Apprentice and trainee pay rates

Minimum wages increase from 1 July 2024

From 1 July 2024:

  • the National Minimum Wage increases to $915.90 per week or $24.10 per hour
  • award minimum wages increase by 3.75%.

Other award wages, including junior, apprentice and supported wages that are based on adult minimum wages, will get a proportionate increase.

The increase applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2024.

You can now:

Learn more about the minimum wage increase at 2023 - 2024 Annual Wage Review.

Apprentices and trainees are employees who have a formal training contract with their employer. Special rates and conditions apply to these employees.

Apprentice pay

Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate pay rates for all apprentices including:

  • adult apprentices (an apprentice who is 21 years or older when they start their apprenticeship)
  • school-based apprentices (an apprentice who still goes to high school while completing the apprenticeship).

If you're covered by a registered agreement, check the rates in the agreement.

An employee can only be paid apprentice pay rates if they have a formal training contract with their employer. The training has to be registered and recognised by a state or territory training authority. These employees do their training through a Registered Training Organisation such as a TAFE.

Apprentice pay rates will depend on how long the apprenticeship is and how much training the apprentice has done.

Pay increases during an apprenticeship

There are 2 ways an apprentice can move to the next level of an apprenticeship:

  • time-based - the apprentice moves up to the next pay level after they've worked a certain amount of time (for example, 12 months)
  • competency-based - the apprentice moves to the next pay level when they've achieved a set amount of the total skill or training requirements of the apprenticeship (which might be earlier than 12 months).

Which one applies depends on the award that covers them. Go to Apprentice entitlements and select your award for more information.

What pay applies after training is completed

After an apprentice has finished their apprenticeship they get paid the tradesperson's pay rate. Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate pay rates.

Trainee pay

Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate trainee rates.

If you're covered by a registered agreement, check the rates in the agreement.

Trainees completing a certificate

Most trainees get their pay and conditions related to their training from Schedule E in the Miscellaneous Award. They get their other entitlements (such as penalty rates, overtime and allowances) from the industry or occupation award that covers them.

Employees completing a diploma

Unless an award says otherwise, traineeships are limited to approved training that leads to a certificate level qualification. This means that some employees who may be studying get all of their pay and conditions from the standard provisions in their industry or occupation award. For example, an employee completing a diploma gets paid the relevant adult or junior rate in their award, based on their classification and duties.

Employers and trainees should check their award to confirm where their pay and entitlements come from.

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 the duration of the part-time training contract. This also needs to be checked with the relevant state or territory training authority.

Employers should contact their state or territory training authority for more information about their obligations when terminating a training contract. Visit our Apprentices and trainees page for a list of state and territory training authorities.

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.

Payment for time spent in training

Trainees are paid for time spent attending training or assessment related to their traineeship unless they are:

  • a school-based trainee
  • a part-time trainee whose training is wholly off-the-job.

Employer Advisory Service

Our Employer Advisory Service (EAS) gives eligible small businesses free tailored written advice on pay and entitlement issues.

The EAS helps small business employers make informed decisions about employee entitlements and other workplace issues, including:

  • entitlements under the National Employment Standards
  • award provisions
  • other pay and employee entitlements.

The service assists employers in understanding and complying with pay and entitlement obligations under awards and the Fair Work Act.

If you’re a small business employer, learn more about the service, to see if you’re eligible and find out how to access it at Employer Advisory Service – overview.

Tools and resources

Related information

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

Help for small business