Discover how a marketing apprenticeship can give you the qualifications and experience you need to excel in your career

Marketing companies are required to keep up to date with the latest technology and trends in order to deliver the best possible service to their clients. The rapid growth of social media and the online world means that digital skills are in higher demand than ever.

In addition to this, with increasing tuition fees and a highly competitive graduate jobs market many are looking for more practical alternatives to the traditional degree pathway.

Marketing apprenticeships provide a solution to this. By becoming a marketing apprentice, you'll be given the most relevant, up-to-date training and have the opportunity to apply it to the working world as you learn. What's more, you'll be paid a wage while you study, gain valuable experience and build contacts within the industry through your employers.

What marketing apprenticeships are available?

You'll find marketing apprenticeships offered in a number of areas, such as:

  • digital marketing
  • social media
  • public relations (PR).

On GOV.UK, they're listed as sales, marketing and procurement apprenticeships.

Marketing apprenticeships are offered at a number of levels:

  • intermediate (level 2 - equivalent to 5 GCSEs, A*-C grade)
  • advanced (level 3 - equivalent to 2 A-levels)
  • higher (levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 - equivalent to a foundation degree and above)
  • degree (levels 6 and 7 - equivalent to a Bachelors or Masters degree).

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the industry's Ofqual-regulated professional body, approved by the European Marketing Confederation. By finding an apprenticeship which offers a CIM-accredited qualification, you can ensure that you'll be gaining the latest, most informed teaching and insight. Find out more at CIM - Qualifications.

Which companies offer apprenticeships?

As a strong marketing department is crucial to the success of most businesses, you'll find marketing apprenticeships across a range of sectors and locations. Well-known names offering marketing apprenticeships include:

  • BT
  • ITV
  • Microsoft
  • Sky
  • Vodafone.

You'll also find marketing apprenticeships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and marketing agencies, which provide marketing services for other companies.

Visit GOV.UK - Find an apprenticeship to see what apprenticeships are available, or the Digital Agency Network to find marketing agencies in your area.

What do marketing apprenticeships involve?

Your specific tasks will vary depending on the company you work for and your role - however, marketing apprenticeships typically take up to two years to complete and are delivered in blended learning format, combining classroom learning and on-the-job experience.

Rapid developments in technology mean the majority of the skills you'll acquire and tasks you'll carry out are likely to focus on digital marketing, to keep up with current demand for easily accessible content. Your marketing apprenticeship, at any level, may involve:

  • market research - collecting and analysing data, using tools such as Google AdWords and Analytics
  • technical search engine optimisation (SEO) training
  • developing communications with clients and customers through a range of channels, including email, press, radio and TV
  • utilising social media from a business perspective
  • planning and budgeting for campaigns.

You'll typically be assessed in the workplace, having built up a portfolio of evidence of the knowledge you've gained throughout the apprenticeship.

Who are apprenticeships aimed at?

Apprenticeships are traditionally aimed at school leavers, and are an increasingly viable alternative to university, particularly with the introduction of degree apprenticeships. The level of each apprenticeship will determine who can apply.

Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships at Level 2 and 3 are for those leaving school with GCSEs. You'll usually need good grades in English and maths.

Higher and degree apprenticeships at Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 are geared towards those with A-levels or those who have already completed an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.

In many cases, successful completion of an apprenticeship will lead to a permanent job offer with the same company, although this is not guaranteed - always check with your employer.

How much will I be paid?

All apprentices are paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which currently stands at £3.90 per hour for apprentices under 19, and those aged over 19 who are in their first year.

If you are over 19 and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship you must be paid the minimum wage rate for your age. To check that you're being paid enough see the National Minimum Wage Living Wage calculator for workers.

As an apprentice you'll be paid for your normal working hours, as well as for any training that is part of your scheme. You're entitled to 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays. Salaries are determined by individual employers.

To find out more, see what is an apprenticeship?.

How do I become a marketing apprentice?

You apply for an apprenticeship as you would any other job. Make sure you research the organisation thoroughly and are aware of what the apprenticeship involves. Make sure that you tailor your application to each role.

Applications are normally made online through an application form, but check with the employer as methods can vary. You'll need to use relevant examples in your application. For example you may need to demonstrate your copywriting skills for a marketing apprenticeship.

Certain organisations may ask you to sit situational judgement, numerical and psychometric tests as well as participate in an assessment centre as part of their recruitment process.

A lot of schemes are advertised early in the year (January to April) with a view to start in September of the same year. However, apprenticeships are available all year round so keep an eye out for vacancies that suit you.

Learn more about how to apply for an apprenticeship.

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