Apprentice Pay: What can you earn as an apprentice?

How much can you earn as an apprentice?

Apprenticeships pay more then you think, in recent years the apprentice wage has increase to between £15,000 - £30,000 in the UK.

Apprentice wages are increasing year on year from the national minimum wage requirement which in 2017 was £3.80 and now £5.28 per hour as of April 2023.  Although this is the national minimum wage for apprentices set by the government most organisations are paying much high. The average apprentice wage across the UK is around £15,000 - £30,000 depending on the apprenticeship level and industry you are studying.

Apprenticeships historically have been ear marked as low paying jobs and believed to be jobs for employers to get cheap labour. However those rumours may or may not have been true, what is a fact is that apprenticeships are your best way to get a foot on the career ladder and gain on the job training whilst earning a wage.

You can learn many skills as an apprentice by training on the job in industries such as Construction, Banking and Information Technology and it is even rumoured that once you have completed your apprenticeship training you will be earning more money then a recent university graduate.


If you have any questions about how to become an apprentice feel free to drop us a line: Contact Us


How much will I be paid when I start my apprenticeship?

The amount you can earn as an apprentice depends on the level of apprenticeship and industry you are training in, the minimum an employer is required to pay by law if £5.28 per hour for your first year of your apprenticeship or if you are under the age of 18yrs. However due to the competition to attract apprentices many companies are paying much higher than this to get people applying for their apprenticeships.


Once you have completed your first year and you are over the age of 18 an employer is required to pay the minimum legal requirement as set out by the government for the National Minimum Wage, please see below. As previously mentioned there is a lot of competition for employers to attract apprentices for their apprenticeship opportunities, meaning the likelihood of an apprentice employer paying paying the minimum wage requirements is very low. The average salary for apprentices is rising gradually and we expect the average of £15,000 to £30,000 to be much high in the coming years.

From 1 April 2023 Rate per hour
Under 18 £5.28
18 to 20 £7.49
21 to 22 £10.18
23 and over £10.42

Apprentice Wages

Who employs apprentices in UK?

Apprenticeships are offered by almost all companies in the UK from banking giants to retailers. Historically apprenticeships were for trades such as carpenters or bricklayers, more of a hands on skillset. Over the years apprenticeships have adapted to be available for every one including adult apprenticeships who want to learn a new skill and gain a nationally recognised qualification such as a HNC or Bachelors degree. You can find out more about apprenticeships on our guide "What is an Apprenticeship?"


Do different levels of apprenticeships pay differently?

Depending on the level of apprenticeship being studied the likelihood is the higher the level of apprenticeship the more money you will be paid as a salary. This may not be the case in all instances as it solely depends on how much the employer wants to pay to train an apprentice.


It maybe that an apprentice employer may feel that the benefit of the training and the future prospects outweigh the need to pay a higher salary from the beginning. Employers invest a lot of money and time into training up apprentices and in addition to the salary the employer also has to pay the training fees and any other associated costs.


Register as an apprentice.

Register to become an apprentice on the UK's leading website for apprenticeships.

We help thousands of budding apprentices each month by connect you to apprentice employers or apprenticeship training providers. 

Apprenticeship Levels Explained

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships are your entry level into the world of apprenticeships more commonly known as a Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 2 apprenticeships offer an excellent route into further education post 16, as an alternative to staying on at school, whilst receiving on the job training and studying towards a nationally recognised qualification.

During your intermediate apprenticeship you will study part-time with a college or a training provider, 20% of your training, towards an NVQ Level 2 and knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC, together these qualifications are the equivalent to 5 GCSE's grades 9 - 4 (A* - C on the old grading system). You will also receive a Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English if you don't already have them.

An Intermediate Apprenticeship is great for learning work related skills as apposed to being given more responsibility. This level of training will make you work ready and train you in the hands on skills required to undertake the responsibility of the task and give you the employability skills you need to be successful.

Qualifying Criteria

There is no formal qualifying criteria for a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship however some employers may ask for a minimum of 2 GCSE's to be able to join their apprenticeship programme.


Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships or commonly known as Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent to doing 2 A-Levels and are the next level from an intermediate apprenticeship. Level 3 apprenticeships are great for you to start once you have completed your GCSE's and have attained the correct grades to be able to start at this level.

Starting at the advanced level even if you already have A-levels enables you to gain on the training, of which some employers prefer you to have before starting a Higher or Degree apprenticeship.

Just like an intermediate apprenticeship you will be required to spend at least 20% of your time studying with a college or training provider to be able to achieve the qualifications. On completion of you r apprenticeship you will achieve the equivalent of 2 A-Levels in the form of an NVQ Level 3 and a knowledge based qualifications such as a BTEC diploma.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship many employers ask for a minimum of 5 GCSE's which must include Maths and English, this is why an intermediate apprenticeships gives you these qualifications on completion. Although an advanced apprenticeships is the equivalent of 2 A-Levels some employers may add A-Levels as their requirement at this level also.

Find companies advertising advanced apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships are your Levels 4 and 5 qualifications and enable you to study towards a HNC or HND respectively whilst at Level 5 you can also attain a foundation degree which is great if you want to continue in your studies towards a bachelors degree.

During your higher apprenticeship training you will be required to studying part-time with a training provider, college or university which along with your on the job training will enable you to train towards a Level 4 or 5 NVQ and BTEC diploma along with their respective HNC or HND qualification. Higher apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete.

As a higher apprentice you will be given a lot more responsibility which may include managing people or teams or even responsible for managing projects. You will be supported by your employer along side your mentors and tutors making sure to advise and guide you along the way during your apprenticeship programme.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a higher apprenticeship you will need to have achieved and completed at least a Level 3 Apprenticeship or have 5 GCSE's grades 9-4 which must include Maths and English and 2 A-Levels.

Find companies advertising higher apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships were introduced in September 2015 and have been receive with open arms both by employers and apprentices alike. Also known as Level 6 or 7 apprenticeships the degree level apprenticeship enables you to study towards a Bachelors or Masters degree.

You can start a degree apprenticeships straight after your advanced apprenticeship level or alternatively if you want to gain more on the job training before the Level 6 programme you can overlap from a higher apprenticeship programme. Many employers are now partnering with leading universities across the country to offer degree level apprenticeships to help advance your learning opportunities.

Just like studying at university a degree level apprenticeship takes between 3 to 6 years to complete you will achieve this by on the job training with your employer and training provider and then part-time study at the designated university for your apprenticeship course.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a degree apprenticeship you will need to have at least Level 3 qualifications of 2 A-Levels, NVQ and BTEC or have completely the advanced apprenticeship. Level 6 and 7 are also a natural progression from a higher apprenticeship.

Find companies advertising degree apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Frequently asked Questions about apprentice pay and benefits..

How much will I earn as an apprentice?

As an apprentice you will be paid the salary that was detailed to you before you accept the offer of the apprenticeship training.

Who recruits apprentices in the UK?

Apprenticeships are offered by almost all companies in the UK across a multitude of industries from telecom apprenticeship to construction and even utility apprenticeships.

Will I get a pay rise after the first year of my apprenticeship?

Nothing is guaranteed unfortunately when it comes to pay increases. Most apprenticeship programmes do offer a staggered salary which does increase for each year of your training programme.

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

Depending on the level of apprenticeship and the subject area you are studying an apprenticeship can take from between 12 months and five years.

Do I receive other benefits on top of my pay?

As an apprentice you are entitled to the same benefits such as a pension, holiday pay and any other perks full-time employees receive during their employment.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.

Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.

During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.

To find our more about apprenticeships please refer to our What is an Apprenticeship? guide.

Why should you start an apprenticeship?

If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.

You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.

The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.


How can you become an apprentice?

There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:

  • Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
  • Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
  • Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
  • Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
  • UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.

and finally......

  • Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.



FAQs about Apprenticeships in Milton Keynes