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A guide to apprenticeship wages

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 and provide many people with entry routes into the job they’ve always wanted but might not have initially studied for. 

If you start an apprenticeship in the construction industry, you are bound to have a great learning experience and might even find your dream job role. But how much will you be paid? This guide will take you through how much you could earn and answer any questions about pay and tax as an apprentice. 

How much do apprenticeships pay? 

Apprenticeships combine practical work while you study, so the pay is often lower than if you were working full-time. However, you’ll be gaining valuable experience and you will get the same treatment as other employees working in a similar role or at the same level. This includes: 

  • Support in the form of mentoring or coaching 
  • Benefit schemes such as childcare 
  • Sick pay 
  • Paid holiday/annual leave.

What is the minimum wage for an apprentice? 

The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £4.15 an hour, as set by the Government. This applies if the apprentice is under the age of 19, or if they are in the first year of the apprenticeship, regardless of age. 

Here is the current minimum wage chart: 

The current minimum wage chart
Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2020 (current rate) £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55 £4.15
April 2019 to March 2020 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90

So, if you are 23 in your first year of an apprenticeship you will receive the minimum of £4.15 an hour. Once you have completed that first year, you are entitled to £8.20 per hour.  

You can find more details about the minimum wage here

Do apprentices get paid for college days? 

The days that you are studying as part of the apprenticeship fall under the conditions for apprenticeships that the Government have set out. These state that you must be paid for time spent studying, whether that’s at work or college. 

What impacts my wage as an apprentice? 

Although we have gone over the minimum wage available to an apprentice, there is no fixed rate. An employer must pay you the minimum, but some choose to pay more which will impact your wage. Some companies will recognise the benefits of paying their apprentices more, including a better sense of company loyalty, so it’s something to look into as you search for an apprenticeship that’s right for you. 

Find out which roles are available in the construction industry for apprenticeships

Will I be taxed as an apprentice? 

Apprentices must pay income tax in the same way as everyone else. You will normally pay tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, meaning that it is taken straight from your pay packet. You will not normally need to worry about completing a Self-Assessment tax return. However, you will only pay tax if your wage exceeds the threshold for paying tax, which is currently £12,500 per year (as of 2020-2021).

What kind of apprentice could you be? 

Thinking of applying for an apprenticeship but not sure how? We have all the information you need. If you have questions or want to discuss your options in construction, get in touch.  

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