Difference Between Apprenticeship and Internship

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Apprenticeship and Internship

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An internship is a limited-time term of work experience provided by an organization. It is mainly for students who are currently enrolled in some sort of program and want to get work experience for a short period. Apprenticeship is a method for teaching a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession through on-the-job training and, in some cases, further study.

Internships and apprenticeships both provide hands-on training, but the similarities end there. While an internship is nearly always required for each college graduate looking for work, an apprenticeship almost always ensures you a high-paying job after you complete it.

Apprenticeship vs Internship

The main difference between an Apprentice and an Internship is that for skilled craft occupations, an apprenticeship is extremely beneficial and frequently compulsory. It mixes on-the-job training with classroom instruction to prepare apprentices for their respective areas, whereas Internships are not required in any job sector. They are also not required for obtaining certificates. However, internships are still a valuable addition to your CV. Companies are constantly on the lookout for skilled workers. When you're a recent graduate, it might be challenging to get the necessary experience. As a result, internships are a fantastic resource for students.

Difference Between Apprenticeship and Internship in Tabular Form

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Apprenticeship Internship
Definition An apprenticeship is a compensated position that allows the person to study and gain useful experience.

Along with on-the-job training, apprentices must devote at least 20% of their working hours to classroom-based study at a college, university, or training provider, which leads to a nationally recognized certification.

An internship is a term of work experience provided by a business to expose students and graduates to the working world, usually within a specific industry related to their topic of study. They can be paid or unpaid; nonetheless, before beginning an internship, it is critical to understand your payment rights.
Term It may take years to finish and will need a full-time commitment. While some programs are only one year long, many are multi-year. When it comes to internships, most individuals do them for a semester or summer before moving on to the next one or getting employed full-time.
Pay Apprenticeships are very competitive for several reasons, one of which is that you get paid while you study. While you won't earn six figures in year one of your apprenticeship, you will earn more than you would with an internship. Internships provide college credits, a modest stipend, or something to add to your résumé, whereas apprenticeships provide a living wage.
Job Opportunity Because your business is sponsoring you and investing time in teaching and training you, you are nearly certain to have a well-paid job once you complete the program. When you complete an apprenticeship, you will receive a certificate stating that you are completely qualified to undertake the work. In an ideal world, you would finish an internship during your senior year of college and then be offered a full-time position by the firm for whom you have been working, but this is not usually the case. In many circumstances, your internship will not get you in the door. When you finish an internship, you don't have anything that indicates, "I'm ready."
Professional growth stage Apprenticeships are typically sought as alternatives to collegiate jobs. Because some apprenticeships last the same amount of time as an associate or bachelor's degree program, they are viable alternatives to college. Some apprenticeship programs incorporate college classes, so you may be able to earn college credits. Internships are perfect for recent high school graduates or college students who are interested in a certain area but aren't sure what professional route they want to take. They can conduct many internships with various firms to get more focus and make more informed career selections. Because internships typically revolve around college semesters and courses, it is simple to finish these brief programs to augment your education.

What Is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a method for educating a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession through on-the-job training and, in certain cases, further study                          (classroom work and reading). Apprenticeships can also help practitioners get a license to work in a regulated occupation. The majority of their training is completed while working for an employer who assists apprentices in learning their trade or profession in exchange for continuous labor for an agreed-upon term after they have demonstrated demonstrable competencies. Apprenticeship duration differs greatly between industries, professions, responsibilities, and cultures. People who successfully finish an apprenticeship may be able to achieve the "journeyman" or professional certification level of competence in specific instances. In other circumstances, they may be offered a permanent position with the firm that placed them. 

There is no universal agreement on a single word for an apprenticeship. The phrases apprenticeship, internship, and trainee-ship are all defined differently depending on culture, nation, and industry. In the medical field, the latter two words may be preferred. Internships in medicine for physicians and traineeships for nurses are two examples — both in Western nations. Apprenticeship is the word adopted by the European Commission and chosen by the European Center for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP), which has conducted several research on the issue. Some nations outside of Europe use European apprenticeship practices.

Types of Apprenticeships

There are generally two categories of apprenticeships: -

  • Independent Apprenticeship
  • Cooperative Apprenticeship

Independent Apprenticeship

Independent apprenticeships are established and handled by employers without the involvement of educational institutions. They occur apart from any educational curriculum, which means that apprentices are typically not participating in any educational program at the same time, but even if they are, there is no relationship between the undergoing studies and the apprenticeship.

Cooperative Apprenticeship

Cooperative Apprenticeships are those that are established and managed by collaboration between educational institutions and employers They differ in governance, with some being more employer-led and others more educational institution-led, but they are all related to a curriculum and are meant to allow students to put theory into practice and master information in a way that gives them professional autonomy.

Different Types of Apprentices in Different Fields


The Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Care business is varied, accounting for around £8.9 billion of the UK economy and employing almost a million people. There's something for everyone, whether you prefer working with animals (large or little) or working in the great outdoors (or even from behind a desk). There are several jobs available, ranging from farming to operating huge machinery, working as an animal trainer, and managing acres of property. While you may be needed to work unsociable hours, professionals with the necessary knowledge and abilities are in great demand in this business, and there is a lot of chance for advancement. An agricultural apprenticeship, for example, might lead to a career as a competent technician or even in management.

Apprenticeships in this industry are classified as follows:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Welfare
  • Environmental Protection
  • Equine
  • Farriery
  • Floristry
  • Wildlife and Game Management
  • Horticulture
  • Nursing in Veterinary Practice

Arts, Media, And Publishing

Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath who spent six years as an art apprentice, is now recognized as one of history's finest artists. The bottom line is that you may be the next Leonardo da Vinci in the fields of arts, media, and publishing. This business is ideal for artists, designers, authors, wordsmiths, and other creative individuals, as it encompasses a wide range of industries such as fashion, cinema, publications, and music. Entering this industry is not for the faint of heart. With so much competition, enrolling in an apprenticeship may be a smart choice since it will provide you with the skills and information you need to be considered a legitimate contender later on.

Apprenticeships in this Industry are classified as follows:

  • Production of Broadcasts
  • Wardrobe and Costume
  • Digital and Creative Media
  • Design
  • Journalism
  • Promotion and Live Events
  • Photographic Imaging

Education and Training

You'll train, acquire, and build skills and knowledge in a certain field before assisting others in doing the same. Depending on the field of training you pick, you will work with people and groups of diverse ages and abilities. And you don't have to do it in a classroom; you may deliver education in the workplace by running training sessions, for example, as an in-house trainer for a company or as a trainer for a training firm. If you decide to support education in schools, keep in mind that there is a high need for competent experts who can deal with children.

Apprenticeships in this industry are classified as follows:

  • Development and Learning
  • Assistance with Learning
  • Work-Based Learning Practitioners' Professional Development
  • Physical Education Teaching and Learning Support
  • Supporting Classroom Teaching and Learning

What Is an Internship?

An internship is a limited-time term of work experience provided by an organization.  Internships, which were once limited to medical graduates, are now utilized as preparation for a broad range of placements in corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. They are often completed by students and alumni seeking the necessary skills and expertise in a certain profession. Employers gain from these placements since they frequently hire their top interns, who have proven talents, saving time and money in the long run. Third-party organizations that recruit interns on behalf of industry groups typically organize internships. When interns should be considered workers differs from nation to country. Unscrupulous employers may take advantage of the system. Professional internships are comparable in certain aspects. Apprenticeships, like internships, help students transition from trade school to the job. Due to a lack of standards and regulations, the word "internship" is susceptible to wide interpretation. Interns might be high school kids, university and college students, or adults with a post-graduate degrees. These are temporary occupations that may be paid or unpaid. Many big organizations, notably investment banks, provide "insights" programs that last from a day to a week and can be attended in person or electronically.

An internship is often comprised of an exchange of services for experience between the intern and the company. Internships are used to test if the intern remains interested in that subject after gaining real-world experience. Furthermore, an internship may be utilized to establish a professional network, which can help with letters of reference or lead to future career prospects. The advantage of hiring an intern full-time is that they are already familiar with the organization and hence require little to no training. Internships allow current college students to engage in an area of their choice to gain hands-on experience in a certain prospective career, preparing them for a full-time job after graduation.

Types Of Internships

Internships are available in a wide range of sectors and environments. An internship might be compensated, uncompensated, or partially compensated (in the form of a stipend). Internships can be part-time or full-time, and they are typically accommodating of students' schedules. A normal internship lasts from one to four months, however, this might vary depending on the organization. Job shadowing may also be considered interning.

  • Insights: Many big organizations, notably investment banks, provide "insights" programs that act as a pre-internship event lasting from a day to a week and can be completed in person or remotely.
  • Paid internships: are prevalent in disciplines such as medical, architecture, science, engineering, legislation, business (particularly finance and accounting), technology, and advertising. Work experience internships are most common during the second or even third year of high school. This form of the internship is designed to broaden an intern's expertise in both their academic courses and at the workplace. The intern is expected to provide school-related ideas and information to the organization.
  • Professional research, virtual research (for a degree), or dissertation: This is generally done by students in their senior year of high school. In this type of internship, a person does research for a specific firm. The firm may have anything that they believe needs to be improved, or the student may select a topic inside the organization. The findings of the research investigation will be included in a report and must often be presented.
  • Unpaid internships are usually available through non-profit organizations and think tanks, which frequently feature unpaid or volunteer roles. Under the Minimum Wage Act, state law and state enforcement authorities may impose requirements on unpaid internship programs. To be correctly categorized as an unpaid internship, a program must satisfy the criteria. This condition includes demonstrating that the intern is the principal benefactor of the connection. Unpaid interns undertake work that is not normal and on which the employer does not rely.
  • Partially paid internships are those in which students are paid a stipend. Stipends are often set sums of money that are distributed regularly regular basis. Stipend-paid interns are often compensated on a defined timetable linked with the organization. 
  • Returnships are internships for experienced professionals who want to return to the workforce after caring for parents or children.

Main Differences Between Apprenticeships and Internships in Points

  • The purpose of an Apprenticeship is training while on the other hand, the purpose of an Internship is to provide experience.
  • Apprenticeships are for highly skilled jobs while on the other hand, internships while are for general job training.
  • Apprenticeships are for longer terms and internships are for shorter terms.
  • Apprenticeships are always paid while internships can be paid or unpaid.
  • In an apprenticeship you leave with a certificate and in an internship, you leave with the experience
  • Apprenticeships are full time and internships can be part-time or full-time.


When a person begins a career, he or she hopes to obtain some real job experience. This job experience will assist students in developing abilities that will benefit them in their future professional lives. This is the sole opportunity for them to understand the ins and outs of their career. If this opportunity is lost, there will be few other possibilities for hand-holding instruction in the future. Students are often the ones that take advantage of this chance. People who are just starting out in their professions will also take advantage of such work experience possibilities. The words for acquiring such job experience are apprenticeship and internship. Although they are often used interchangeably, there are certain distinctions that distinguish an apprenticeship from an internship.


  • Apprenticeship - Wikipedia
  • Internship - Wikipedia
  • Types of Apprenticeships: A Complete List of Industries (careeraddict.com)


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"Difference Between Apprenticeship and Internship." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-apprenticeship-and-internship-1142>.

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