top of page

How long does an apprenticeship take to complete? A comprehensive guide.

A pair holding an hourglass

Here at GLP Training, the length of our programmes varies drastically from course to course. The length of our programmes range from a minimum of 12 months up to 3 years in duration!

Apprenticeships have gained significant popularity in recent years as a viable alternative to traditional higher education, or simply to make you a professional in the job you're in. They offer individuals the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field while earning a wage.

But how long do apprenticeships last? The duration of an apprenticeship can vary depending on several factors, and in this blog post, we'll explore the elements that determine the length of an apprenticeship.


1. Type of Apprenticeship

The first and most significant factor influencing the duration of an apprenticeship is the type of apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships can be categorised into three main types:

Traditional Apprenticeships: These are long-term apprenticeships that can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Traditional apprenticeships are typically found in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and skilled trades. They provide extensive training and experience, ensuring that apprentices become highly skilled professionals in their field.

Intermediate Apprenticeships: These apprenticeships are shorter in duration, typically lasting between 12 to 18 months. Intermediate apprenticeships are ideal for those who want to acquire basic skills and knowledge in industries like healthcare, retail, and hospitality.

Advanced Apprenticeships: Advanced apprenticeships fall between the traditional and intermediate types, usually spanning 18 to 24 months. They offer a balance between extensive training and a shorter duration. Advanced apprenticeships are common in fields like IT, Finance, and Engineering.


2. Industry and Occupation

The industry and occupation you choose for your apprenticeship can greatly affect its duration. Some industries require more in-depth training and experience, which naturally extends the apprenticeship period. For example, becoming a licensed electrician or plumber may take longer than training for a position in sales or customer service. It's crucial to research the specific apprenticeship you're interested in to understand the expected duration.


3. Apprenticeship Level

The level of the apprenticeship programme also plays a significant role in determining its length. Apprenticeships are typically offered at three different levels:

Level 2: This level is equivalent to a GCSE (high school) qualification and usually takes 12-18 months to complete.

Level 3: Similar to an A-level qualification, a Level 3 apprenticeship generally spans 18-24 months.

Level 4 and above: Higher-level apprenticeships, equivalent to a university degree, can last anywhere from 3 to 6 years, depending on the industry and occupation.


4. Individual Progress and Competence

The speed at which an apprenticeship is completed can also depend on the individual apprentice's progress and competence. Some apprentices may learn and acquire skills more quickly than others, leading to shorter apprenticeships. In contrast, those who require additional time to grasp the required knowledge and skills may have longer apprenticeships.


5. Training Hours and Work-Based Learning

Apprenticeships typically involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. The duration of the classroom-based training, the number of hours spent at work, and the frequency of these sessions can vary. Some apprenticeships may require more extensive classroom learning, leading to a longer overall duration.


6. Part-Time / Full-Time Courses

Part-time courses take longer than a full-time programme, due to the course being delivered over less hours per week. This means that you do not cover the content at the same rate, and your programme will be extended to ensure you cover all elements of the apprenticeship programme. This may be beneficial to you if you have other commitments and require more flexibility!


How long do our 5 most popular apprenticeships take?

Here are some of our most popular courses and the duration that it takes to complete them:

Property Maintenance Operative (Level 2): 22+ months

Operations Manager (Level 5): 15+ months

Building Services Engineering (Level 3): 36+ months

Associate Project Manager (Level 4): 15+ months

Facilities Management Supervisor (Level 3): 18+ months

If you're making good progress in your course, and both your tutor and employer are in agreement, you might have the opportunity to reduce the duration of your programme. However, the minimum time required for completion at GLP Training will always be 12 months.


In summary, the length of an apprenticeship can vary significantly, depending on the type of apprenticeship, industry& occupation, apprenticeship level, individual progress, and the balance between training and work-based learning. It's important to research and choose an apprenticeship that aligns with your career goals and timeline.

Apprenticeships can be a rewarding path to gaining practical skills and launching a successful career, and understanding the duration is a crucial step in your journey towards professional excellence. Here's an illustration of how long you could expect your programme to take:

Duration of Apprenticeship Programmes: UCAS

Take a look at our apprenticeships page to browse and find the right apprenticeship programme for you!


15 views0 comments


bottom of page