Apprentice and Trainee Wages

Apprentice Wages

An apprentice rate can only be paid if the employee has a formal training contract with an employer that is offered by a recognised and Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

The pay rate of an apprentice will differ based on prior and transferrable experience, the age of the individual, and the intended length of the apprenticeship which differs between trades and industries.

The pay rate of an apprentice can usually be categorised by:

  • Adult apprenticeship (21 years or older);
  • School -leaver apprenticeship (just finished secondary education); OR
  • School-based apprenticeship (attending high school whilst completing).

Apprentice Wage Increase

An Apprentice’s wage will increase differently between industries, with some being conditional to time and others competence. For example, an increase will occur when an apprentice has:

  • Worked for a certain period of time to advance to the next level of the apprenticeship, such as first year to second year apprentice within a full 12 month period; OR
  • Achieved competence within skill or training elements for the set apprentice level, seeing an increase in pay earlier than the usual 12 month period.

After the completion of an apprenticeship, the employee is paid as per the ordinary trade person’s pay rate for that specific industry or trade.   

Trainee Wages

Trainee wages are specific to industry and award, with most covered within registered agreements between the employer and the employee. Most entitlements offered to trainees derive from the industry specific award, whilst the pay rate and conditions related to training derive from ‘Schedule E in the Miscellaneous Award’.

The pay rate of a trainee can usually be categorised by:

  • Full time traineeship – employed within a training contract of 38 hours;
  • Part-time traineeship – employed within a training contract of agreed hours and duration determined by the employer and employee (training is conducted off the job – in own time); OR
  • School-based traineeship – employed within a training contract of agreed upon hours and conditions whilst attending high school.

Completing a Certificate verse a Diploma

Employees undertaking a certification within a registered training contract are classified and employed as trainees. An employee undertaking a diploma or higher education are entitled to the usual award wages and conditions for the industry in accordance with age, such as Adult or Junior.

If you would like to receive more information or guidance surrounding apprentice and trainee pay rates, increment measures, award entitlements or training conditions, then please do contact Assurance HR Management on 1800 577 515 and we can advise you accordingly.

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