Tech companies often hire veterans straight out of the military. Apprenticeships for veterans in various fields in tech are designed to aid in their reintegration into civilian life. With strong tech skills, veterans can increase their employability and become talented tech professionals.
From the Department of Veterans Affairs to private companies, military apprenticeship programs are available everywhere. If you’ve ever dreamed about getting a job at Amazon or one of the tech giants, we’ll show you tech-focused veteran apprenticeships that can set you up for success. Once you know what you’re interested in, it’ll be easy to settle on the right VA apprenticeship program.
What Is the VA Apprenticeship Program?
The VA apprenticeship program is a program for military veterans who want to go back to learning and receive further training on a subject of interest. The government provides education benefits to veterans through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. GI Bill benefits include access to paid training programs, funding for books and supplies, and more.
The GI Bill also gives veterans an allowance that they can use to learn a trade in a registered apprenticeship program. This monthly stipend is tax-free and can be used for classroom and job training. Even if you are already making money as an apprentice, you are still entitled to receive the allowance for VA on-the-job training.
However, you will need to make sure to join VA-approved apprenticeship programs. To check whether or not an opportunity is an approved Veterans Affairs apprenticeship program, you can use the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool.
Types of Apprenticeships for Veterans
Veterans have access to over 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities through the US Department of Labor. The earn-and-learn model of training requires that you work full-time to effectively build up your skill in your chosen field.
Trade skills are often a focus of veteran apprenticeships. These opportunities include working as an electrician, law enforcement agent, fire medic, truck driver, or seaman. Veterans can also break into tech through coding bootcamp programs and tech industry apprenticeships, especially in the fields of software engineering, web development, and data science.
Trade Apprenticeships for Veterans
Trade apprenticeships for veterans cover a range of fields and job titles, such as carpenter, electrician, plumber, and automotive technician. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, you can apply because these positions will provide essential on-the-job training.
After completing a trade apprenticeship, which can take one to four years, you’ll have all the trade skills you need to work in the profession. On the VA apprenticeship program webpage, you can find registered opportunities, along with the benefits the GI Bill provides for each. Though trade apprenticeships provide great opportunities, we will focus on tech apprenticeships for veterans for the remainder of this article.
Tech Apprenticeships for Veterans
Veterans can get tech apprenticeships in a variety of disciplines, such as software development, data science, and web development. If you are aiming for a tech-focused apprenticeship, then it is best to have a background in programming. Though this is not always required because an apprenticeship is a combination of learning and work.
Many top tech companies offer apprenticeship opportunities, but they do mostly require a full-time commitment. These are also almost always paid positions. As such, tech apprenticeships allow you to build coding skills while also enjoying the many benefits of working in the tech industry.
Types of Tech Apprenticeships for Veterans
In the tech field, veterans can explore different types of apprenticeships based on their interests. If you are more interested in programming and building applications, then you can check out software engineering. You can also go into data science if you want to work with big data and database management or web development if you want to design websites.
In a software engineering apprenticeship, you will work closely with software engineers and software developers to build useful applications. Having software development knowledge helps you provide solutions for issues with software products. Your programming skills are an important factor in qualifying for this program.
If you are interested in database management, then a data science apprenticeship may appeal to you. You will work to secure data and prevent the theft of sensitive information, especially for confidential transactions. You need to be comfortable with coding in SQL because it is a popular programming language in the field of data science.
Cyber security is a growing field, and with that comes job security and ample employment opportunities. In a cyber security apprenticeship, you will learn important principles of cyber security as well as hands-on skills like building firewalls, penetration testing, securing networks, and more.
As many businesses continue to make the shift towards cloud services, developing professional skills in cloud computing can enable you to work in a variety of fields. In a cloud computing apprenticeship for veterans, you will learn how to work with cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure. In addition, you will refine your coding skills and learn the different tenets of cloud security.
Best Apprenticeships for Veterans
Institutions directly offer apprenticeships for veterans. You can either search for accredited apprenticeships on the Veterans Affairs website or try to get approval for a job that you choose. Popular tech companies like Amazon, IBM, and Accenture offer veterans apprenticeships. The best tech apprenticeships for veterans are listed below.
Amazon Apprenticeship Program
Amazon is one of the largest and most well-known companies in the entire world. It is a respected tech company that provides solutions in logistics, cloud computing, and information technology (IT). Among its many tech career programs is an initiative to help the members of the military community by offering Amazon apprenticeships for veterans.
Through Amazon’s technical apprenticeship program, veterans gain tech skills through a course and on-the-job training. Once you finish the course, you are qualified to start a career with Amazon. This is a company that pioneers some of the best technological advancements in the world, and you can receive training through an Amazon military apprenticeship, even without a prior IT background.
Some Amazon veteran apprenticeship opportunities are in cloud computing, data science, software development, and even tech sales. The training usually takes 10 to 18 weeks, depending on your chosen curriculum. This is a program that also encourages military spouses to apply.
Accenture Apprenticeship Program
Accenture is a multinational company that provides technological solutions to its clients. With growing innovations in technology, Accenture invests in tech talent that can contribute to its goals and innovations. As part of its mission to help the US economy, the Accenture apprenticeship program primarily targets groups that are underrepresented in tech.
The company currently has more than 1,000 apprenticeships available, most of which are in the field of technology. In these apprenticeship programs for veterans, you will have the chance to work in web development, data science, and software development. The goal is to close the gap of tech skills in the US, so the program is open to anyone who wants to be trained for a professional tech job.
IBM Apprenticeship Program
IBM is a multinational corporation and a pioneer in technology innovation around the world. It is a well-known maker of computer parts, and its tech training prowess is undisputed. As part of its initiative to bring tech to everyone, IBM offered the Veteran Employment Initiative.
The IBM Veteran Employment Initiative helped veterans get training in data analytics. Though this was a four-year veteran apprenticeship program that has since expired, IBM remains committed to offering veterans job training programs. The company has now partnered with the VA to offer its SkillsBuild program to veterans, which offers free tech job training.
In addition, the IBM Apprenticeship Program offers a train-to-hire program, meaning anyone who is accepted to the program is adequately prepared for a professional tech career. With IBM, you have the opportunity to learn not just fundamental tech skills but also advanced topics in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing.
Franklin Apprenticeship Program
Franklin’s Network Engineer Apprenticeship covers more advanced tech topics. With its mission to change the American workforce, Franklin offers various apprenticeships that build IT skills. Some of these opportunities are offered in coordination with IBM.
The network engineering apprenticeship is an opportunity to gain certification from Microsoft and CompTIA. You will be working on operating systems, networks, and software and hardware development. Through the program, you will develop proficiency in handling network-related concerns having to do with the Internet.
The minimum requirement for the Franklin apprenticeship programs for veterans is a high school diploma and at least two years of IT job experience. Candidates must have a strong technical background because they will be working on complex issues every day. Most importantly, you need to have a genuine interest in networks.
New Apprenticeship Tech Apprenticeship Program
New Apprenticeship is an approved and registered tech apprenticeship program that specifically helps veterans and transitioning service members. Even if veterans might have worked a tech job while in service, a paid apprenticeship for veterans gives them more hands-on experience. Moreover, the training provides structured learning and a chance to earn a credential.
Throughout the 15-month program, New Apprenticeship will support your job placement at one of its partner companies. Your tuition is already covered, and you will receive full benefits such as interview coaching and resume improvement. The military apprenticeship program will also help build your portfolio, which is a must for aspiring tech professionals.
The programs at New Apprenticeship are focused on digital marketing, information technology, and data analytics. As this is an apprenticeship, you are expected to commit about 10 to 15 hours a week for education on top of your full-time job.
Veteran Apprenticeship Salary
The GI Bill provides a monthly housing allowance of $1,000 to $3,500 based on the location of the veteran. Up to $1,000 yearly is also provided to cover books necessary for a veteran’s apprenticeship education. You cannot benefit from the GI Bill if you are currently on active duty.
As for the VA apprenticeship pay outside of the benefits, this will depend on the company where you will be working. The compensation varies by type of work, as each apprenticeship requires specific skills and experience. To give you an idea, a software engineer apprentice earns an average salary of $73,433, according to ZipRecruiter.
How to Use the GI Bill for a Veteran Apprenticeship
To use your GI Bill benefits for an apprenticeship, you must be working in an industry approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You must also be done with your service before you can enjoy the education benefits for veterans. Spouses and children of veterans can also use the GI Bill for apprenticeship benefits, but this may need to be specially approved.
If you are a veteran, as long as your apprenticeship is on the list of approved GI Bill apprenticeship programs, you can use your benefits. You can check whether or not your program qualifies on the VA website.
It is important to note that GI Bill on-the-job training benefits are separate from the compensation that is provided by employers. If you join an approved GI Bill apprenticeship for veterans, you could receive a book stipend, housing allowance, and the regular hourly pay your employer offers.
How to Prepare for an Apprenticeship for Veterans
There are several channels that will help you prepare for a veteran apprenticeship, which you can find by checking the listings on the VA and US Department of Labor official websites. To get yourself ready for a VA apprenticeship program, there are bootcamps, internships, trade schools, and vocational schools that offer education on the relevant subjects.
Coding bootcamps often accept GI Bill benefits as payment for their programs. Veterans might find the curriculum of a bootcamp program more focused and convenient than that of a traditional university. At bootcamps, veterans interested in tech can secure apprenticeships from partner companies.
Internships are usually similar in structure to apprenticeships. If you choose to do a veteran internship for a tech company, you can also look up apprenticeship opportunities within the same company. If the program happens to fall in your line of training, then it will be easier to transition because you already know the inner workings of the company. Many internships for veterans offer the opportunity to build new skills.
Veterans often go to trade schools to receive technical training for specific trade school jobs. Trade school certification acts as proof of expertise. Most apprenticeship programs require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent for you to qualify, so this could be a good investment.
Vocational training is similar to a trade school, and it is also one way to get a veteran apprenticeship. Tech-specific training is available in the fields of information technology, programming, and more. Vocational training is a combination of work and learning, which dovetails nicely with an apprenticeship. This is why vocational education looks good on a resume.
Is a Veteran Apprenticeship Worth It?
Yes, an apprenticeship for veterans is a good training ground to develop your skills in a classroom setting and while on the job. Plus, the government supports your education through the GI Bill so you can receive financial assistance while you are building new skills. In addition, many coding bootcamps accept the GI Bill, offer bootcamp scholarships for veterans, and can connect you to veteran apprenticeship opportunities after you graduate.
Overall, an apprenticeship for veterans is an opportunity to have a smooth transition back into civilian society and the day-to-day workforce. It also provides you with up-to-date tech knowledge, which is important because industry trends are changing every day.
Apprenticeships for Veterans FAQ
An apprenticeship for veterans can help you transition from military to civilian life. If you join a VA apprenticeship, benefits include developing professional skills for the tech industry, building a network, and earning a lucrative salary. Plus, many companies will hire you as a full-time employee after you complete an apprenticeship program.
The Department of Veterans Affairs pays for approved apprenticeships. There is a list of VA-approved apprenticeships on its official website. If you are uncertain if your desired program is accepted, then you can directly connect with the VA via email to confirm that your preferred program is good to go.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is usually best for veterans who want to join apprenticeship programs. This is because Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits also award veterans with monthly housing stipends and further help offset costs while they are building new skills.
You can use the VA’s on-the-job training program if you are a veteran no longer on active-duty service. In addition, spouses and children of veterans are able to access these benefits under certain conditions. The VA OJT program aims to help military veterans work in industries such as plumbing, hotel management, and tech, among others.
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