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Last week we talked about internships and what they are and how they work. This week I thought we would stay on the same path and talk about apprenticeships.

But aren't internships and apprenticeships the same thing?

No, a common misconception. Apprenticeship is more like on the job training for a career path you have already chosen, where as internships tend to allow you to try out a job before making a career decision.

So why don't people just pick a career and apprentice?

Apprenticeship tends to focus more on skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing, mechanics etc. They involve a combination of in class time, testing and on the job hours as you learn a craft and you generally move through grades or levels. This can take many years to complete. The work and school is done at the same time.

Sounds like an apprenticeship is just another job.

Yes and no. Because apprenticeships focus on hands on skilled trades you're not just learning company programs and policies, you're learning how to do a project from start to finish on your own in your trade. For example, you don't see a plumber call his boss with specific questions related to plumbing because his boss is usually a contractor. A contractor usually has a trade, but it could be anything and the plumber needs to know exactly what he is doing without assistance.

Ok, so I would learn a trade and have a job? What would my employer get out of that?

For each grade or level you complete in your apprenticeship, what work you are legally allowed to perform on your own changes, you also are paid more the higher the level you are. Coming from a classroom the employer has a chance to mold you for their company and have work done at a lower wage as they help you learn. They know what jobs you know and are capable of and can send you on those jobs while saving their more experienced employees for more complex jobs. Think of it like working your way through the ranks of any business, starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Now you know the difference between internship and apprenticeship! The question is, which one is right for you?

By Jodi Sonoda

Jodi has been blogging for over 3 years, and is excited to currently be blogging with Nexxt for She also has her own mini and micro biography writing business and creates unique fascinators in her spare time. She is attached to the internet at the hip and enjoys the constant connection. She spends most of her offline time playing dolls and reading picture books with her three year old. You can also occasionally find her rocking the mic at karaoke night.


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