Apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers
Many people think apprenticeships are mainly for school leavers, and only available for men looking to go into traditional trades, such as plumbing and joinery.
In reality, the number of women starting apprenticeships is in line with the number of men, and people of all ages and abilities complete them across a variety of industries.
Watch our apprenticeships webinar
Wondering if an apprenticeship is right for you? Discover how it can fast track your career in this free webinar. You'll also hear from employers, find out about the types of roles you can get and learn how to create a successful application.
Apprenticeships are for everyone
Watch Lindsay's journey from apprentice to AAT fellow member
Accounting apprenticeships are open to anyone 16 or older and not in full-time education. There's no upper age limit: mature apprenticeships are increasingly popular for career-changers.
You might consider doing an apprenticeship if you:
- are about to finish school
- are 16 or over and working in accounting
- want to earn while you learn.
Apprenticeship demographics in England
Read the latest government statistics for apprenticeships and traineeships.
Reasons to do an apprenticeship
Alternative to university: with the rising costs of going to university, apprenticeships offer a debt-free, direct route into employment.
A fast track to chartered accountancy: successful completion of an accounting apprenticeship will give you generous exemptions with ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA and CIPFA.
With an apprenticeship you'll start earning straight away. You'll also get the same benefits as an employee, including a holiday allowance. According to the National Apprenticeship Service, average pay rates for apprentices are around £170 per week.
Achieve professional AAT Accounting Qualifications: employers trust AAT qualifications as they demonstrate you have the practical skills they need.
Develop on-the-job skills: you'll qualify with a well-rounded set of skills and experience that will make you a highly sought-after employee.
Stay ahead of graduates: with an accounting apprenticeship you'll qualify faster than if you had gone to university.
Increase your earning potential: the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says those who progress to study a Professional/Higher apprenticeship will increase their earnings by an estimated £150,000 over a lifetime – with the bonus of no university debt.
Get real-world experience: by having several years of experience under your belt by the time you finish your apprenticeship, you’re a step ahead of those who have only studied in books. 92% of apprentices feel it has positively improved their career prospects.
Employers from all sectors train apprentices
As an apprentice, you’ll be employed to work for a minimum of 30 hours per week in finance and accounting related roles, while having the opportunity to study an AAT qualification.
During this time you’ll:
- work alongside experienced staff
- gain skills specific to the industry
- have the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification
- earn a salary while you learn.
There’s a whole range of organisations you could be working for. From big accountancy practices such as KPMG to national companies like Asda, the government and even small local businesses – they all see the value in hiring apprentices.
Apprenticeships vs university
Deciding whether to study a professional qualification through an apprenticeship or to go to university can be a difficult choice.
Apprenticeships mean you can gain the same qualifications – without the degree – by starting on-the-job training from day one. On the other hand, university allows you to take your time choosing your next career move.