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Veteran Rapid Retraining and Employment Assistance (VRRAP)

retraining veterans

New VA Program, Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP), Now Accepting Applications

New Stimulus Plan Add $386 Million in Training and Employment Assistance for Veterans

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden on March 11th. In this law, there is $386 million for the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP). This new program will be able to offer up to 12 months of training and employment assistance for veterans who are unemployed to enter high-demand occupations. 

Who qualifies for the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)?


  • Must be at least 22 years old but no older than 66 years old. 
  • Must be unemployed because of the covered health emergency.
  • Cannot be eligible to receive educational assistance under Chapter 30, 31, 32,33, or 35 of title 38 or Chapter 1606 of title 10, of the United States Code. 
  • Cannot be enrolled in any federal or state job program.
  • Must not be receiving compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling by reason of unemployability.
  • Cannot be receiving unemployment, including any cash benefit of the CARES Act.

What types of programs are covered by this?


  • Approved under Chapter 36, which is the Department of Veterans Affairs Education and Career Counseling program.
  • That do not lead to a bachelors or graduate degree.
  • That are for a high-demand occupation, which is determined by the Commissioner of Labor.
  • Will need to be a high technology program of education that is offered by a qualified provider based on terms of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. 

What do I need to know about the amount of assistance given?

  • Assistance will be paid directly to the educational institution that is offering the program.
  • 50% of the total amount payable will be paid when the eligible veteran begins the program.
  • 25% of the total amount payable will be paid when the eligible veteran completes the program. 
  • 25% of the total amount payable will be paid when the eligible veteran is able to find employment in a field related to the program. 

Is there a housing stipend?

There is. For each month that a veteran is in the program, they will receive MHA (Monthly Housing Allowance) based on attending full or half-time, or through distance learning. This is similar to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and will be based on the same BAH as an E-5 with dependents, based on zip code. 

What else do I need to know about the Veteran Rapid Retraining Program?

  • This assistance can not be transferred to anyone else.
  • No more than 17,250 eligible veterans may receive retraining assistance.
  • Retraining assistance will only be paid up to 21 months after this Act was enacted. 
  • There will be prorated payments for those who did not finish their programs. 

In addition to the money given to this program, the American Rescue Plan of 2021 allocates $17 billion in support of the VA’s nationwide response to the pandemic. This also includes $750 million for both construction grants and payments to state homes to help improve the living conditions of veterans in those facilities and $262 million to reduce the backlog of compensation and pension claims. 

You can read more about what is included in this plan on the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

High Demand Occupations For Veteran Rapid Retraining and Employment Assistance

As a part of this new plan, the government needs to report on the high demand occupations.  The following are high demand occupations for the Veteran Rapid Retraining and Employment Assistance program.

Management Occupations

  • Chief executives
  • General and operations managers
  • Legislators
  • Marketing managers
  • Sales managers
  • Public relations and fundraising managers
  • Administrative services and facilities


  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Financial managers
  • Industrial production managers
  • Human resources managers
  • Training and development managers
  • Construction managers
  • Education administrators, all other
  • Architectural and engineering managers
  • Medical and health services managers
  • Natural sciences managers
  • Social and community service managers
  • Emergency management directors
  • Personal service managers, all other; entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling; and managers, all other

Business and Financial Operations Occupations

  • Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes
  • Buyers and purchasing agents
  • Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators
  • Compliance officers
  • Cost estimators
  • Human resources specialists
  • Logisticians
  • Management analysts
  • Meeting, convention, and event planners
  • Fundraisers
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists
  • Training and development specialists
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists
  • Project management specialists and business operations specialists, all other
  • Accountants and auditors
  • Personal financial advisors
  • Financial examiners
  • Credit counselors
  • Loan officers
  • Financial and investment analysts, financial risk specialists, and financial specialists, all other

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

  • Computer systems analysts
  • Information security analysts
  • Computer network support specialists
  • Computer user support specialists
  • Computer network architects
  • Network and computer systems administrators
  • Database administrators and architects
  • Computer programmers
  • Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers
  • Web developers and digital interface designers
  • Computer occupations, all other
  • Actuaries
  • Operations research analysts
  • Data scientists and mathematical science occupations, all other

Architecture and Engineering Occupations

  • Cartographers and photogrammetrists
  • Bioengineers and biomedical engineers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Civil engineers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors
  • Industrial engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers
  • Engineers, all other
  • Aerospace engineering and operations technologists and technicians
  • Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians
  • Environmental engineering technologists and technicians

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

  • Animal scientists
  • Food scientists and technologists
  • Soil and plant scientists
  • Zoologists and wildlife biologists
  • Conservation scientists
  • Foresters
  • Life scientists, all other
  • Atmospheric and space scientists
  • Chemists
  • Environmental scientists and specialists, including health
  • Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers
  • Hydrologists
  • Agricultural and food science technicians
  • Biological technicians
  • Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
  • Geological and hydrologic technicians
  • Social science research assistants
  • Forensic science technicians
  • Life, physical, and social science technicians, all other
  • Occupational health and safety specialists

Community and Social Service Occupations

  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors
  • Child, family, and school social workers
  • Social workers, all other
  • Health education specialists
  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
  • Community and social service specialists, all other
  • Clergy
  • Directors, religious activities, and education

Legal Occupations

  • Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators
  • Paralegals and legal assistants

Educational Instruction and Library Occupations

  • Preschool teachers, except special education
  • Kindergarten teachers, except special education
  • Elementary school teachers, except special education
  • Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education
  • Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education
  • Special education teachers, preschool
  • Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school
  • Special education teachers, secondary school
  • Special education teachers, all other
  • Substitute teachers, short-term
  • Tutors and teachers and instructors, all other
  • Museum technicians and conservators
  • Librarians and media collections specialists
  • Library technicians
  • Teaching assistants, postsecondary
  • Teaching assistants, except postsecondary
  • Educational instruction and library workers, all other

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations

  • Special effects artists and animators
  • Graphic designers
  • Producers and directors
  • Coaches and scouts
  • Choreographers
  • Public relations specialists
  • Technical writers
  • Writers and authors
  • Interpreters and translators
  • Court reporters and simultaneous captioners
  • Audio and video technicians
  • Sound engineering technicians
  • Camera operators, television, video, and film
  • Film and video editors

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

  • Dietitians and nutritionists
  • Radiation therapists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Therapists, all other
  • Registered nurses
  • Dental hygienists
  • Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians
  • Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
  • Diagnostic medical sonographers
  • Nuclear medicine technologists
  • Radiologic technologists and technicians
  • Magnetic resonance imaging technologists
  • Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
  • Dietetic technicians
  • Psychiatric technicians
  • Surgical technologists
  • Veterinary technologists and technicians
  • Ophthalmic medical technicians
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
  • Opticians, dispensing
  • Medical dosimetrists, medical records specialists, and health technologists and technicians, all other
  • Athletic trainers
  • Health information technologists, medical registrars, surgical assistants, and healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

Healthcare Support Occupations

  • Nursing assistants
  • Occupational therapy assistants
  • Physical therapist assistants
  • Massage therapists
  • Dental assistants
  • Medical assistants
  • Phlebotomists

Protective Service Occupations

  • First-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers
  • Firefighters
  • Fire inspectors and investigators

Personal Care and Service Occupations

  • Barbers
  • Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
  • Makeup artists, theatrical and performance
  • Manicurists and pedicurists
  • Skincare specialists

Sales and Related Occupations

  • Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
  • Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products
  • Sales engineers

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

  • Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
  • Court, municipal, and license clerks
  • Order clerks
  • Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
  • Statistical assistants

Construction and Extraction Occupations

  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Glaziers
  • Insulation workers, mechanical
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
  • Reinforcing iron and rebar workers
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Structural iron and steel workers
  • Elevator and escalator installers and repairers
  • Earth drillers, except oil and gas; and explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters

Installation, maintenance, and Repair Occupations

  • Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers
  • Radio, cellular, and tower equipmentinstallers and repairers
  • Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers
  • Avionics technicians
  • Aircraft mechanics and service technicians
  • Automotive body and related repairers
  • Automotive service technicians and mechanics
  • Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
  • Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines
  • Recreational vehicle service technicians
  • Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
  • Industrial machinery mechanics
  • Maintenance workers, machinery
  • Millwrights
  • Telecommunications line installers and repairers
  • Medical equipment repairers
  • Wind turbine service technicians
  • Commercial divers

Production Occupations

  • Machinists
  • Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

  • Airfield operations specialists
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, and blogger. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.