How much can you earn during your Apprenticeship?

Posted: 7th of January 2013 by Anonymous

It's not really surprising so many people are choosing an apprenticeship as an alternative to a degree course, since tuition fees have, in some cases, almost trebled - and that's not taking other educational expenses into account, like food, accommodation, travel and the occasional visit to the local student bar.

So one of the most valid reasons for undertaking an apprenticeship, together with that all-important work experience and the definite possibility of being offered a more permanent position by the company training you once your apprenticeship is complete is, of course, the money aspect.

Unlike leaving uni with a student debt hanging over your head - and usually we're looking at upwards of £50,000 - you leave an apprenticeship with no debts to worry about whatsoever, and, if you've been taking a little out of your apprentice wage and putting it aside, you could even have built yourself up a nice little nest egg as well.

That's because as an apprentice, you're entitled to a government-set minimum wage of £2.65 an hour - but that’s only to start with.  Many employers choose to pay more than that, and pay rates go up after the first year of your apprenticeship anyway.

So instead of racking up a five-figure debt with each passing year at uni, you can expect your bank balance to swell by at least £7,000 during the first year of your apprenticeship - or, more likely somewhat more than that: some apprentices earn £11,000 a year, it's been shown, and that rate can be even higher in the banking and finance sector.

Of course, so much depends on the company taking you on as an apprentice.  If money is your primary reason for taking up an apprenticeship, then bigger companies can afford to pay their trainees more.  But you really ought to choose your apprenticeship for more reasons than just how much you'll get paid while you're training.

Obviously, some people would prefer to be a small cog in a big corporate machine if the money's right, but you might just be one of those people who'd prefer to be a bigger cog in a smaller machine - where the training you'd receive would be much more personal, but at the cost of a smaller paycheque at the end of the week.

But one thing's for certain:  however much you get paid during your apprenticeship, you should be looking at it as an investment, to give you the kind of career fast track far too many university students are expecting ... but if current statistics are to be believed, won't enjoy once they've graduated.

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