How much do apprentices get paid?

This information is designed for use by apprentices. If you are a union rep, see Pay for apprentices in our information and resources for union reps.

"I've been a member of my union for roughly two years and they have already been a big help and are very enthusiastic about apprentices furthering their education whilst at work." - Shipbuilding apprentice

Apprentices are entitled to pay

Pay is one of the things to which apprentices are entitled, do you know them all? What are apprentices entitled to?

The amount paid to employed apprentices, as for all employees, is negotiated with the employer. Pay rates vary between sectors, regions and between different employers. Your union can help in negotiating pay rates.

Apprenticeship wage

There is an Apprenticeships national minimum wage (NMW) in the UK which applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and to those aged 19 and over in the first year of their Apprenticeship. The current rate is £3.70 per hour as of April 2018 (this rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age). More information is available from the UK government's GOV.UK website. The government apprenticeships website can also help you find an apprenticeship, from engineering apprenticeships to apprentice chocolatier.

The apprentice national minimum wage is subject to an annual review and will rise in April 2019.

Apprenticeship Pay Survey

However, unions generally negotiate pay rates well above the national minimum wage (NMW). The Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2014 found that across Level 2 and 3 apprentices in Great Britain, 78% were paid at or above the NMW. The mean total weekly earnings was £257 (median £238): this included basic pay plus paid overtime, tips from customers and bonuses.

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The image above shows the mean basic hourly pay by framework for apprentices across Great Britain. Source: BIS Research Paper 207: Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2014.

Next: Joining a trade union as an apprentice