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By doing an apprenticeship you get the practical balance between learning a trade and earning a living.

Image from courses.ieYou get paid a small salary, while you learn ‘on-the-job’. You also complete blocks of study or ‘off-the-job’ learning with a local training provider, like a college.

Apprenticeships are generally between 2 and 4 years in duration.


To begin an apprenticeship, you must be employed by an approved employer. You must be a minimum of 16 years-old and have a D in five Junior Certificate subjects, or the equivalent.

It’s worth noting that employers may require additional qualifications. You may also be required to pass a colour vision test for some apprenticeships.

What training is covered?

The types of areas you can do an apprenticeship in are:

  • Agricultural Mechanics
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Brick and Stonelaying
  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Construction Plant Fitting
  • Electrical
  • Electrical Instrumentation
  • Electronic Security Systems
  • Farriery
  • Floor & Wall Tiling
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
  • Industrial Insulation
  • Instrumentation
  • MAMF
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Painting and  Decorating
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Print Media
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Sheet Metalworking
  • Toolmaking
  • Vehicle Body Repairs
  • Wood Machining


As an apprentice, you would be employed under a formal contract. Your employer pays you for the duration of your apprenticeship. At the beginning of your apprenticeship, yourself and your employer would agree upon how much you are to be paid.


An apprenticeship can lead to an award at Levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

For more information about becoming an apprentice, contact

This article was last reviewed on 08 August 2018

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