals for their future careers. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain hands-on experience, develop skills and knowledge, and obtain a nationally recognized qualification.Some of the most common apprenticeships are Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, HVAC Technicians, and Welders.
How to find qualifying apprenticeships?
Now this is where things get a bit tricky. As a general rule of thumb you will want to look on your states apprenticeship website most state approved apprenticeships stand a pretty good chance of being approved by the VA. However as a general rule of thumb the apprenticeship should meet the following criteria:
- Job training must lead to an entry-level position.
- You must be a full-time hourly or salaried paid employee.
- Your training must be thoroughly documented and reported.
- You must be supervised at least 50% of the time.
- You must be recently hired.
- The job must require at least six months training to become fully trained.
The best thing you can do is ask the company directly if they are currently offering apprenticeships and if so have any of those been approved through the VA. If they have not it does not mean that it can’t be but you will definitely have to be willing to do the leg work with the VA to see if you can get approved.
It is hard to say when you may be reading this so I think it would be best to check the rates for VA education benefits to find out how much money you can get to help pay for school or training. You can do this by clicking this Link.
With that said your benefits will not work the same as a traditional GI Bill user. Because you are being paid while going to school hence your VA payments will taper off over time. Using the Post 9/11 GI Bill you would receive:
- 100% stipend for the first six months of training
- 80% for the second six months of training
- 60% for the third six months
- 40% for the fourth six months
- 20% for the remainder of your training.
On its face value that may not seem like a great deal but something to consider is that unlike most GI Bill users you are pretty much being guaranteed a job in your field. Secondly, any of the benefits you have not used you can still use later. Meaning if after you completed your apprenticeship of let’s say 2 years and you wanted to go back and do a 2 year Construction Management degree that would still be an option for you. Otherwise if you are in a 4 year apprenticeship by your 3rd year you will likely be earning a pretty decent wage and getting an additional 20% from the VA is nothing to side-eye.
Apprenticeships are a great way to gain valuable skills and experience in a particular field. They offer many benefits, including hands-on learning, career advancement, and nationally recognized qualifications. However, they also have some drawbacks when you consider the payment structure when compared to someone going to a trade school. However, the ability to get paid and collect your stipend while working is still a great option for anyone who just does not have the time or energy to balance school and work.