Registered Apprenticeship: Earn While You Learn

A young woman wearing protective goggles reads from a clipboardTransitioning service members often face the challenge of relating their military experience to careers in the private sector. Here's the good news: the earn-while-you-learn model of Registered Apprenticeship offers an excellent opportunity for veterans starting their civilian careers.

Registered Apprenticeships are industry-driven programs that offer a mutually-beneficial arrangement for both employers and employees. Apprentices gain paid work experience, invaluable education and a nationally recognized credential, while employers develop the skills they need for their future workforce.

Apprentices start earning a competitive wage from day one. 90% of apprentices retain employment after completing their program, boasting an average starting salary of $80,000. These programs don't just offer valuable credentials; some even grant college credits or degrees – without the debt. Nationally, there are more than 27,000 Registered Apprenticeship programs spanning a variety of industries, from construction to IT to healthcare.

The benefits are even more compelling for veterans. Eligible veterans can apply their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits when participating in approved apprenticeship programs, adding an extra layer of financial support. Transitioning service members can smoothly move from service to civilian life through DoD SkillBridge programs directly linked to Registered Apprenticeships. In this structured environment, service members collaborate with mentors who expertly guide their transition into civilian careers.

Active-duty service members can stand out from apprenticeship peers by taking advantage of the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), securing civilian credentials while still in uniform. They also have access to our Employment Navigators at select military installations who can assist them every step of the way.

Registered Apprenticeships are not just about gaining skills and a paycheck; they are a pathway to a fulfilling civilian career. Visit, to search for apprenticeships by location, industry, occupation or company name and explore a wide range of options.

With an array of support programs and resources at your disposal, finding a great job after the military has never been more attainable.

Kristopher Rick is the Apprenticeship, Licensing and Credentialing lead for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. Follow VETS on Twitter/X and LinkedIn.