Types of Apprenticeships: A Complete List of Industries

apprentice working with professional

There’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are only for people trying to break into practical ‘blue collar’ sectors like construction and hairdressing. While that might have traditionally been the case, there are now more than 250 different types of programmes across 11 industries, and you can find opportunities in areas like aviation, healthcare, design and even accounting.

These government-funded programmes are a great way to earn while you learn (unlike internships, which are usually unpaid), broaden your skill set and improve your job prospects. Best of all, anyone can apply to become an apprentice – from school leavers looking for a first job to experienced workers seeking a career change, an apprenticeship will help you take the first steps toward a successful career, regardless of what stage you are at in your professional journey.

As with any course, it’s all a matter of picking one that suits your skills and interests you the most.

But where do you begin? Check out the different types available in the UK to get started.

Agriculture, horticulture and animal care

The Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care industry is a diverse one and makes up about £8.9 billion of the UK economy, employing almost a million workers. Whether you like working with animals (big or small) or working in the great outdoors (or even from behind a desk), there’s something for everyone. From farming to driving large machinery and working as an animal trainer to managing acres of land, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

While you may be required to work unsociable hours, workers with the right knowledge and skills in this industry are in high demand, and there’s plenty of room for progression. For example, a farming apprenticeship could lead to becoming a skilled technician or even working in management.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Care
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Equine
  • Farriery
  • Floristry
  • Game and Wildlife Management
  • Horticulture
  • Veterinary Nursing

Arts, media and publishing

Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci spent six years as an art apprentice and is now regarded as one of the greatest artists in history. The bottom line is that you could be the next da Vinci in Arts, Media and Publishing.

This industry is perfect for artists, designers, writers, wordsmiths and all sorts of creative people, covering a broad range of sectors, including fashion, film, magazines and music.

Entering this industry is no walk in the park. And with lots of competition, applying for an apprenticeship might be a good idea as it will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to be seen as a viable candidate further down the road. Don’t expect anyone to roll out the red carpet for you so early on in your career. However, while you might be expected to work long, unsociable hours and the pay might not be great, the Arts, Media and Publishing industry offers creative people the opportunity to follow their passion.

Types of apprenticeships in this Industry:

  • Broadcast Production
  • Costume and Wardrobe
  • Creative and Digital Media
  • Design
  • Journalism
  • Live Events and Promotion
  • Photo Imaging

Business, administration and law

If you’re a fan of TV shows like The Apprentice, then this industry might just be right up your alley. Whether you’re considering pursuing a career in accounting, administration, management, marketing or public relations, opportunities are in not short supply.

Most roles in Business, Administration and Law are office-based with typical 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working week. You’ll need to have excellent organisational skills while good communication and people skills are also essential. You should also have a head for figures, too.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Business and Administration
  • Business Innovation and Growth
  • Customer Service
  • Human Resource Management
  • Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Professional Services
  • Project Management
  • Providing Financial Advice
  • Public Relations
  • Sales and Telesales
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing

Construction, planning and the built environment

The construction industry deals with the design, building and maintenance of bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, dams, harbours and commercial, residential, educational and health properties – everything from a housing estate to the ambitious Garden Bridge project that will stretch across the River Thames.

Jobs are in no short supply in this thriving, multi-billion pound industry, and you could soon be shaping cities, the homes we live in or the landmarks we’ll be visiting in the years to come.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Construction Building
  • Construction Civil Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Servicing
  • Plumbing and Heating
  • Surveying

Education and training

You’ll train, learn and develop skills and knowledge in a specific area, and go on to help others do the same. Depending on the area you choose to train in, you will work with people and groups of all ages and needs. And you don’t necessarily have to do so in a classroom; you could provide education in the workplace by running training sessions, for example, either working as in-house trainer for an organisation or working for a training firm.

If you choose to support education in schools, remember that there’s a huge demand for skilled professionals who can work with young people. You’ll help ensure children are happy and nourished and also help them grow their social and practical skills, whether you are a nursery manager, an early years teacher or a secondary school teacher.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Learning and Development
  • Learning Support
  • Professional Development for Work-Based Learning Practitioners
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Physical Education
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Engineering and manufacturing technologies

Making things work (engineering) and generally making things (manufacturing) is what this industry is all about.

It’s a broad field which offers a diverse range of roles, including auto electricians, manufacturing supervisors, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, naval architects, and oil and gas operations managers. What makes Engineering and Manufacturing particularly attractive is the fact that the skills and knowledge you obtain can be used in many other industries. Engineering is also one of the highest paying industries in the world.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Advanced Engineering Construction
  • Advanced Manufacturing Engineering
  • Aviation Operations on the Ground
  • Bus and Coach Engineering and Maintenance
  • Combined Manufacturing Processes
  • Driving Goods Vehicles
  • Electrotechnical
  • Engineering Construction
  • Engineering Environmental Technologies
  • Engineering Manufacture (Craft and Technician)
  • Engineering Manufacture (Operator and Semi-Skilled)
  • Food and Drink
  • Furniture, Furnishing and Interiors
  • Gas Industry
  • Glass Industry
  • Jewellery Silversmithing and Allied Trades
  • Marine Industry
  • Nuclear Working
  • Power Engineering
  • Power Industry
  • Professional Aviation Pilot Practice
  • Rail Engineering (Track)
  • Rail Services
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Vehicle Body and Paint

Health, public services and care

If you want to pursue a career that involves caring for others, then look no further than an Health, Public Services and Care. There are plenty of routes to take if you want to make a difference in someone’s life, and these include army officers, emergency care assistants, nurses, police officers and social workers.

Working environments and the skills you’ll need to succeed will vary, depending on your career choice. For example, some careers will require technical and scientific knowledge, while others will require good people skills.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Allied Health Profession Support
  • Assistant Practitioner
  • Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • Clinical Healthcare Support
  • Dental Nursing
  • Emergency Care Assistance
  • Emergency Fire Service Operations
  • Healthcare Support Services
  • HM Armed Forces
  • Housing
  • Policing
  • Providing Security Services
  • Youth Work

Information and communication technology (ICT)

There is, quite simply, no career today that doesn’t require some sort of technical knowledge, meaning Information and Communication Technology professionals are in high demand all year round. Organisations of all shapes and sizes need tech experts that will ensure everything keeps running as smoothly as possible, and there are plenty of career paths to choose from, including ICT professionals and IT users.

The best part? After completing an apprenticeship in this sector, you could end up earning as much as £20,000 a year! Not only that, but your IT skills are needed in almost every sector from administration to zoology.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Information Security
  • IT Application Specialist
  • IT, Software, Computer Games, Web and Telecoms Professionals

Leisure, travel and tourism

One of the main reasons you should apply for an apprenticeship in Leisure, Travel and Tourism is that starting salaries usually begin anywhere between £10,000 and £30,000 a year. And while you’re completing the apprenticeship, you can earn as much as £350 a week.

There are many vacancies waiting to be filled, and all can open up routes to working abroad – good news if you have the travel bug! You could find work as cabin crew or a holiday rep, or even as a fitness instructor or sports coach if you want to find something a little closer to home.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Sports Development
  • Travel Services

Retail and commercial enterprise

The Retail and Commercial Enterprise industry offers a variety of types of options, so there’s something for everyone. With the right education, you can find work as a hairdresser, car salesperson or sales assistant. As the industry is quite a broad one, your working environment could be anything from a cruise liner to a stock room.

The skills required will vary depending on what you choose to do. However, good communication and people skills are usually important, as are good organisation and numerical skills.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Barbering
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Catering and Professional Chefs
  • Cleaning and Environmental Services
  • Energy Assessment and Advice
  • Express Logistics
  • Facilities Management
  • Fashion and Textiles
  • Funeral Operations and Services
  • Hairdressing
  • Hospitality
  • Hospitality Management
  • Licensed Hospitality
  • Logistics Operations
  • Mail and Package Distribution
  • Procurement
  • Property Services
  • Retail Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Trade Business Services
  • Vehicle Sales
  • Warehousing and Storage

Science and mathematics

As a research worker within life and chemical sciences, you’ll be responsible for running and analysing results and experiments to develop new products, procedures for commercial uses, or to expand scientific comprehension.

Qualifications cover a range of topics from organic chemistry to microbiology, but vacancies are the Holy Grail of apprenticeships. This means that opportunities are few and far between, so you’ll need to be prepared for competition.

Types of apprenticeships in this industry:

  • Laboratory and Science Technician
  • Life Sciences and Chemical Science Professionals

Have you narrowed down your choices and decided on an industry you would like to do an apprenticeship in? Let us know in the comments section below!