What to expect

Becoming an apprentice or trainee means you don’t have to wait to start your career. You’re able to work, study, get paid and begin earning your qualification from day one. 

There are big rewards involved. But it can be challenging, too.

Here are some of the things you’re signing up for when you start an apprenticeship or traineeship:

  • You have to turn up to work on time, every working day, including early starts.
  • Depending on your industry, you may have to work long hours with changing or unsocial shifts (this means working late nights or early in the morning).
  • Your job may be very physically and mentally demanding, especially at the beginning while you’re learning new things all the time.
  • You will have to follow instructions from your supervisor, and be careful with any equipment, materials or other valuable equipment around the workplace.
  • Some apprentices will work in high-risk environments and will need to learn safe work practices to protect themselves and the people they work with.
  • Sometimes you’ll be doing and learning new things every day. Sometimes you’ll be working on fairly repetitive tasks.  
  • You have to turn up and put effort into off-the-job training. It’s up to you to get the most out of this formal study requirement.
  • It can be a challenge balancing study with on-the-job training. You’ll need to manage your time well and be organised to get everything done.
  • Ask for help when you need it. If you are struggling with TAFE or on-the-job training, talk about it with your supervisor. You can also chat with an Apprenticeship Support Officer.
  • Life outside your apprenticeship or traineeship matters, too. You’ll need to prioritise rest, exercise, hobbies, spending time with friends and family, and looking after yourself.

Just remember: your apprenticeship or traineeship is all about making sure you gain the skills you need to succeed in your career. Put in the hours and put in the effort. There are rewarding pay-offs for completing your qualification.

To find out more about what it’s really like being an apprentice or trainee, check out our Inspirational Stories section.

a student wearing blue overall writing notes on paper in a workshop