Apprenticeship vs. Internship


Apprenticeships and internships are both hands-on work training experiences. However, they have several major distinctions, including their time frame and influence on career trajectory.

Apprenticeship Basics

  • An apprenticeship is a multi-year training experience that you begin after making a major commitment to growing in a profession. Trade jobs often require apprenticeships for licensing. Electricians, plumbers and carpenters must all complete apprenticeship programs that require a certain number of on-the-job and classroom hours. Apprentices often receive compensation that is about half of what a master professional in the field earns.

Internship Basics

  • An internship is a work experience for a brief, defined period. College students often complete three-month summer internships while finishing up a degree so they can earn practical experience in their field of study. An internship typically does not carry any long-term commitment from the employer or the worker, although it allows both parties to test the waters with each other to see if they make a good fit. There are both paid and unpaid internships, though the legality of unpaid internships has been challenged in several major court cases.


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