Apprentices & trainees

They can only be paid as a trainee if they are doing a registered traineeship that is recognised in the state or territory where they are working. They cannot be paid as a trainee just because they are new, learning on the job or on probation.

Yes. You will still need to register the apprenticeship or traineeship with your state or territory training authority.

Some modern awards have different pay rates for existing employees who start an apprenticeship or traineeship. For example, they might stay at the same pay rate. Check your modern award for advice.

They are entitled to the rate for their classification in their modern award. This is based on their age, qualifications, duties and skills. See Finding the right pay for tools to help you work out the right pay for a newly qualified employee.

Yes, they're entitled to personal (sick) leave and annual leave under the National Employment Standards and their modern award or agreement, the same as other employees. See Leave for more information.

Some school-based trainees get an extra loading instead of paid annual leave, personal leave and public holidays. Check your modern award for advice.

Apprentices and trainees are generally entitled to the same conditions as other employees, unless their modern award or agreement says something different. This includes penalty rates, overtime rates, allowances and breaks.

Full-time and part-time trainees must be paid for any time spent doing training or assessments for their training contract.

School-based trainees don’t get paid for training. They get an hourly rate for all hours they work on the job.

State and territory training authorities decide who pays for training. Some modern awards require the employer to cover the cost of training.

Often the employer will pay for all or part of the training, even if they don’t have to. Sometimes the government covers training costs. For more information contact your state or territory training authority.

You can find most apprentice pay rates using our online calculator PayCheck Plus. Most of our Pay and Conditions Guides also have tables with apprentice pay rates.

Our trainee wage calculators will help you find trainee pay rates.

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Page last updated: 15 Dec 2013