How apprenticeships work

Accounting apprenticeships are open to anyone who is 16 years or older and not in full-time education. There is no upper age limit; in fact mature apprenticeships are increasingly popular for people changing careers.

Apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers

Many people still hold a stereotypical view of apprenticeships, believing that they are mainly for school leavers, and only available for boys looking to go into traditional trades, such as plumbing and joinery.

In reality there are more female than male apprentices and people of all ages and abilities complete them across a variety of industries.

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 are learning

Requirements to apply for an apprenticeship

You must be living in the region in which you are applying for an apprenticeship (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).

Apprenticeships in England differ to those within Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Employers may have their own entry requirements for the apprenticeship position they are offering. These will be outlined in the job vacancy.

Length of training

An apprenticeship level can take between 12 and 24 months to complete. Once completed you may wish to progress to the next apprenticeship level.

Hours and salary

As an apprentice you must work for at least 30 hours a week.

Apprentices earn the national minimum wage, although many employers pay more than this. The average wage is £170 per week; this rate will depend on your employer. In some job roles your wage may increase as you progress and take on more responsibility. You will also get the same benefits as an employee, including a holiday allowance.

Your employer: what they agree to

Before you start, your employer will set up an Apprenticeship Agreement. They will agree to supporting your time out to study (usually one day a week), and provide a mentor for you at work.

In your job role you will be given targets to achieve. You will have regular review meetings with your line manager and training provider to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress. These meetings will be held at your workplace to minimise interruption to your working day.

Your training provider: how they support you

For apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, your AAT tuition will be delivered by a training provider; this will be arranged by your employer. Once you have signed up with a training provider you officially become an apprentice.

The training provider works closely with your employer to make sure your apprenticeship stays on track. In addition to your tuition, some training providers provide coaching throughout your apprenticeship.

AAT study and revision support

When you start your accounting apprenticeship you will register as an AAT student. This gives you access to exclusive award-winning study materials, resources and support.

Our revision support includes webinars, green light tests, sample assessments, e-learning modules, guides, mapping documents and much more.

We also have a thriving student community providing support and advice on Twitter @youraat, our Facebook page and our discussion forums, which will help you get the most out of your studies.



We're here to help

If you are a student or an employee who would like to become an apprentice, speak to one of our helpful advisors on +44(0)20 3735 2434. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 09.00–17.00. UK time. You can also email us at or you can request a call back.