Trainee pay

Pay rates for full-time, part-time and school-based trainees are found in most awards in the National Training Wage Schedule.

An employee can't be paid trainee pay rates just because they are new to a job or are being trained in a new task. Employees can only be paid trainee pay rates when they:

  • have a formal training contract with their employer and are signed up with a Registered Training Organisation (eg. at TAFE).

What information you'll need to find trainee wages

The name and details of the traineeship course being completed

In the award schedule there are 3 trainee wage Levels (A, B and C). The appendix to the schedule shows the wage level for each type of training package. For example, Certificate III in hairdressing or beauty therapy would fall under wage level A.

If a traineeship course has not been assigned a wage level, the trainee will be paid the relevant minimum wage in wage level B.

The highest year of school the trainee has completed and number of years they are 'out of school'

A trainee's highest year of schooling is the highest year of secondary school that they have completed. If a trainee left school before year 10, then year 10 is used as their highest year of schooling.

The number of years out of school increases on 1 January every year. However, the year immediately after a completed school year doesn't add a 'year out of school'. In this situation the trainee would continue to be classified as a school leaver.

Find information about trainee wages in your award by selecting from the list below.

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Payment for time spent in training and assessments

A full-time or part-time trainee is paid for time spent attending any training or assessment related to their traineeship.

A school-based trainee is not paid for time spent attending any training or assessment related to their traineeship.

Further information on training and assessment can be found by referring to the training contract. Alternatively you should contact the training provider directly.

Understanding the different types of traineeships

Full-time trainee

A full-time trainee is employed under a training contract to work for 38 hours per week.

Part-time trainee

A traineeship can sometimes be done part-time. The employee and employer need to agree on how long the training contract will be. This should also be checked with the Registered Training Organisation.

School-based trainee

A school-based traineeship is done while someone is still in high school. This means an employee can stay in high school and train for a qualification at the same time.

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

What to do next

Help for small business

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