Apprenticeships vs Internships

Apprenticships vs Internships


Both apprenticeships and internships are a great way to gain entry level experience in an industry, and will allow you to gain understanding of the industry you are interested in joining, the skills you would learn and what the environment is like. Apprenticeships give you the ability to earn while you learn where as internships offer a learn before you earn deal so you have the chance to see if that career path is right for you.


What is an Internship?

Internships usually have a short lifespan usually between a few weeks to a few months. There are options to find internships in both private and public sectors depending on the industry. Many people choose to take part in an internship to gain on the job experience to see if that role or industry is right for them before committing to it.  Completing an internship can also benefit your CV as once completed you will have relevant experience and basic skills to progress further in the role/ industry.


What is an apprenticeship?

If you are looking to do an apprenticeship it is likely you are sure this is the career path you want to follow.  Apprenticeships offers on the job experience while completing work towards a qualification relevant to your industry.  Unlike an internship once you have started an apprenticeship you will sign a work contract with your employer. Learning all the relevant skills in your role on the job while at the same time taking courses on campus or online. Apprenticeship placements can last much longer with durations lasting between one to six years. At the end of your apprenticeship you will receive a formal qualification and the relevant skills and experience to work in the role/sector.



Internships do not usually pay a salary as they are on a volunteer bases, however paid internships do exist.  If you are completing an unpaid internship in the private sector the employer must meet specific regulations of the fair labour standards act. This is so organisations do not use unpaid interns as a substitute for paid members of staff and ensures the main focus for interns is to learn and gain experience.

If you are completing an apprenticeship you will be paid a salary, however, the salary will most likely be low to start with. Your wage will gradually increase as you gain more experience and learn new skills.



Internships are great for people who are still in education such as university; even though they might not be looking for a job right away the placement will offer great experience as well as a possible way in to a company. Some employers may offer successful interns a position in the company after completing the internship. Alternatively it can help you find a job after completing your education as you will then have relevant qualifications and experience and on the job skills.

If you are an apprentice you will have a job until the end of your apprenticeship. At the end of your apprenticeship your employer can decide whether to keep you on or not, you yourself will also be able to choose if you want to stay or find a new job with the skills, experience and qualifications you have earned.

5E Apprenticeships
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