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A guide to your apprenticeship wage

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 and provide many people with entry routes into the job they’ve always wanted but might not have initially studied for. There are different levels of apprenticeships, and choosing the right one for you will depend on your experience, level of education and the job in construction you have in mind.

If you start an apprenticeship in the construction industry, you are bound to have a great learning experience and might even find your dream job role. But what kind of apprentice wage should you expect? This apprentice wage guide will take you through how much you could earn and answer any questions about pay and tax as an apprentice. 

How much will your apprentice wage be?

Apprenticeships combine practical work while you study, so your apprentice wage is often lower than if you were working full-time. However, you’ll be gaining valuable experience and apprentices are entitled to the same treatment as other employees working in a similar role or at the same level. This includes: 

  • Support in the form of mentoring or coaching 
  • Benefit schemes such as childcare 
  • Sick pay 
  • Paid holiday/annual leave

What is the minimum wage for apprentices?

The current minimum wage for apprentices is £5.28 an hour, as set by the Government. This applies if the apprentice is under the age of 18, or if they are in the first year of the apprenticeship, regardless of age. 

Here is the current minimum wage chart: 

The current minimum wage chart


23 and over

21 to 22

18 to 20

Under 18


April 2023 (current rate)






So, if you are 23 and in the first year of your apprenticeship, you will receive the minimum wage for apprentices of £5.28 per hour (2023-24 rate). Once you have completed the first year you are entitled to £10.42 per hour. 

Find out more about the minimum wage and living wage.

Do apprentices pay tax or national insurance?

Apprentices must pay income tax in the same way as everyone else. You will normally pay tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, meaning that it is taken straight from your pay packet. You will not normally need to worry about completing a Self-Assessment tax return. However, you will only pay tax if your wage exceeds the threshold for paying tax, which is currently £12,570 per year (as of 2022-2023).

Apprentices also must pay Class 1 national insurance contributions if earning over the primary threshold rate. For the latest details of these rates please see the gov.uk page.

Can you get a pay rise as an apprentice?

Your minimum wage rate as an apprentice will rise the older you get, but these are the statutory commitments an employer must make. Employers may consider paying their apprentices more as you gain more experience and skills during your apprenticeship. So, asking for a pay rise as an apprentice is acceptable, if you think the progress you are making justifies it. 

Will you get paid for your college days?

The days that you are studying as part of the apprenticeship fall under the conditions for apprenticeships that the Government have set out. These state that you must be paid for time spent studying, whether that’s at work or college. 

Do apprentices get holiday/sick pay?

Apprentices are entitled to the same workplace benefits as any full-time worker. As long as you are a full-time worker, you are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday each year (which can include bank holidays). Apprentices also qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP). Apprentices must fulfil the following SSP conditions:

  • Have an employment contract and worked under that contract
  • Earn average pay of at least £123 per week
  • Been sick for four or more consecutive days

Find out more about the latest rates of SSP apprentices are entitled to.

Do all apprentices get the same pay?

No. An employer must pay you the minimum wage for apprentices, but some may choose higher rates of pay. Some companies will recognise the benefits of paying their apprentices more, including a better sense of company loyalty, so it’s something to look into as you search for an apprenticeship that’s right for you. 

Do apprenticeships affect child/housing benefits?

If someone begins an apprenticeship this affects any child benefit or housing benefit their parents had been receiving for them. Apprentices are not considered ‘dependants’ so financial support from the state will stop. If this affects you, ask your parents or guardian to report a change of circumstances about Tax Credit, Child Benefit or Housing Benefit.

Can you claim Universal Credit on an apprenticeship?

Apprentices are entitled to claim Universal Credit. To qualify you must be on a ‘recognised apprenticeship’ and are being paid the national minimum wage rate. Have the following details to hand when you make your claim:

  • The name of your training provider
  • The name of the recognised qualification you are working towards

More information about claiming universal credit during an apprenticeship can be found on our apprentice benefits page.

Find out more about apprenticeships

Thinking of applying for an apprenticeship but not sure how? We have all the information you need. If you have questions or want to discuss your options in construction, get in touch.  

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