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

Image from courses.ieA small salary will be paid to you while you work in a skilled environment and you also do some class work with a local training provider, like a college.

The length of time it takes to complete an apprenticeship varies; they generally last between one and three years.


Financial support is available for people undertaking apprenticeships. Participants are eligible for different allowances including training, travel and childcare. There are different wage supports for the varying training courses.

Apprentices are paid the agreed Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate by the employer. Have a look at the for a better understanding.


You must be a minimum of 16 years-old and have a D in five Junior Certificate subjects, or the equivalent.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you may still be able to register as an apprentice with an employer if you satisfactorily complete an approved preparatory course. You can also be eligible if you are over 18 years-old and have three years of relevant work experience.

It’s worth noting that employers may require additional minimum qualifications.

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


On successful completion of an apprenticeship in some cases a FETAC Advanced Certificate or a City and Guilds Certificate are awarded. This is recognised internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.

For more information about becoming an apprentice, contact

This article was last reviewed on 29 September 2017

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