Apprenticeship for Veterans

Apprenticeships can help Veterans, National Guard, and Reserve members enter in-demand fields and get on-the-job training in a range of industries, from trades to technology.

Just as a college student can collect a monthly G.I. Bill payment for classroom attendance, so can a registered apprentice who learns a trade on the job. Learn more about how you can use your benefits for career training.

Table of Contents

Military members walking in shadow

Introduction

Did you know that military service Veterans, National Guard, and Reserve members can take advantage of the G.I. Bill to enter a registered apprenticeship program and learn a trade?  

Apprentice training is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction (schooling) which has been approved by the Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS). 

An apprenticeship can help you enter an in-demand field. There are apprenticeships in many different jobs: from high-tech manufacturing and healthcare to plumbing and carpentry.

Everyone wins when apprentices collect their military benefits:

  • Employers recruit and retain a skilled workforce
  • Employees can offset their living expenses while training to become a certified and highly qualified employee
  • The local economy benefits from the influx of Federal military dollars

Veterans, National Guard, and Reserve members are encouraged to explore apprenticeships as a way to train in a new career.

What kinds of apprenticeships are available?

Did you know that there are hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities for veteran and military education benefits? You may be able to collect benefits for up to four years while on the job.

When you’re ready to get started on an apprenticeship, reach out to a Veteran’s employment representative who’ll help you get in touch with unions, businesses, and other organizations to start your application.

What are the benefits available for Veteran and military apprentices?

If enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program, eligible Veterans or their dependents may receive a monthly allowance for learning on the job and completing 150 hours of schooling per year. 

Montgomery G.I. Bill payments for apprenticeship programs, which generally range from one to five years in length, can total between $2,600 and $42,000 depending upon benefit eligibility.

DAS helps both the employer and the apprentice set up approved standards of apprenticeship accepted by the Veterans Administration. DAS does not provide job placements. Instead, DAS is a resource to help you with the application process. The VA will approve payment of benefits.

Who is eligible for G.I. Bill benefits?

Veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserve, and certain eligible dependents can use these programs for a wide variety of VA-approved education and training programs. These include apprenticeship and on-the-job training, college degree and certificate programs, flight training, and correspondence courses.

All Veterans who have established eligibility under Chapter 30, Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Section 903 or Chapter 1606, Chapter 1607, and any spouse or child who is eligible under Chapter 35 benefits. 

The benefit is not available for a person on active duty.

How do you first apply for the benefit?

A.) If you have previously applied for educational benefits either at the academy or some other institution talk to the Veteran’s representative at your nearest MassHire Career Center.

B.) If you have never applied for Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits, go to https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/

  1. Go to https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/
  2. Follow the instructions on the page to verify your eligibility, or to apply for a new benefit
  3. You can also request a mail-in application or request help from a VA professional to complete your application

Please note: The Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS) does not approve GI Bill benefits. We are a resource to help the apprentice veteran with the application process for GI Bill benefits from the VA, thereby speeding up the process. Only the VA can approve the payment of benefits.

How does the G.I. Bill work for apprenticeships?

Each program offers a specified number of months of benefits. 

Monthly rates for apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs are set to account for the increase in your wages as you work towards journeyman status. Benefit payments decrease as wages increase.

For the first six months of an apprenticeship program, you’ll get a monthly VA check that equals 85% of the current full-time institutional rate for your benefits program. During the second six months of the program, benefits are paid at 65% of the full-time rate. And during the remainder of the program, you’ll get a monthly check equal to 45% of the benefit's full-time rate.

IVA education benefits can only be used for one type of training at a time. If at some point you want to change from one type of training to another, such as transitioning from a college program to an apprenticeship program, you must get help from your VA Regional Processing office to complete the necessary forms.

Learn more about the GI Bill and its requirements and benefits from the federal Veteran’s Administration.

Free resources for military and Veteran apprentices

Helmets to Hardhats opens a pipeline between military service and the best building and construction industry jobs. They work with top contractors and unions to help you access the best opportunities in the business. Members of the National Guard and Reserve, as well as active-duty Veterans, can use their services. Phone support: (866) 741-6210.

My Next Move provides career and job training information for military members transitioning to civilian life. Find industries that align with your current military experience or explore new careers and industries.      

U.S. Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship website is an excellent resource for employers interested in learning more about the many benefits of establishing registered apprenticeship programs in a wide range of industries. Toll-free helpline: (877) 872-5627.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs G.I. Bill website is a great place to learn about VA education benefits, including the newest programs established by law. Education Customer Service Office: (888) 442-4551

The Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) is the leading advocate for the more than a half-million veterans of the Commonwealth and their families and survivors. DVS establishes policy, proposes legislation, ensures adequate funding for Veterans programs is included in the Governor's budget and represents the interests of veterans in matters coming before the General Court. DVS provides information on State and Federal benefits, including details about where and how to apply.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Veterans' Services
600 Washington Street, Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02111

Phone: (617) 210-5480

Email: MDVS@vet.state.ma.us

I’m an employer. What are my responsibilities to Veteran apprentices?

As an employer, you’re responsible for providing the training as outlined by the training agreement, standards of apprenticeship, apprenticeship laws, and regulations. 

The company or program sponsor must have the qualified personnel to provide satisfactory on-the-job training as well as ensure apprentices receive 150 hours of related instruction per year. 

You must keep records to show the progress made by the apprentice towards their job objectives.
A representative of the Division of Apprentice Training can help employers submit the proper forms to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Resources for employers and sponsors of Veterans

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense organization that was established to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.
They have over 4,500 volunteers nationwide! If you have questions about the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), this is the organization to call. 

Meet the Massachusetts leaders for ESGR and reach out for assistance.

VA Certifying Official Handbook (PDF): Review this to ensure that your Veteran apprentices are able to claim their VA educational benefits. You should designate a Certifying Official to complete the required VA forms. 

Contact

Phone

Online

Compliance Inquiries - North Shore, Central MA East, Michael Falasca (617) 626-5405 Michael.A.Falasca@mass.gov
Compliance Inquiries -,Central MA West, Laura Lee (617) 626-5672 Laura.E.Lee@mass.gov
Compliance Inquiries - Metro Boston (617) 626-5409
Compliance Inquiries - Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape, South Shore, and South Coast, Celina Dias Pendexter (617) 626-5407 Celina.Pendexter@mass.gov

Address

19 Staniford St., 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02114
Image credits:  Shutterstock
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