Apprentices pay income tax in the same way most people do – if you’re earning over £12,500 per year, you’ll have to pay your share.

If you earn more than £166 per week (£8,632 per year), you’ll also have to pay National Insurance contributions, charged at 12% of your income. Welcome to adulthood.

But don’t worry – both are deducted from your earnings before you ever get your hands on the money. So, it’ll never feel like you’re paying anything – just chipping in for the greater good.

Unlike students, you won’t be exempt from council tax – but if you live in a household of only apprentices and trainees, you can get a 50% discount

Joe, degree apprentice at Caterpillar

Support from the uni is really good. We meet up with our mentors once a week to discuss what to focus on, but it’s also a chance to talk about any problems or issues you may be having.

Why don’t apprentices get the same exemptions as students?

Students don’t pay income tax for the simple reason they don’t actually have an income. Instead, they have maintenance loans which need to be paid back in full after they graduate, along with their tuition fees.

If a student were to get a job on the side, they’d pay the same taxes on their earnings as anybody else.

Why do apprentices have to pay tax?

Think about it like this: a significant chunk of your education and training is being paid for by the Government – and guess where that money comes from.

Nobody loves paying taxes. But before you go googling offshore accounts, just think of your contribution funding our emergency services, national defence, culture, sport, education, and the NHS. Doesn’t seem like a bad thing then.  

As an apprentice on a limited salary, funding the cost of living can be a real challenge at first. But when you emerge into the working world debt-free and already on a career path, you might look back and decide it was worth it.

Where can I go for support?

There’s plenty of financial support available to those who need it. For starters, here’s our advice on managing your finances.

As an apprentice, you’ll have a nominated 'go to' person as a mentor, both at work and your place of study. Both can offer all kinds of support, from financial advice to health and wellbeing, whenever you need it.

Degree apprentices also have access to student support services like any other student.

If you can’t fund an apprenticeship on your own, don’t worry. You may be entitled to a range of Government benefits, like Universal Credit, especially if you’re a disabled student, or have children or family care responsibilities.