Like us on Facebook

Top 20 apprenticeship courses



The most popular apprenticeship courses in NSW.

A trade is a job that requires manual skills and special training. This training is called an apprenticeship. Most apprenticeships take around 3-4 years to complete. You learn on the job and in the classroom, and get paid for the work you do. In NSW, apprenticeship training is fee-free - meaning no upfront debt.

So, which apprenticeship should you do? Start your search with the 20 most popular qualifications in NSW, with links to training providers in your local area.

With jobs in construction expected to boom in the coming years, there’s never been a better time to do a trade. At the end of this apprenticeship, you’ll be a licenced ‘sparky’ who is able to select, install, set-up, test, repair and maintain electrical systems and equipment in building and premises.

Job prospects for electricians are great – according to the National Electrical and Communications Association, 80% of apprentices graduate and become an electrician, and 99% find a job in the first three months. Better still, the starting salary can be as much as $91,000!

Sydney-based electrical apprentice Lachlan Stitt was, “really drawn to the fact that there is so much growth in the industry, as well as the potential to earn good money.” Read his story.

Find your nearest training provider.

If you love the idea of building things, working outdoors and – maybe even one day – being your own boss, a carpentry apprenticeship is the ticket. Better still, according to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a state-wide shortage of skilled carpenters and joiners in NSW (2017).

It generally takes three years to become a qualified ‘chippie’, and along the way you’ll learn how to measure, cut and construct the frame of a building with timber, as well as common skills required in the construction industry. Elective units cover doors, windows, stairs and more. After, you can go on to complete a builder’s licence.

Talking to someone in the industry cemented a carpentry apprenticeship as the smart choice for Shaun Van Uum. Read his VET story.

Find your nearest training provider.

For Donald Dundas, a plumbing apprenticeship has led to a world of opportunity, including a job as a mentor and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the 2017 NSW Training Awards and 2017 Australian Training Awards.

Licenced plumbers are in demand both here and overseas. You’ll need to love working outdoors and with your hands, with apprentices learning to connect and maintain water and gas supplies to domestic, commercial and industrial buildings. From sub-soil drainage to roof plumbing, gas fitting and repair of heating and ventilation systems, the trade offers general skills and a variety of specialist streams.

According to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a statewide shortage of skilled plumbers in NSW (2017).

Find your nearest training provider.

Read more about Donald.

The course name may sound fancy, but this is a general and highly practical apprenticeship course for anyone who wants to work on cars and other light vehicles – be it in the automotive retail, service or repair industry.

By the end of the three years, you’ll be qualified to make repairs to engines and transmissions, steering and other vehicle systems.

According to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a state-wide shortage of skilled automotive and engineering trade workers in NSW (2017).

Find your nearest training provider.

Explore our interactive doors to discover 2016 NSW Apprentice of the Year Courtney Harrison’s story.

Follow your passion for food and hospitality into this popular apprenticeship, which will see you gain the skills to prepare, cook and present food. You’ll also learn about the hospitality industry and how to plan menus and run a busy kitchen.

By the end of the apprenticeship (18 months on average), you’ll be a qualified chef who can seek work in restaurants, hotels, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops.

According to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a state-wide shortage of skilled chefs in NSW (2017).

Find your nearest training provider.

From forging and metal fabrication, to erecting structural steel and operating computer-controlled equipment, this apprenticeship will see you with the skills and qualification to seek work in the manufacturing and engineering industries.

After successfully completing the Certificate III in Engineering —Fabrication Trade (up to 4 years), you’ll be able to work as a boilermaker, sheet metal worker, class welder, foundry tradesperson or patternmaker.

According to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a state-wide shortage of skilled automotive and engineering trade workers in NSW (2017).

Find your nearest training provider.

Most hairdressers undertake an apprenticeship – it lets you learn (and earn) on the job while you receive necessary industry training.

Along the way, you’ll develop key technical skills such as cutting, colouring and styling, as well as more general, but equally important, business skills such as communication, customer service, sales and time management. As your skills and experience grow, so too will your creativity.

A Certificate III in Hairdressing generally takes around 15 months.

According to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a state-wide shortage of trade qualified and experienced hairdressers in NSW (2017).

Find your nearest training provider.

If you love problem-solving and fixing things, an apprenticeship in air conditioning and refrigeration may be for you. Apprentices learn to install, service and repair a range of systems, and are in-demand around NSW – according to the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business, there’s currently a statewide shortage of skilled air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics.

On average, an air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic earns around $1500 per week. You can work anywhere in Australia, and there’s even the option to run your own business.

Find your nearest apprenticeship training provider.

Know the difference between a skel and a sideloader? Love the idea of spending your days tinkering on trucks and trailers? This trade apprenticeship is for you.

Over the 4 years (on average), you’ll learn the skills needed to inspect, service, maintain and repair heavy vehicles, and maintain a safe and organised workshop. Once qualified, you’ll be able to look for work in the transport and logistics industry.

Find your nearest apprenticeship training provider.

Begin a rewarding career in the automotive service and repair industry. This apprenticeship, which will see you learn skills to design, assemble, manufacture, install, maintain and service mechanical and mobile equipment, power systems, and use computer-controlled machine tools.

After you qualify, you’ll be able to work as a mechanical tradesperson, fitter and turner, fitter and machinist, plant mechanic, or first class machinist.

The average weekly pay for fitters and machinists is $1500 (before tax), and there is currently a shortage of qualified fitters and first class machinists in NSW.

Find your nearest training provider.

Australians love to renovate ­– especially their kitchens and bathrooms – and skilled cabinetmakers are currently in short supply throughout NSW.

Over the 4 years of this apprenticeship, you’ll gain skills in furniture making as well as manufacturing and installing fitted furniture, most typically in kitchens, bathrooms and similar settings.

Capitalise on your fine motor skills and attention to detail as you learn to understand and apply drawings and specifications, and select materials, use hand and power tools to cut and shape wood, and learn the techniques and accessories needed to build and construct furniture and fittings for homes, caravans and boats.

Find your nearest training provider.

Growth in the horticulture/landscape construction industry is expected to be strong, so now is an ideal time to embark this challenging and rewarding qualification.

A love of plants will help, as you will be learning the principles of ‘greenscaping’ such as plants, soils and drainage. You’ll also learn how to create structures and features with hardscaping materials like timber, brick and stone, as well as project management and health and safety in the workplace.

Job outcomes include landscaper, landscape gardener, parks and garden tradesperson and greenkeeper. You can also continue on to Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, which qualifies you to be a landscape designer or take on management roles within the industry.

The apprenticeship has opened many doors for Jordan Cahill, who was named 2017 NSW Apprentice of the Year. Read his story.

There are no entry requirements for this qualification in NSW. You can undertake the apprenticeship full-time (around four years) or part-time (around six years).

Find your nearest training provider.

This apprenticeship delivers the fundamental skills and training to become a qualified carpenter and joiner – of which NSW currently has a shortage. And while one person can do the same job, there are differences in the work itself, with joiners in general doing work that requires greater precision and craftsmanship.

Carpentry relates to the creation, repair and installation of timber and other materials in a construction setting, such as cabinetry, shelves and installing staircases. Joinery is focused on the ‘joints’ within a building – window frames, trusses, doorways, the construction of a staircase, and furniture. Concrete formwork can also be part of the job.

Expect to earn around $1120 each week (before tax).

Find your nearest training provider.

If you enjoy practical hands-on work, are comfortable with the idea of working outdoors and at heights, have good hand-eye coordination and are physically fit and active, this could be the right apprenticeship for you.

Qualified ‘brickies’ not only lay bricks and mortar, they need a technical aptitude to read and understand plans and projects, a determined attitude and self-sufficiency when required to work solo. You could even run your own business one day.

In return you’ll get a great lifestyle and the satisfaction of bringing buildings to life with your bare hands – literally!

Find your nearest training provider.

Anyone who’s painted a room in their house understands painting, like other trades, is a craft that requires proper training. And there’s more to this trade than just wielding a paint brush, too – painters need communication and problem-solving skills, creativity, accuracy and the ability to manage and use their time.

The work is inside and out, with preparation of surfaces so they are protected from the elements and other causes of environmental damage equally important.

For those with a creative bent, work in this field can include specialist applications and techniques such as wallpapering, sign writing, gilding and decorative paint effects.

There is currently a shortage of skilled painting trades workers throughout NSW.

Find your nearest training provider.

Job outcomes from this apprenticeship include diesel fitter and mobile plant technician – that is, a mechanic whoservices and repairs heavy vehicles in the mining, construction and agricultural sectors.

During this four-year qualification, you’ll learn core skills such as testing, diagnosing and repairing basic electrical circuits, charging and starting systems, engines and associated engine components. There are also a range of electives, which apprentices can choose in collaboration with their employer.

Alongside technical capabilities, you’ll learn communication, problem-solving, teamwork, initiative and organisational skills.

Find your nearest training provider.

A fear of heights will rule out anyone considering an apprenticeship in Roof Plumbing – much of the job occurs on scaffolding and elevated work platforms.

This course takes 3 years on average.

Alongside core plumbing competencies, you’ll learn how to prepare and follow specifications to determine the installation requirements of roof plumbing systems and relevant materials such as sheeting, insulation and flashings (metal used to stop water getting in where the roof meets another surface).

Find your nearest training provider.

If you’re interested in the telecommunications industry and technologies such as radio, optical, data and internet protocol (IP) networks, this apprenticeship may be for you.

You’ll learn the skills needed to select, install and configure equipment in technologies that integrate radio, optical and IP-based applications. You’ll also learn the processes around installation, including testing and fault finding.

Once qualified, you can apply for relevant available technician roles, such as cabling network technician, wireless networks technician and digital reception technician – the average weekly pay is $14148 (before tax).

There is currently a shortage of skilled telecommunications trades workers in NSW.

Find your nearest training provider.

Possible job include being an electrician (cabling), electronics and communications trade person or telecommunications technician (data and voice).

This qualification provides skills to select, install, set up, test, fault find, repair and maintain electronic equipment and devices at component/sub-assembly level with options in communications, audio, video and TV, personal computer and networks, security and custom installations.

The average weekly wage for an electronics trade worker is $1215 (before tax).

Find your nearest training provider.

This qualification reflects the role of people who perform a broad range of tasks when repairing and maintaining the body of cars, heavy vehicles and other vehicles in the automotive service and repair sector.

After training, you'll be able to seek work as an automotive painting technician, heavy vehicle body and chassis technician, vehicle body repair technician, vehicle body restoration technician, vehicle glazing technician, vehicle trimmer.

There are shortages in automotive and engineering trades workers around NSW.

Find your nearest training provider.

Have questions?  Find answers in our apprentice FAQs.