Apprentice & trainee pay rates
Apprentices and trainees are employees who have a formal training contract with their employer. Special rates and conditions apply to these employees.
Find apprentice information about:
Find trainee information about:
Use our Pay Calculator 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 (eg. 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 Calculator to calculate pay rates.
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Use our Pay Calculator to calculate trainee rates.
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.
Some trainees get their pay rates from their industry or occupation award.
Employers and trainees should check their award to confirm where their pay and entitlements come from.
Understanding the different types of traineeships
A full-time trainee is employed under a training contract to work for 38 hours per week.
A traineeship can sometimes be done part-time. The employee and employer need to agree how long the training contract will be. This should also be checked with the Registered Training Organisation.
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.
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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.
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