NHS apprenticeships are available at four levels:
- Intermediate apprenticeships - equivalent to GCSEs or other level 2 qualifications
- Advanced apprenticeship - equivalent to A-levels or other level 3 qualifications
- Higher apprenticeships - equivalent to a foundation degree and above
- Degree apprenticeships - equivalent to a full bachelor’s or Master’s degree
Entry requirements will depend on the employer and the type and level of apprenticeship.
For example, you may need four or five GCSEs at grades 9-4/A-C or equivalent to do an Advanced Level Apprenticeship. To start a higher apprenticeship you're likely to need A-levels, equivalent level 3 qualifications or relevant and sufficient experience.
Types of apprenticeships
With more than 350 different NHS careers, there are hundreds of different jobs which can be done through an apprenticeship. Here are just a few:
- Allied Health Profession Support (Advanced Level)
- Apprentice ambulance practitioner (level 4)
- Care, Leadership and Management (level 5 Higher Apprenticeship)
- Dental Nursing (Advanced Level)
- Informatics (Intermediate and Advanced Level)
- Health and Social Care (Intermediate and Advanced Level)
- Healthcare science assistant (Intermediate - level 2)
- Maternity and Paediatric Support (Advanced Level)
- Nursing degree apprenticeships
- Operating department practice degree apprenticeship
- Pharmacy services assistant (level 2)
- Podiatry degree apprenticeship
See our handy PDF for examples of the types of available apprenticeships in health. And look out for the 'A' icon when exploring the various roles on this website to see which ones can be entered through an apprenticeship.
After completing an apprenticeship, you may be offered a permanent job.
"As an apprentice and a student paramedic, no two days are the same. Every day is varied and poses different challenges."
Katie is a student paramedic at North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. Read her story.
Applying for an NHS apprenticeship
There has never been a better time to start an NHS apprenticeship but often there's a lot of competition for a place. This means your application and interview are crucial. Some things to think about:
- show that you are committed
- make sure you are aware of your responsibilities
- demonstrate that you are able to cope with work and study
- take a look at the range of healthcare apprenticeship career routes on the Skills for Health website
You can find NHS apprenticeship vacancies on the NHS Jobs website. A taste of some of the current vacancies below.
So what happens after finishing an apprenticeship?
- you may be offered a permanent job. Most successful apprentices stay in employment, often with the same employer. It's always a good idea to check whether you'll be offered a job at the end of your programme
- you could continue your studies through an apprentieship at higher level or you may have the qualifications you need to go to university.