What You Need to Know before becoming an Apprentice


Things to know before starting an apprenticeship

Whether your apprenticeship is in carpentry or another trade, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. 

At Builders Academy Australia, we’ve trained hundreds of apprentices and have learned a few things along the way. 

Here we share this wealth of experience with you in this guide on what to know before starting an apprenticeship

Find out the entry reqs

Topping the list of things to know before starting an apprenticeship is the entry requirements.

The good news is that there are fewer entry requirements for apprenticeships compared to university degrees.

For the most popular trades apprenticeship—the carpentry apprenticeship aka CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry—there is no formal educational requirement. 

However you do need basic literacy and numeracy, so if English isn’t your first language or you need to brush up on your maths skills, you might need to start with a pre apprenticeship. 

You could do pre-apprenticeships such as a Certificate II in Construction Pathways (CPC20220); 

The only other entry requirement for the carpentry apprenticeship is you must be at least 16 years of age and you must have a White Card. 

Figure out your career goals

If you’re interested in doing a trades apprenticeship, you already have a good sense of what you want to do in the future.

Now it’s time to improve your focus by sitting down to work out your long-term career goals.

Ask yourself questions like, What sort of work do I want to be doing in 5, 10 or 20 years time?

Chances are you want to grow your career and your salary as time goes on through starting your own business, becoming a manager or mentoring younger workers.

This could mean following your apprenticeship with another course like a CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) or CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building).

While coming up with a long term plan is a great motivator and helps keep your options open, remember to stay flexible and adapt your plan as you learn more about your skills and interests. 

Look after your fitness

As a carpenter’s or builder’s apprentice, you’ll be working performing hands-on physical jobs.

You’ll be moving around a workshop or construction site all day while lifting, carrying, and crafting building materials like timber.

While you don’t need to be an athlete, you will need a good level of fitness to get by on the job.

The more fit and healthy you are, the easier your job will be on your body and the less likely you’ll be to hurt yourself and develop injuries.

As you do your coursework in your Certificate 3 in Carpentry, you’ll learn about health and safety practices but remember to look after your physical fitness and eat healthy food in your own time as well. 

Learn good time management

One of the top reasons that becoming a carpenter’s apprentice is such a popular choice is because it lets you earn while you learn.

You earn an apprentice wage while working for a real employer and studying your course work at night.

If you need to earn money to support yourself or your family, then this is a great choice compared to going to university. 

However, it does come with its own challenges as you’ll be juggling several responsibilities.

Before starting your apprenticeship, consider which responsibilities you will and won’t have time for.

You may have to make sacrifices to get everything done and avoid overworking yourself. 

Manage your time by cutting down on things like video games and nightclubs. 

Or you can practise time management by creating a routine with regular time slots for studying and doing your other responsibilities. 

Strike a work-life balance

Doing an apprenticeship is no walk in the park. But as long as you strike a good work-life balance, you can get through it more easily.

As tempting as it can be to work and study all the time, it’s also important to take time off.

Activities like rest, relaxation and socialising are proven to help reduce stress and improve learning

Be sure to spent time in nature and do rigorous exercise to boost your mental health, and improving your performance during your apprenticeship.

What to know before starting an apprenticeship

Before launching into a construction apprenticeship like the Certificate III in Carpentry, there are a few important things you need to know. 

This four-year apprenticeship is about as long as a university degree and will require just as much time and effort. 

By preparing before you start, working out your career goals and learning good time management, you can improve your chances of completing your apprenticeship and getting your qualification. 

Thinking of doing a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) (CPC50220)? Chat to a course advisor about your options on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or request a callback today.