Pay & Salary

Mature Age Apprentice Wage: A Helpful Guide

September 21, 2021

The minimum wage of a mature age apprentice is usually determined by an industry award. Through training and experience, there are often opportunities to increase your apprentice pay. Understanding apprentice wage structures can help you plan your career as an apprentice. In this article, we discuss mature age apprentice wage rates and the factors that might affect them.

Mature age apprentice wage

As a mature age apprentice, your salary would usually be higher than a junior apprentice. The minimum wage for your apprenticeship would likely be defined by an industry award related to your field. An apprenticeship typically includes four stages that are defined by the year of training. Below you can find more information on the levels of apprentice wages and minimum wage.

Levels of apprentice wages

Apprenticeships usually have four stages of study and training: First year, second year, third year and fourth year. Completing each phase requires a level of knowledge and competency. The structure of your apprenticeship should be detailed in your training contract. The completion of each stage of the apprenticeship has the potential to include a pay rise.

Minimum wage

Industrial awards that are related to your field, usually outline the minimum pay rates. If you know the award that your apprenticeship may be subject to, you can easily find your minimum wage. The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes productive and harmonious workplace relations. They have a pay calculator that you can use to calculate your minimum pay rates, as well as a tool for finding awards that may apply to you.

Related: A Guide to the Australian Minimum Wage for Employees

What is a mature age apprentice?

As a mature age apprentice, you have to be over the age of 21. An apprenticeship is a course that offers training from practical and theoretical studies. Apprenticeships usually take three to four years to complete. Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you can gain your qualification.

For some roles, an apprenticeship is a requirement to become qualified. Roles such as an electrician or carpenter can require extensive knowledge and training. There are many benefits to undertaking an apprenticeship, such as earning a salary while you learn. You can search for apprentice vacancies using the Indeed Job Board.

Related: What is an Apprenticeship?

Factors affecting pay rates

Several factors can affect your pay rate as an apprentice. Prior learning and your training contract are some of the things that may influence your pay rate. Awards define the minimum wage requirements for apprenticeships, but there is potential to receive higher pay than the industry minimum.

Below you can find a list of several factors that may affect your pay rate as a mature age apprentice:

  • Awards: Depending on which award your apprenticeship is subject to, your minimum wage may vary. For example, the Building and Construction General On-Site Award may provide a higher minimum pay than the Restaurant Industry Award
  • Training contract: Undertaking an apprenticeship generally requires a training contract. The pay rates should be in the training contract. Sometimes, this rate may be higher than the industries minimum
  • Apprenticeship stage: Your training contract likely lists the stages involved in your apprenticeship. Completion of each stage may result in increased pay rates
  • Prior learning: If you have any prior qualifications related to the apprenticeship you wish to undertake, then you may start on a higher wage

Related: Salary vs Wage: What's the Difference?

High paying mature age apprenticeships

Your average salary as an apprentice can vary depending on the apprenticeship. Some roles may be in higher demand than others, or some may require more extensive training, resulting in a higher salary. The average national salary for an apprentice is $55,239. Below you can find a few of the highest paying apprenticeships:

National average salary: $55,773

Primary duties: Electricians assemble, install, repair and service electrical systems. They use wires and cables to connect systems, such as the lighting in your house or the power lines on your street. Apprentice electricians may find work on construction sites or workshops.

National average salary: $54,397

Primary duties: Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining gas, drainage, water and sewerage systems. They use a wide range of tools and materials such as PVC piping and special water-resistant glue. Plumbers can typically find work on any structure or building that requires pipe systems.

National average salary: $49,817

Primary duties: Cabinet makers use hand tools and machine tools to shape and alter wood. They usually construct kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, window frames and doors. A cabinet maker may specialise in furniture making. This involves the creation of furniture and the restoration of antique wooden features. Cabinet makers can find work on construction sites, workshops and in residential homes.

National average salary: $49,334

Primary duties: Information technology (IT) technicians are responsible for installing and servicing computer systems. IT technicians can find work in many different fields, from cyber security to educational programs. Their work can take place somewhere such as a university or government agency.

National average salary: $48,756

Primary duties: Carpenters are responsible for the construction, installation and repairing of buildings. They use a variety of materials such as wood and steel. Using power tools and cutting machines, they shape and cut wood to create the framework for buildings. Carpenters can find work on both residential and commercial construction sites.

National average salary: $48,357

Primary duties: The role of a mechanic can vary. There are plenty of mechanic roles that are available through an apprenticeship, such as a marine mechanic or aviation mechanic. Mechanics all share similar duties: To repair, install and service mechanical systems. Engines, drive shafts and axles are a few of the mechanical systems that a mechanic may work on.

National average salary: $42,276

Primary duties: Bricklayers form structures out of bricks and blocks. They mainly use clay and concrete bricks to build structures such as arches, walls and partitions. Bricklayers can find work on residential and commercial construction sites.

National average salary: $39,348

Primary duties: Plasterers install plasterboards, fire rating systems and several other coverings of plaster. They can find work on commercial sites installing fire rating systems, or installing wall covers in residential homes.

National average salary: $34,493

Primary duties: Bakers are involved in the preparation and baking of pastries, bread, cakes and other baked goods. They monitor and clean their equipment to ensure health standards are met. Bakery ovens and spiral mixes are some of the equipment they may use as a baker. Bakers can find work in bakeries, factories and restaurants

National average salary: $24,944

Primary duties: The role of a hairdresser is to alter someone's hair and image by using several techniques. Hairdressers are skilled in cutting, colouring, straightening and treating hair. They can typically find work in a barbershop or do private work with clients.

Frequently asked questions

Below you can find some frequently asked questions about mature age apprenticeships:

How do I become an apprentice?

The first decision you should consider making is what industry you want to be an apprentice in. The construction industry, for example, has a wide variety of apprentice roles, such as electrician, plumber and carpenter. Once you have chosen which apprenticeship you want to pursue, you can apply to an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network. These networks can help you find an employer and set up a training contract. You can search for apprentice jobs using the Indeed Job Board.

Do I get paid more after an apprenticeship?

After completing your apprenticeship and gaining your qualification, you are usually subject to a different part of your industry award. The award should outline the minimum pay for a qualified professional in your role. Apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete, so after four years of training and studying, it is reasonable to expect a higher pay rate may be available. Using the pay calculator can help you calculate your minimum wage.

Can someone be too old for a mature age apprenticeship?

There is no age limit over the age of 21 when applying for a mature age apprenticeship. With old age may come physical limitations that could affect your apprenticeship. However, if you are fit and healthy enough to perform your apprentice roles, then age is no limitation.

Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and payscale.com at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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