If you are currently trying to think about where to go next in order to get to the career that you have in mind, then one thing that you may be considering is an apprenticeship.
However, there are lots of things to think about before you make your final decision, and one of these is the amount that you could expect to be paid. This page will tell you everything that you need to know about whether you will be paid, and how much you can expect.
Is there a fixed rate?
There is no fixed rate for apprentices, and it will depend on the employer that they are working for.
Some companies will recognise the benefits of paying their apprentices more – including a better sense of company loyalty and an improved likelihood of finishing the course.
There is however a minimum wage for apprentices, which all companies should pay in line with – or they are breaking the law.
What is the minimum wage for apprentices?
If an apprentice is aged between 16 and 18, or they are 19 or older but in the first year of their apprenticeship, then the minimum amount that they should be paid is £3.40 per hour.
If an apprentice is past the first year of their apprenticeship, and they are above 19 years of age, then they are legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age group.
As of April 2017, this stands at:
- 18 to 20 - £5.60 per hour
- 21 to 24 - £7.05 per hour
- 25 and over - £7.50 per hour
Can apprentices claim back expenses?
Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for a company to pay expenses to apprentices – or any other employee – provided that the work they are doing is within the bounds of the contract that was signed upon joining the company.
However, many companies do choose to provide expenses payments, and this might include things like travel costs, or food costs while on shift.
This will depend on the company in question, and this is a key consideration when making the decision about whether to take an apprenticeship that involves travelling.
Do apprentices have to pay tax?
Like all other earnings in the UK, apprenticeship earnings will be taxed, and therefore must be declared. Apprentices will also have to pay National Insurance, and both this and the tax owed is usually taken straight from wages, meaning that everything is dealt with.
However, because of the fact that apprentice wages are often lower than average, they often fall under the £11,500 threshold above which tax is payable, so many apprentices may find that they don’t have to pay tax on their earnings at all.
It is important to make sure that HMRC have the right information about you, so that you can be assigned the correct tax code. This can help to avoid under payment and over payment – both of which can cause stress and inconvenience if they go unnoticed for any period of time.
Ultimately, an apprenticeship will be paid and taxed as with other types of employment, and finances must be considered in light of this.
Please visit our Apprenticeships Guide for more information about applying for this qualification.