6 of the Highest-Paid Apprenticeships (with Duties)

Updated 12 September 2023

Apprenticeships are jobs that candidates with little or no experience may do after completing secondary education. Apprenticeships can teach candidates the necessary skills to succeed in this particular profession while also offering a wage. If you're thinking of becoming an apprentice, you might wonder what the highest-paid apprenticeships are. In this article, we list six apprenticeships with high pay and detail some reasons you might complete an apprenticeship.

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6 of the highest-paid apprenticeships

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Here are some of the highest-paid apprenticeships you can apply for after finishing secondary education:

1. Apprentice plumber

National average salary: $27.49 per hour

Primary duties: An apprentice plumber works alongside a professional to gain knowledge and understanding of the plumbing industry. They may attend jobs with them, communicating with them throughout and picking up various skills. These skills could include installing hot and cold water in homes, maintaining heating systems, repairing drains and installing bathrooms. They may also perform administrative tasks for the plumber, such as organising their appointments. An apprentice plumber typically undertakes small tasks at first but can earn more responsibility as they prove their aptitude for certain tasks.

2. Apprentice diesel mechanic

National Average Salary: $32.72 per hour

Primary duties: Diesel mechanics work with diesel vehicles to repair them and ensure that they are ready to travel. Apprentices may work closely with diesel mechanics to learn about the trade. Their initial duties can include speaking to clients about their vehicle and helping a mechanic as they work, following any specific instructions. As they progress further into the apprenticeship, they may work on tasks like running tests to diagnose the vehicle's problem, taking preventative measures on vehicles to avoid further problems, test driving vehicles and checking engines, lighting systems, brakes and other parts of the vehicle.

3. Apprentice electrician

National average salary: $17.55 per hour

Primary duties: Apprentice electricians work in various locations, including at clients' homes or places of work, commercial buildings or construction sites. Typically, they work closely with electricians to carry out their day-to-day tasks. They may do basic tasks at first, such as organising equipment, administrative tasks and preparing the site. Once they have learned some skills from a professional electrician, they can progress to more advanced duties. These duties can include building control panels, installing lights and other electrical equipment into new buildings, working on street lighting, repairing electrical systems in homes and fixing electrical motors.


  • How to Get an Electrician Apprenticeship: with Step Guide

  • How to Become an Electrician in 4 Steps

4. Apprentice carpenter

National Average Salary: $43.47 per hour

Primary duties: An apprentice carpenter may closely work with a trained carpenter to complete tasks related to woodwork. They may perform basic duties like preparing the site, cleaning up afterwards and keeping the workplace tidy. They may also perform jobs to help out the carpenter, including creating and maintaining objects and wooden parts of buildings. They may travel to work sites with the carpenter and can, at times, also communicate with clients.

Related: A Complete Guide to an Apprenticeship in Carpentry (with FAQs)

5. Apprentice hairdresser

National average salary: $20.00 per hour

Primary duties: An apprentice hairdresser performs various tasks in a hairdressing salon. Their initial duties can include tasks like sweeping the floor, washing clients' hair, arranging products, cleaning and bringing tea and coffee to clients while they have treatments. They may also do administrative tasks like answering the phone, arranging appointments and greeting clients as they walk in. As they gain more experience, they can progress to cutting clients' hair and eventually applying dye and doing other more advanced treatments.

Related: How Long Is a Hairdressing Apprenticeship? (A Basic Guide)

6. Apprentice chef

National average salary: $16.00 per hour

Primary duties: An apprentice chef usually works in the kitchen of a restaurant alongside a team of other chefs. They may work directly with one chef in particular, or receive instructions from the whole team. Their duties can initially include tasks like chopping vegetables and other food products, washing up plates and keeping the entire workplace clean. Once they have worked at the apprenticeship for a while, they may learn how to cook some of the restaurant's recipes and prepare individual dishes for order. They may eventually even get involved in creating new dishes and seasonal menus.

Related: How Much Does an Apprentice Chef Make? (With Duties and FAQ)

Apprentice skills

Apprentices typically have certain skills, depending on their specialty. You may develop and improve these skills through your education. Here are some of the most common skills for each apprentice:

Plumber skills

Plumbers may have good problem-solving skills, as a big part of their job is typically analysing water-related problems and fixing them. They may also be good communicators, being able to speak to their boss in technical terms and explain the problem to the client. Plumbers are often good at organising and multi-tasking, which can help them with their administrative duties.

Related: How to Become a Plumber (with Skills Guide)

Diesel mechanic skills

One of the primary skills of an apprentice diesel mechanic is to conduct their work in a safe and responsible manner. They may also have good communication and interpersonal skills, as they often communicate with clients when they drop off or collect their vehicles. Apprentice diesel mechanics may have good attention to detail skills, enabling them to notice small issues with a vehicle and possibly prevent a bigger problem.

Electrician skills

Electricians typically have a lot of responsibility in their role. It can be especially beneficial for them to feel confident and comfortable with using electrical machinery and tools. Electricians may also have some knowledge of the construction industry, including how people build new homes and commercial buildings. Problem-solving skills can be beneficial, as sometimes electricians may find problems in a particular electrical set-up that requires accurate diagnosis and resolution. Attention to detail skills typically also help electrician apprentices install new systems safely and correctly.

Carpenter skills

Carpenters generally feel comfortable working with different tools, including power saws and drills and can use them safely and responsibly. They may have some mathematical skills, as they often work with dimensions throughout their job. Typically, they also have some attention to detail skills to help them analyse each task and ensure they complete all components of a project.

Hairdresser skills

Hairdresser apprentices are typically beauty conscious, with an idea of different fashionable styles. They also usually have good attention to detail skills, as this can help them to produce high-quality haircuts. Good hand-eye coordination can be beneficial, as this can enable them to create tidy and professional hairdos. They may also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Hairdressers often work with clients for an hour or longer, so they may have a friendly persona to make clients feel comfortable and relaxed.

Chef skills

Apprentice chefs typically have an interest in and knowledge of food. This may be general or more niche, such as a particular interest in vegetarian or Italian cuisine. While they may not have a lot of experience, they may know how to operate certain kitchen appliances and have knowledge of cooking from using their own kitchen at home. They may also be good communicators and be happy to listen to and take instructions from a variety of staff members, both in the kitchen and in the restaurant management team.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Apprentice Wages

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Reasons to do an apprenticeship

Here are some reasons why you may consider doing an apprenticeship:

  • Payment from the outset: One of the primary reasons for doing an apprenticeship is that you can receive payment from the outset, unlike internships and other work experience opportunities.

  • Learn important skills: While you receive payment for apprenticeships, they still enable you to learn fundamental key skills, so you can improve your knowledge of the career.

  • Career progression: You may be able to move from your apprenticeship to a career at the same place where you worked. Otherwise, being an apprentice can typically help you to get jobs elsewhere.

  • Vacancies across industries: While apprenticeships are more common in vocational jobs, such as plumbing or electrics, there are also options available across different industries, including some office-based roles.

  • No experience necessary: While you may have certain skills, most apprenticeships usually don't require any particular experience. You can typically start them as soon as you finish secondary school.

  • Save money: If you aren't sure about going to university, studying as an apprentice may be a good option to help you save money on student loans.

  • Make contacts: Taking an apprenticeship can be a great way to make contacts in your vocation and build your network. This could help you develop your career.

Related: A Guide to an Apprenticeship Cover Letter with No Experience

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