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7 apprenticeships you never knew you could do

Apprenticeships are all the rage right now, with the government keen to help young people like you train for a high-skilled careers – and start earning a wage – straight from school or college.

So we thought we’d take a look at some of the apprenticeship you don’t know about (and if you do – kudos to you!) And you might well run into a few surprises along the way. Think you need a degree to be a lawyer? Think again…

If you’re wondering what an apprenticeship is – it’s simply a paid job with training and the chance to study for professional qualifications.

'7 apprenticeships you never knew you could do'

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Graphic design

Learn how to take your ideas from your head to the page

Quirky graphics are everywhere these days, from Instagram to BBC Bitesize to glossy magazines and, well, here at Success at School… But who actually designs them? And what’s more, could it be you?

If you’ve got a knack for drawing, then a graphic design apprenticeship could be right up your street. You’ll develop the technical skills to take your ideas from your head to the page (or screen), and earn a recognised qualification like an NVQ which means you can ply your trade virtually anywhere.

As well as being a budding Picasso, you’ll need good time management skills, good attention to detail, and an interest in how design can be used in advertising, publishing or the media.

Sounds like you? Take a look at our article on graphic design apprenticeships.


If you love working with kids, we’re guessing a childcare apprenticeship sounds pretty irresistible?

You could be supervising youngsters as they play, learn and explore their surroundings in a nursery, or training as a nursery nurse, working with families to make sure children are growing up in a safe and healthy environment. These are just a couple of the many roles you could train for, all while working towards a diploma or other professional qualification.

Got patience, devotion, energy – and a sense of fun? Check out our guide to childcare apprenticeships.


Find out how to oversee a business or take on the admin side

Leading a team, running projects, attracting new customers. This is just a handful of the responsibilities you could take on as you learn the theory behind running a successful company in a business apprenticeship.

You’ll need to be a top communicator, have great people skills and be able to work well in a team, and you’ve got to be well-organised and self-motivated.

If running a business is not for you right now, how about business administration? That means taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities that are crucial to every organisation, from note-taking and filing to sorting out people’s diaries, doing research and managing the office.

Find out more about business apprenticeships.

Legal apprenticeships

Law is fast-paced and interesting, and can take you in all sorts of directions – from working to ensure people’s human rights are upheld, to helping people get through the legal side of buying or selling a house or drawing up a will. If you’re dedicated, hard-working, have a knack for understanding and interpreting information – and have great people skills to boot, it could be a great career path for you.

Legal apprenticeships let you go down one of three routes. You could train to be a “paralegal”, preparing legal documents, doing research and giving advice, or become a legal administrator, taking care of the administrative aspects of running a law firm, such as dealing with customers (“clients”), sorting documents and updating information.

You could even train to be solicitor, gaining an in-depth knowledge of the law so you can advise clients and carry out the technical legal work relating to their case. You’ll work towards a level 6 qualification (equivalent of a degree) then take all the professional legal training and exams a law graduate would do.

Find out more about legal apprenticeships.

Marketing apprenticeships

Love organising events or shouting about the latest trends on

social media? A marketing apprenticeship could be for you

Love planning events? Love sharing the latest craze on Snapchat or Instagram? These are the kinds of challenges you could get your teeth into with a marketing career. A marketing apprenticeship will teach you how all this (and much more) can help you get the product you’re selling out there.

You’ll learn technical skills such as market research (collecting info about your competitors and what your customers are interested in), how to talk to different types of customers, the image that your product gives across to the public (“public relations”). You could even back this up with a level 3 or 4 marketing qualification.

Are you the next Saatchi and Saatchi? Find out more about marketing apprenticeships.

Engineering apprenticeships

You have to go to university to become an engineer, right? Wrong! If you love solving problems and have a creative flair, an engineering apprenticeship could be a great way to build a career around these skills straight from school/college.

You could specialise in a whole bunch of areas, from electrical engineering (designing, maintaining, improving and fixing electrical machines and equipment) to civil engineering (helping build the man-made stuff around us, like roads, bridges, buildings and even parks) – and that’s just for starters.

Check out our guide to engineering apprenticeships for a detailed look at some of the areas you could go into.

Digital media apprenticeships

TV and film, animation or games: this is the realm of the digital media specialist - and we have to say, it's a pretty exciting one!

You'll study the technical theory behind your chosen craft, picking up the hands-on skills and practical know-how you need to do your job - whether that's as a production assistant in a TV studio or a special effects guru for a video game company.

These awesome apprenticeships come complete with their own professional qualifications, so you'll have something to show for all that training when you come out the other side.

Check out digital media apprenticeships in our dedicated article.

Learn more about apprenticeships…

Apprenticeships are a paid job with training and the chance to work towards professional qualifications. They’re available at four levels – the higher tiers are the higher apprenticeship, which is equivalent to gaining a foundation degree or higher, and the new degree apprenticeship, which will give you a university degree or higher. You can see all our advice on apprenticeships here.

Image credits

Lead image icons via Flaticon - desk, child, tie, gavel, speaker, calculator, city
Graphic design, business apprentices, and marketing via Freepik.