Veteran Apprenticeships and OJT

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is a State Approving Agency (SAA). In this role, WSAC is the approving agent for apprenticeship and OJT programs in Washington State. WSAC must approve programs for veterans to use their GI Bill® benefits. Get more information about State Approving Agency administration

Veterans, Apprenticeships, and OJT Programs

Most veterans know they can use their GI Bill® benefits while attending a college or university. They can also use GI Bill® benefits for apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs. This allows veterans to get their education benefits, learn a new career, and earn a wage—all at the same time.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are usually industry sponsored programs. They combine classroom study with hands-on training in highly skilled occupations. Skilled workers oversee apprentices’ progress. They assess manual, mechanical or technical skills and knowledge for occupations that require:

  • At least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
  • Skills customarily learned on-the-job.
  • At least 144 hours of related theoretical (classroom) instruction per year.

Apprentices earn full-time wages while working toward journey-level status. 

 

OJT Programs

OJT Programs

OJT stands for on-the-job training. OJT programs are structured workplace training programs that don’t meet the criteria for apprenticeship. They typically do not include theoretical instruction. OJT programs last between 6 and 24 months. 

 

 

Information for Veterans

The Department of Labor has identified over 900 occupations that qualify for apprenticeships. Some of the occupations that use apprenticeships and OJT programs include: ironworker, pipefitter, plumber, carpenter, police officer, deputy sheriff, corrections deputy, 911 dispatcher, fish and wildlife officer, electrician, machinist, fire medic, line worker, and cement mason. 

 

Eligibility

Eligibility

Veterans may qualify if they are eligible for the GI Bill® under one of the following programs:

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 30)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1606)
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

Veterans also have to meet both of the following criteria:

  • No longer on active duty.
  • Recently hired or promoted.

Current members of the Guard or Reserve may also be eligible.

Spouses and children, covered under Chapter 35, may also be eligible if they’re in qualified training.

Find out if you’re eligible and apply for benefits on the VA website

 

Your employer's responsibilities

Your employer's responsibilities

Your employer must apply to WSAC for approval to be a GI Bill® training facility. As part of the application, employers submit an outline of training for OJT or standards of apprenticeship. Once approved, employers should follow the training plan and meet the standards they submitted with their application.

Certifying official

Your employer needs to have an employee act as your certifying official. The certifying official is the only person who can submit your training hours. This person is also responsible for keeping a file of your training and wage records for the VA GI Bill®. 

 

Using GI Bill® benefits

Using GI Bill® benefits

This is the process you’ll need to go through to use your GI Bill® benefits for apprenticeships or OJT programs. If you need help finding a job, visit WorkSource.

1. To use your GI Bill® benefits for apprenticeships or OJT, you need to work for one of the following:

2. Tell your employer’s certifying official that you want to participate in the GI Bill® program.

3. Use the VA’s online GI Bill® comparison tool to see different benefit options.

4. Apply online with the VA.

  • If you’ve never used your GI Bill® benefits, select VA Form 22-1990.
  • If you’ve used your GI Bill® benefits, select VA Form 22-1995.

5. If you’re eligible, the VA will send you a certificate of eligibility.

6. Give a copy of this certificate to your employer’s certifying official.

7. The certifying official will enroll you and certify you for retroactive training hours.

8. For each month of your program, the certifying official will certify and submit your hours to the VA for payment of benefits.

9. Your employer’s certifying official will inform the VA of changes to:

  • Wages.
  • The training program.
  • Address.
  • Certifying official personnel.

10. When you complete or stop training, the certifying official will report this to the VA. 

 

 

Information for Employers

As an approved GI Bill® training establishment, you can help veterans transition into a career with your organization. At the same time, you can attract and keep workers with a reputation for dedication. Veterans have experience, maturity, discipline, savvy, technical knowledge, work ethic, and more.

Once your training program is approved, you can market and advertise that your organization is “Approved for the GI Bill®” while recruiting.

Get Started

Get Started
Develop your program

Determine if occupations in your organization qualify as an apprenticeship or OJT program. Structured training is key to qualifying. The Department of Labor has identified over 900 occupations that qualify for apprenticeships. 

Identify your veterans

Recruit and hire veterans, eligible dependents, National Guard members, or reservists in your eligible occupations. Veterans are usually eligible for GI Bill® benefits for up to 10–15 years after separating from service.

 

Get approval for apprenticeship

Get approval for apprenticeship

Apply to the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) for approval of each apprenticeship or OJT program. Need help with the application process? Call 360-753-7821 or email saainfo@wsac.wa.gov.

There is a fast-track process for state and federally registered apprenticeship programs. 

Application process

1. Check the criteria for apprenticeship to ensure your organization meets federal and state requirements.

2. Complete the required forms.

3. Provide a copy of your organization’s Standards of Apprenticeship.

4. Mail application to:

WSAC/SAA 
P.O. Box 43430 
Olympia, WA
98504-3430

Your organization must allow WSAC and the VA to conduct periodic onsite reviews of training and records. These reviews ensure the:

  • Correct payment of VA benefits to eligible trainees.
  • Facility remains in approved status.

 

Get approval for OJT program

Get approval for OJT program

1. Check the criteria for OJT programs to ensure your organization meets federal and state requirements.

2. Complete the required forms.

3. Provide a copy of your organization’s Outline of Training, which should include:

  • Work processes.
  • Approximate amount of time spent training in each work process.

4. Mail application to:

WSAC/SAA 
P.O. Box 43430 
Olympia, WA
98504-3430

Your organization must allow WSAC and the VA to conduct periodic onsite reviews of training and records. These reviews ensure the:

  • Correct payment of VA benefits to eligible trainees.
  • Facility remains in approved status.

 

Managing your program

Managing your program

During the application process, you name a certifying official. This person must have access to wage and work reports.

The certifying official also has important responsibilities for:

  • Enrolling eligible trainees in your program.
  • Reporting to the VA on a regular basis.
  • Maintaining records. 
Enrollment 

WSAC will give your certifying official the enrollment forms for trainees. The certifying official certifies enrollment for eligible trainees and submits these forms to the VA. 

Regular reporting to the VA

The certifying official will certify monthly training hours and report them to the VA, along with any changes in training status. 

Maintaining records

The certifying official must maintain these records at your approved facility:

  • Apprentice or trainee application forms.
  • Veterans training agreement.
  • Payroll reports to document training hours certified to the VA.
  • Training records.
  • Copies of all forms submitted or received by the VA and WSAC.