Advanced Apprenticeships in Accounting

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 If we told you that could get work experience in an accounting firm, while gaining great qualifications, and get paid, you would probably say –

‘Wow, these RateMyApprenticeship guys have lost their minds!’

We haven’t. Advanced apprenticeships in accounting are a great opportunity for you to get into the accountancy industry. If you’re interested in a career in accounting, an advanced apprenticeship is the best path to take when you leave school.

Read on for our guide to advanced apprenticeships in accounting. We will explain how advanced apprenticeships work, how to find the best schemes, the entry requirements and the qualifications that you could gain.

If you’re after a more in-depth overview of advanced apprenticeships, check out our Guide to Advanced Apprenticeships.

What is an advanced apprenticeship in accounting?

Advanced apprenticeships in accounting are schemes which have been designed for school leavers aged 16 or above. They are an alternative next-step for students who have finished their GCSEs. If you are considering a career in accounting, and you aren’t crazy about the idea of staying in full-time education, an advanced apprenticeship is the option for you. Advanced apprenticeships are the third-level of the modern apprenticeship. Apprentices work in an industry – in this case, an accounting firm – and work towards nationally certified qualifications. Advanced apprenticeships in accounting combine on-the-job training with academic study. These schemes are an opportunity for you to gain accounting qualifications, develop professional skills, and get a taste of what it’s like to work in the accounting industry. Just in case you were wondering, there are no course fees to pay for an advanced accounting apprenticeship. If you are aged 16-18, the government will fully fund your apprenticeship; those aged 19 or above will be part-funded by the government, with the rest being covered by their employer. (There’s more good news on the way). Advanced apprentices are paid a wage for the duration of their programme. This is one of the main benefits of advanced apprenticeships in accounting – candidates earn while they learn.
In 2015/16, there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in England, 9,500 more than the previous year. (House of Commons Library)

How do advanced apprenticeships in accounting work?

If you do an advanced apprenticeship in accounting, you will divide your time between working in the accountancy sector, and studying at a college or training centre. The structure of a scheme will depend on the accounting firm you work for. Some advanced apprentices will work with their employer for four days in a week, and then spend one day at college. Other schemes are organised so that apprentices work with their employer for consecutive weeks or months, to then be released for extended study periods at college. It is crucial to point out, advanced apprentices spend the majority of their time in the workplace. An advanced apprenticeship is a full-time job – all apprentices are expected to work for at least thirty hours a week. If you prefer to learn through practical work, rather than sitting in a classroom, an advanced apprenticeship is tailor-made for you. Schemes such as this last anywhere between 12-18 months.

In this short video, a school leaver explains why she chose the apprenticeship route to pursue a career in accountancy

What qualifications will I get?

On top of great work experience and a great salary, advanced apprentices gain great qualifications. These include…
  • Level 3 Competence Qualification
  • knowledge based qualification (possibly an accounting related BTEC)
As an advanced accounting apprentice, you might also have the opportunity to work towards professional accounting qualifications, such as AAT (Diploma in Accounting), or ACCA (Diploma in Accounting and Business). For a detailed overview of the different accountancy qualifications available to school leavers, check out our Industry Guide for Accounting

Entry Requirements

Employer’s generally look for candidates who have completed a relevant intermediate apprenticeship, or who have 5 GCSEs (A*-C). The entry requirements for different schemes can vary from employer to employer, so it’s a good idea to check the information given in vacancies.

Advanced apprenticeships in accounting: Reviews

RateMyApprenticeship has over 2,500 reviews of advanced apprenticeships, from schemes located across the UK. The reviews are written by former apprentices, or apprentices who are yet to complete their scheme. Each review delves into the programme content, programme structure, the support received from employers, and the opportunities available outside of work. If you are considering applying for an advanced apprenticeship in accounting, our reviews can provide valuable information about a specific scheme or company. The reviews can offer you insight into what it is like to be an advanced apprentice at an accounting firm. To access our reviews page, which includes reviews of  advanced apprenticeships with PwC, Deloitte and Grant Thornton, click here.

Should I do an advanced apprenticeship in accounting?

Yes. Absolutely yes! An advanced apprenticeship in accounting is a fantastic opportunity for school leaver interested in an accountancy career. Here’s why…
  1. An advanced apprenticeship is an opportunity to work for some of the UK’s biggest accounting firms, and in particular, a chance to work alongside highly experienced professionals from the industry.
  2. All advanced apprentices are paid a wage for the duration of their apprenticeship, and avoid paying tuition fees. While it it may not be wise to choose a school leaver scheme simply for its financial benefits, it is also important to remember that a university degree is not a prerequisite for a career in accountancy. An apprenticeship is a well-defined path to becoming a fully-qualified accountant, without the financial burdens of a degree.
  3. Advanced apprentices work towards qualifications which are widely recognised and respected in the accountancy sector.
  4. The combination of practical and academic training is great preparation for working in the accounting sector. Apprentices are work-ready, and are highly employable in the eyes of employers,

Advanced apprenticeships in accounting are a fantastic option for any school leaver interested in an accountancy career. The link below will bring you to our jobs page… your future is but a click away. View jobs → For more advice accounting careers and job opportunities delivered straight to your inbox, join RateMyApprenticeship. It’s free! Register here →