It’s no surprise why apprenticeships are such a popular career opportunity – being able to learn a trade through a highly interactive combination of traditional classroom learning and hands-on experience represents an excellent way to learn, with the considerable advantage of also making money in your field at the same time.

There are plenty of other advantages in taking up an apprenticeship, but there is also a lot of confusion surrounding this career option. In this article, we take a look at what exactly is involved for those looking to pursue an apprenticeship to give you somewhere concrete to start.

Apprenticeships as a great place to start out

Starting out as apprentice creates the potential for many career trajectories – whether it be entering the workforce immediately or taking the time to study something more in-depth like a diploma in construction management, an apprenticeship has the potential to open many doors. But first, back to basics – while students take an apprenticeship, they will also at the same time be doing an industry-specific Certificate III trade qualification.

Each course will provide core units and electives that tool up a student with everything they need to succeed in their trade of choice, and will usually offer a considerable number of diverse skills over the 3-4 years of full-time study that the course involves. There are a considerable number of trades that students can take a course in, such as carpentry, plumbing, tiling, concreting, stonemasonry and much, much more – it all depends on what you’re interested in!

If you’re still a bit unsure, doing a bit of research – whether in the trade as a whole or the individual courses offered related to that trade – will usually help you decide on what the right fit for you is, so there’s definitely no need to stress about what to pick.

Pre-apprenticeship and study Before you commence an apprenticeship, a good option for you might be to do a pre-apprenticeship. This involves students doing a Cert II Pre-Apprenticeship course, which will indicate to prospective employers that you have all the skills necessary to commence work in your trade of choice. After your pre-apprenticeship is done and dusted, then you can focus on your Certificate III.

A Certificate III will typically involve a good combination of practical skills and theory taught by people highly qualified in your field of choice. As you’re also working with others, there’s the other considerable benefit of networking and meeting like-minded people who are also interested in your field.

After you complete your Certificate, you’re then able to find an apprenticeship that suits you. There can be some competition, and will usually require you to ask employers what they have available and when. It’s also useful asking friend or relatives if they know about any apprenticeships, as this might more easily help you get a foot in the door. Occasionally apprenticeships are advertised, but this typically is not the case.

Finding the right apprenticeship for you

If you’re unsure about the field you want to pursue an apprenticeship in, now’s the time to kick off your education research. Even if you start a Certificate and find you don’t enjoy it, there’s no harm finding another field that interests you more – sometimes its all about through practical means. In any case, before you know it you’ll be fully qualified in your industry, which is a very exciting thought indeed!