An advanced apprenticeship, or Level 3 apprenticeship, is the apprenticeship level after intermediate and before Higher/Degree. It’s the equivalent qualification to two A-Level pass grades and is an excellent alternative to A-Levels.

They tend to take anywhere up to 24 months and are suitable for those over 16.

Like all apprenticeships, you divide your time between working for the employer and training for qualifications. During the apprenticeship, you are working towards a qualification, which is equivalent to two A-Level passes. This is usually an NVQ Level 3 and a knowledge-based qualification certificate such as BTEC Diploma. These qualifications tend to be accredited by the institution that provides academic training, such as a college.

This apprenticeship level is usually open to those who have completed a Level 2 Intermediate apprenticeship or the equivalent GCSEs with five grades at 4-9/C-A*. However, there are some advanced apprenticeship programmes which do not have formal entry requirements, so make sure to check each one case by case. Those who have already completed a Level 3 qualification, such as A-Levels, can still do an advanced apprenticeship, as it can be a great way to gain more training and work experience.

Up to 80% of your time on the apprenticeship is spent working and gaining experience, supported by your mentor. The rest of the time, at least 20% of the time, is spent studying for the qualification off-the-job. You may study via an in-house programme, but a local college or training provider usually runs the training.

In an Advanced Apprenticeship, you will have more responsibility than at an intermediate level. You may be required to manage small parts of the team. Everything you do will be monitored and supported by your manager and mentor. This means that you won’t be left feeling out of your depth.

The job roles available at the Advanced Apprenticeship level vary massively, including Advertising and media, Assistant accountant, Teaching assistant, Dental nurse, Infrastructure technician, and many more. Both small and large businesses offer Advanced Apprenticeships, and the content of each is different. Hence, the more research you do, the better.

After a Level 3 apprenticeship, you have many career options. The company may offer you a full-time job, or you may choose to take your qualification with you to apply for jobs elsewhere. Suppose you don’t want to stop learning and training. In that case, you can move onto a degree level qualification, either at University or with a Higher/Degree apprenticeship.

Advanced Apprenticeship Example

The National Grid is a great national company that provides a competitive advanced apprenticeship. The programme’s outline and benefits include:

  • Year One spent at a training academy, with full board accommodation, to complete safety and technical training.
  • Year Two, you continue your academic training and technical skills by spending time-on-site and in academic centres and completing a work log of practical tasks.
  • There is the opportunity to extend the apprenticeship to Years Three and Four, where you spend even more time on site.
  • Starting Salary of £18,326

For more information on how to apply, visit their webpage.

Looking for Other Apprenticeship Types?

Explore the links below to find out more.

At Employing an Apprenticeship, we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to equal opportunities. You can explore hundreds of roles available on our Apprenticeship Standards Search Tool.