Tradies cop a lot of negativity. With a lot of schools pushing uni as the only option after Year 12, starting an apprenticeship can somehow seem like the lesser option and students that should be looking at the trade pathway are being pushed away from it.

The truth is though, doing a trade can be a bloody good option for ya if you’re keen on practical learning and want to get qualified. Plus, being paid to learn is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

We asked our mates over at AGA about the things that nobody tells you when starting an apprenticeship. From pay and wages to what industries are available, they’ve got all the answers.

1. Doing an apprenticeship doesn’t make you dumb

One of the worst stereotypes surrounding tradies is about their intelligence.

Just because exams aren’t your thing or you’re keen on practical learning doesn’t make you any less intelligent. A lot of the skills required to complete an apprenticeship are pretty similar to what you need in university- critical thinking, logical thought processes and problem solving. Tradies need to have a wide range of knowledge on a variety of subjects, so the myth that doing an apprenticeship makes you less intelligent is well and truly busted.

2. You can earn some big bucks

Aside from the fact that tradies are paid to complete their training, there’s also a tonne of opportunities to earn big bucks once you’re fully qualified. Plus, the fact that there is a tonne of tradie jobs listed on the National Skills Needs List means you’re not going to be running out of work any time soon.

3. There’s stigma, but it’s starting to break down

Like I said, there is some negative stereotypes surrounding tradies and apprentices. But the good news is, it’s slowly breaking down as more and more people realise how important tradies actually are. Slowly but surely, we’ve seen a shift in how people perceive tradies, and we know that you guys definitely know how valuable their work is.

4. There’s some hard yakka, but it’ll be worth it

The truth is, being a tradie is hard work. It’s not like an office job where you sit at a desk for hours and barely see the light of day. One of the best bits of being a tradie and starting your apprenticeship is your ‘office’ is constantly changing, and you’ll never be chained to one place for too long.

What this does mean though, is you will be putting in some hard yakka. Long days on the tools isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Your shoulders will ache, your hands will blister, and your arms will get burnt but there’s nothing like being able to finish a job and step back and admire your handiwork. The physical labour might be tough, but the satisfaction of getting it done will be worth it, and you’ll be learning a lot of important and valuable skills along the way.

5. There’s massive variety and it’s not hard to get started

Even if you’re not keen on a traditional trade like plumbing or carpentry, there’s still a heap of other options for you. Alongside your more traditional trades like mechanic, sparkie, landscaper or brickie, you’ve also got trades like cook, hairdresser or baker. On top of that, if these options still aren’t doing it for you, you can complete a traineeship. A traineeship will still give you practical, paid learning and you’ll be able to do it in areas like admin, retail or hospo.

It’s not hard to get started. Whether you’re keen on starting an apprenticeship or just want some more information, our mates at AGA can help you out (you just have to be located in Victoria). They have over 30 years’ experience in employing and training apprentices and trainees, so you know you’ll be in good hands.