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Explore Career Options

There are a lot of career options available to you, so deciding on a pathway can take time and effort. You will need to spend some time investigating industries, work types and occupations to decide what your next step is. Once you have explored your career options, you will be able to make a more informed decision.

There are a lot of different apprenticeship and traineeship options to choose from. Most people know about the trades, like Carpentry, Electrical and Hairdressing, but might not realise you can do an Australian Apprenticeship in Child Care, Landscaping, or Automotive Painting!

Australian Apprenticeships can be done in 50 industries and thousands of occupations. No matter what you want to get into, an apprenticeship or traineeships can be a good starting place. This section will help you explore career options that might start with an Australian Apprenticeship, and will help you decide whether an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway might be right for you.

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What are my Australian Apprenticeship options?

Australian Apprenticeships can be done in around 50 different industries, and hundreds of occupations. This makes apprenticeships and traineeships a great way to get a start in these areas. In many trades, an apprenticeship is the most common way to enter the occupation. There are many other roles where apprenticeships and traineeships are frequently used.

It is up to an employer whether they want to take on someone through an apprenticeship or traineeship, or find staff in other ways. This means that there are some things that can be done as an Australian Apprenticeship, but employers in that sector may not actually employ apprentices and trainees. It is important to do your research about whether Australian Apprenticeships are a used pathway in the area of your choice. Contacting employers, and visiting employer websites for careers information, is a great way to find out their typical requirements when recruiting.

There are also some industries and occupations that require qualifications that can't be done as an Australian Apprenticeship. These might be other Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications, Higher Education (University) qualifications, or licences. Other industries and occupations might not require any post-school qualifications.

Is an Australian Apprenticeship right for me?

Australian Apprenticeships combine paid employment with a formal qualification. Apprenticeships and traineeships are well-suited to people who want to learn skills on-the-job, while also doing some formal study. The study components will be relevant to the work you are doing.

An Australian Apprenticeship is open to anyone of working age. You can often commence them in school or you can use them to upskill or to recognise the work you have already completed. An Australian Apprenticeship is portable and you can take your skills, qualification and/or trade papers with you wherever you go. Apprenticeships and traineeships are often the foundation of your career journey.

If you prefer doing a qualification or other study before starting work, an Australian Apprenticeship might not be your best option. You should have a look at the My Skills website for information about Vocational Education and Training courses, and the Course Seeker website for information about Higher Education courses.

If you already have already completed a related qualification, apprenticeships and traineeships might also not be a good way to start working in your industry of choice. You should talk to an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider about your eligibility for an Australian Apprenticeship.

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I don't know what career I want?

Doing an apprenticeship or traineeship doesn't mean you are committed to that career for life. It can be a good first step into an industry, a taster, a job while you decide your next step, or a way to earn money in a gap year!

Some traineeships take about 12 months, while other apprenticeships and traineeships can be up to 4 years full-time. This means you can do an apprenticeship or traineeship while you are still deciding what you want to do as a career. It might be a good way to get a taste of an industry and find out if it is what you want to do long term!

Many of the skills you develop doing Australian Apprenticeships will stay with you for life, even if you make big career changes. For example, the teamwork, communication and problem solving skills you will develop, as well as behaviours including showing a positive attitude, are important to display when applying for future jobs.

Case Study: Tom

Tom thought his ideal career would be to become a chef, so he completed an apprenticeship and started working in some top hotels.  After a few years of working for someone else and then running his own business Tom decided that is wasn’t for him and wanted to regain his social life! Tom wanted to be a carpenter and work outdoors for a change.

Tom’s skills he gained from being a chef, good hand eye coordination, teamwork, communication and problem solving skills were transferred into his new career. Tom's employer was happy to take on someone with transferable skills, who had proved himself to be reliable and hardworking.

Can an Australian Apprenticeship lead to further study?

As part of an Australian Apprenticeship, you will undertake study towards a formal qualification. On completion of this qualification, it can be used as evidence towards applications for higher level study, including Vocational Education and Training, and Higher Education courses. You will need to talk with the relevant training providers about their application process to find out specific details for that provider.

Often further study won't be immediately required on completion of an Australian Apprenticeship if you decide to stay in that industry. However, if you decide to move into different roles within an industry, or have a complete career change, your qualifications will travel with you. In addition to helping with your application, parts of your Australian Apprenticeship qualification may count towards your next qualification.

Case Study: Sally

Sally wanted to do something working with her hands, so when she left school she got an electrical apprenticeship. She worked extremely hard both on-the-job and in her classes, and was one of the top apprentices in her group.

After a few years working as a qualified electrician, Sally wanted to continue her learning and upskill. She was offered a place in a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. Her Certificate III from her apprenticeship was part of the information she used in her application. She was able to use some of her knowledge and previous learning as credit towards her university degree, meaning that her degree was shorter.

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