Finance Apprenticeships

So you're finishing your studies, weighing up your options and thinking about that all-important next step. You know you like Maths and have a knack for numbers, but aren't sure where to go from there. Well... finance could be calling your name.

Finance Apprenticeships

So you're finishing your studies, weighing up your options and thinking about that all-important next step. You know you like Maths and have a knack for numbers, but aren't sure where to go from there. Well... finance could be calling your name.

All companies need someone to look after their finances. So there are tons of opportunities if you want to break into this sector. Fancy yourself as a financial advisor, helping clients choose the right investments, pensions and mortgages? You could join the Financial Advisory group at Deloitte and teach people how to manage their money through strategic planning.

Or become a shares expert by training as a stockbroker. You'll manage clients' investments by trading stocks on their behalf, getting them the very best deals. How cool is that?

If this sounds right up your street, read our guide to finance apprenticeships to learn how they work and why you should do one.

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Can you get an apprenticeship in finance?

Yes you can. In fact, a finance apprenticeship will get you on the career ladder quicker. As a constantly evolving industry, the finance sector is an excellent field to work in due to all the possibilities it can open up for you. Did you know that 85% of apprentices stay in employment and 64% of these continue working for the same employer?

Working in finance involves:

  • Investing a company's or individual's money

  • Figuring out the best way for them to manage it

  • Running in-depth financial reports

  • Preparing concise monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial budgets.

The good thing about finance is you can specialise. Smaller firms tend to specialise in a specific sector like property, law, insurance, tech and even marine. While larger ones focus on commercial and investment banking.

Here is a list of the different areas within finance...

Banks Institutions Public Accounting Corporates
Equity Research Private Equity Due Diligence Treasury
Sales & Trade Research Valuations Financial Planning & Analysts
Investment Banking Portfolio Management Transaction Advisory Corporate Development

How do finance apprenticeships work?

Finance apprenticeships allow you to combine work and study. You'll get practical experience within an experienced team whilst also studying towards industry recognised qualifications on the side.

The exact structure of your apprenticeship will depend on your level. However, doing one will get your foot in the door of a highly rewarding industry and improve your career prospects immensely.

Hear what one apprentice thought about their time at M&G.

"My programme is very well organised and structured. When I joined I had a very informative induction and understood what sort of tasks/projects I would be involved in. I have a day a week to study and I have regular catch ups with my manager. I also have monthly catch ups with my training provider to make sure I am on track with my studies/exams." (Actuarial Assistant Apprentice, M&G)


Apprenticeship levels

Finance apprenticeships come in four levels:

Each level has its own entry requirements. Learn more about them below...

Level 2 finance apprenticeships

If you want to kick-start your career straight out of school, a level 2 finance apprenticeship is the way to go. Level 2 apprenticeships are the first step on the apprenticeship ladder. They're great if you have two or more GCSEs graded 9 to 4 (A* to C).

If you don't have any qualifications, don't panic. You can always do a traineeship or get work experience to qualify for a level 2 apprenticeship. As a finance apprentice, you can work as a mortgage administrator, supporting mortgage advisors with their paperwork. Or join a charity or local council and work in their finance department.

Level 2 apprenticeships usually take 18 months to complete. Once you've finished your programme, you'll gain a:

  • CII certificate in Financial Services OR

  • Level 2 diploma in Business Administration

You can then apply for a level 3 apprenticeship or head straight into full-time employment.

"I am really enjoying my apprenticeship so far! Coming into the business with no experience in the finance sector was daunting, but the amount of support available from managers and team members has really helped me settle in and develop quickly. This apprenticeship is giving me experience and it's definitely more fun learning on-the-job than sitting in a classroom every day." (Level 2 Finance Apprentice, Cummins)


Level 3 finance apprenticeships

Level 3 finance apprenticeships are the ideal next step after completing your GCSEs or a level 2 apprenticeship. They allow you to take everything you've learned at intermediate level and develop your skill set in a particular area - all while gaining industry recognised qualifications equivalent to two A-Levels.

If you don't have GCSEs in English, Maths or IT, you may have to take an Essential Skills test. But this depends on your employer so always double check the application.

Level 3 finance apprenticeships take 2 - 4 years to complete. They teach you how financial institutions work and what it takes to become a leader in the financial services sector. After completing your programme, you can progress onto a level 4 apprenticeship or find a permanent role with a new or existing employer.

"The programme offers the perfect balance of learning and working. When I learn technical concepts in college, I often find myself being able to relate them back to the work I do. The programme focuses on not only developing my technical skills but also softer skills." (Level 3 Finance Apprentice at TUI UK & Ireland)


Level 4/5 finance apprenticeships

Level 4/5 apprenticeships are way harder than their younger sibling - the level 3s. As a level 4 apprentice, you'll have more responsibilities. You'll work with stakeholders and make important business decisions that'll affect the company and its direction of travel. All the grown-up stuff, really..

To qualify for a level 4 apprenticeship, you'll need to have completed a level 3 apprenticeship, hold a level 3 NVQ/SVQ qualification and have two passes at A-Level.

Your programme can take between 1 - 4 years to complete. Once you've finished, you can hop onto a degree apprenticeship and earn a degree debt-free.


Finance degree apprenticeships

If you've always wanted to earn a university degree, but hate the idea of graduating with thousands of pounds of student loan debt, you'll love a degree apprenticeship in finance.

A degree apprenticeship does what it says on the tin. It allows you to receive on-the-job training and a university degree at the same time. As a degree apprentice, you'll work on month ends and help the procurement team on projects. You'll prepare contracts and negotiate costs with vendors.

Better yet, you'll get paid a full-time salary AND save thousands on tuition fees as they'll be covered by your employer.

"I thoroughly enjoy this apprenticeship. Everyone is very understanding of studying whilst working full-time and I have the most supportive team. The work I am given is varied and interesting, and I have been able to dictate the work based on my interests and where I wish to develop on the apprenticeship." (Finance and Commerical Degree Apprentice, Siemens Healthineers)


What apprenticeships are there in finance?

The financial sector is one of the UK's leading employers. Large, international companies exist in this sector, and there are apprenticeships available at tons of these organisations.

Below are some apprenticeships that you'll find in the financial services sector:

  • Account Assistant

  • Credit Controller

  • Financial Services Administrator

  • Debt Collection Specialist

  • Taxation Technician

  • Paralegal

  • Insurance Professional

  • Financial Adviser

  • Mortgage Adviser

There are hundreds of apprenticeships to choose from...

Our Best Student Employers table will help you pick the right one. Here you'll find the best employers in the finance industry. It's based on thousands of reviews written by apprentices who have been in your shoes. So if you're looking for a company with a warm and friendly culture. Or one that prioritises values like diversity and inclusion, check it out.

Need a helping hand? We've picked the best employers for finance apprenticeships below...

Best Finance Employers.

Want to find out more about what it's really like to do a finance apprenticeship? Have a read of over 40,000 student-written reviews.


Do banks do apprenticeships?

If you want to work in the financial sector, one of the best ways to do this is through a banking apprenticeship.

Each bank has its own apprenticeship programme. You could join the Corporate & Commercial Banking team and learn how to build successful businesses for clients. Or move into Financial Crime and work with cyber security or fraud protection professionals on their digital strategies.

If you're serious about a career in banking, check out these apprenticeships...

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds offer customer service apprenticeships in commercial banking. As an apprentice, you'll serve customers within the branch, improve your communication skills and feel part of the team from day one.

"I have definitely developed my customer service skills. I already had quite a high level of customer service experience, but this job has provided lots of training to help me take those skills to another level. I have also learnt things specific to banks themselves, both through the induction training, training provided in the branch and the apprenticeship scheme." (Customer Service Assistant, Lloyds Banking Group)


With over 140 million customers, Santander is one of the world's leading financial services groups. It offers apprenticeships for school leavers with GCSEs as well as degree-level students.

If you're into cyber security and fraud protection, you could become a Financial Crime Analyst and keep tabs on customers' identities to make sure they match. True crime stuff.

"Those who work in financial crime will have an ICA certificate. Throughout the apprenticeship, you will have assessments and an exam for the qualification. This will provide you with the vital knowledge required for your job." (Financial Crime Analyst, Santander)


The official bank of the Premier League (!), Barclays offers apprenticeships at two levels:

  • Foundation

  • Higher

Want to combine finance and tech? If so, give their Software Engineering apprenticeship a go. You'll run back-end applications and use technical coding like COBOL, JCL, Db2, Rexx, and SQL to improve the customer experience.

"My qualification has given me technical skills that have helped my role within the workplace, particularly in coding, with units specifically tailored towards my role. The qualification has also given me business skills including report writing, project management, communication and time management." (Software Engineer, Barclays)


NatWest offers apprenticeships in lots of departments like:

  • Customer services

  • Relationship management

  • Digital and technology

You could become a DUX apprentice and work on the website's landing page to improve the user experience. Or get into Business Administration and learn how to manage stakeholders effectively.

"I think NatWest is a place that embraces people from different backgrounds and allows them to grow and thrive in whatever area they want." (Assistant Relationship Manager, NatWest)

What banks do finance degree apprenticeships?

The big ones, that's for sure!

If you've been strolling around Canary Wharf, gazing up at skyscrapers like Barclays, Santander and J.P Morgan and wishing you were basking in their offices, earning the big bucks, now is your chance.

Want to do an investment banking apprenticeship at J.P. Morgan? Watch this video.

What do you need for a finance apprenticeship?

Finance recruiters won't expect you to know everything, but they will test you to make sure you've got the right skills for the job.

You don't need years of work experience under your belt. But if you can weave these skills into your CV - and mention any transferable skills you've picked up from school clubs or volunteering - it'll go a long way.

Here's what employers look for when hiring school leaver candidates.


You'll need to learn things quickly. There's lots to soak up in finance. So employers will look at your school grades to measure your intellect.


You'll need a B/6 in GCSE Maths, though some employers will take you on with a C/5 grade.

As part of your application, you might have to sit a numerical reasoning test. So make sure you do some practice tests online - many of them are free.

Learn how to pass a psychometric test →


Passion goes a long way. So if you're genuinely interested in finance, your enthusiasm will shine through and recruiters will pick up on it.

Want to go further? Show your knowledge of a particular sector like accountancy or retail banking. Recruiters go nuts for candidates who want more than just a well-paid job.


Apprenticeships in finance can last anything from 2-5 years. Dedication is key if you want to make it to the very end.


As a finance apprentice, you'll spend a lot of time with clients. So being able to understand and collaborate with them is essential.

While some companies will ask you for customer service experience, others won't. In any case, you'll need excellent people skills to do your job. So weave in any examples of customer service experience you have into your application. It could be those waitering shifts you did at the local rugby club or working at a store on the weekends.


Once you've completed your apprenticeship, many companies will offer you a team leader or managerial role. So employers usually hire candidates who show leadership potential.

Perhaps you run a school club or made a short film and managed the production? Definitely mention it.

Organisational skills and time management

Working in finance means juggling a demanding workload. So you'll need to be organised to make sure you're hitting all your deadlines. Are you someone who gets their essays and coursework done on time? Or good at sticking to revision timetables so you're prepared for exams when they come around? Bring these up in your application.

How much do finance apprenticeships pay?

One of the great things about apprenticeships is... pay-day! Know what that means? It's time to let your hair down and treat yourself to something nice. By working in finance, you could very quickly make a six-figure salary and be in a position to invest your own money and make impressive returns in property, cryptos, or NFTs...? The options are endless!

Any ideas what you'd spend your hard-earned cash on?

As a finance apprentice you'll be paid for:

  • Your normal working hours

  • Any training that's part of your apprenticeship

  • Extra courses you might take during your programme (Maths and English).

While your salary depends on your level, you'll still get paid the National Minimum Wage. If you work for Barclays, say, you can expect to earn between £18,386 - £27,372 per year.


Finance apprenticeships in London

London is one the financial capitals of the world - the hub for business, so to speak. Ever heard people talk about the City? That's where the Stock Exchange is. And the Bank of England too!

If you do an apprenticeship in finance, you'll most likely work in the City. Santander, Barclays, NatWest and Nationwide all have offices there. So there'll be lots of time to explore the area.

Did you know that EY offers apprenticeships in the City? As an apprentice, you'll work on real projects, make an impact on the business AND receive training throughout your programme too.

Oh, and if you work really hard, you might be offered a permanent role in the company.

How's that sound?


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