Difference Between Apprentice and Assistant

Vocal training is much more important today than it was a decade ago. Learning any trade doesn’t happen overnight.

It needs observation, experience, and passion to be displayed towards the art, craft, position, or profession that the person desires to understand.

Apprentices and assistants seek to learn and gain knowledge from a more experienced being.

Apprentice vs Assistant

The main difference between apprentice and assistant is that apprentice refers to a person seeking to learn tradecraft from an employer. On the other hand, an assistant is a person who is appointed to help or assist a superior official. Both the jobs offer an opportunity to observe and absorb the happenings and workings of the job.

Apprentice vs Assistant

An apprentice is put under a system that seeks to train a new generation of practitioners who wish to understand the knowledge of a trade or profession with on-the-job training.

This person works under an employer in an apprenticeship that permits the individual to understand the functioning of the field.

An assistant refers to an individual hired to help a superior official. This person is given an explanation of his job role, scope, and expectations upon recruitment.

An assistant is a term given to someone’s job title to display that their job is under the level of a higher official or a senior person. They are tasked with completing the jobs assigned to the person by their person-in-charge.

Comparison Table Between Apprentice and Assistant

Parameters of ComparisonApprenticeAssistant
DefinitionAn apprentice is trained to understand the professional context of his field.An assistant is hired to help the superior official by providing the desired assistance.
DurationApprenticeship lasts for more than a year, at the least. An assistant is hired according to the company policy.
TrainingAn apprentice is exposed to hands-on training.An assistant received no such training; they are free to observe and learn on their own.
Job OpportunityAn apprentice is mostly self-employed.An assistant is hired in an official or business organization.
PayscaleAn apprentice is paid comparatively lower during his apprenticeship period.An assistant’s pay scale depends on his superior’s position.

What is an Apprentice?

An apprentice is a term given to an individual currently undergoing an apprenticeship program. This person is specifically trained to become skillful in a specific field or profession.

This individual is acquainted with a skilled person willing to teach them about the professions and the intricacies that come with it. Apprentices are concentrated in those professions that require a skill-based approach and work.

An apprenticeship includes both classroom learning and a hands-on approach in a working environment. This person is intimately acquainted with their employers, who essentially teach them the trade. 

An apprentice is often compared to an intern or an assistant; however, major differences exist between the three titles.

Apprentices can be considered working individuals who receive specialized training in their fields. They offer payment to the apprentices that is gained along with the skills and experiences that an apprenticeship offers.

This on-the-job training offers an opportunity for a close mentorship that allows the person to gain specific and vast learning.

On top of the job training, apprentices also receive credentials, mentorship, and skill training. This is a full-time job that falls under the model of learning while earning.   

Examples are trade apprentices, graduate apprentices, technician apprentices, vocational apprentices, and optional trade apprentices.

What is an Assistant?

The term assistant reminds people of the helpful subordinate who caters to the boss’s demands and has an endless supply of caffeine at their disposal.

However, the assistant is a term used to refer to people who are hired to assist and help their superiors and the organization run smoothly and efficiently.

They form the base of the organization, managing the office and the superior’s professional role in it. Assistants are often considered invaluable additions to the workspace who take care of the day-to-day function. 

The role of an assistant involves several activities; they are tasked with attending calls, scheduling meetings, managing the atmosphere of the workspace, assisting their superiors, checking in emails, memos, and other important reminders.

There are various different types of assistants, making the required skill set for an assistant quite different in each scenario.

They typically help a higher-ranking senior, tending to the individual’s role in the organization by gathering supplies, checking in their meetings, handling their correspondence, and other menial tasks which aid their superior.

However, a personal assistant assigned to an individual rather than a business entity can also be entailed to complete personal chores. This could include house sitting, dry-cleaning, vacation sitting, and other personal errands.

Main Differences Between Apprentice and Assistant

  1. An apprentice is individual training for a profession or craft. An assistant is hired to help his superiors.
  2. An apprentice undergoes an apprenticeship under a mentor. An assistant works under his boss and receives no training.
  3. An apprentice trains for no stipulated period. An assistant is hired concerning the company’s policies.
  4. While an apprentice is self-employed in most cases, an assistant is either hired by an employer or a business entity.
  5. The pay scale of an apprentice during his apprenticeship is generally lower than that of an assistant. However, this may vary depending on their respective fields.


Apprentice and assistants are similar sounding words that are often confused.

While an apprentice is an individual seeking to learn and train under an experienced mentor who can guide them into the field of their choice, an assistant is a qualified individual hired to help a business entity of an individual.

Both apprentices and assistants can observe and learn. However, the major function of an assistant is to help rather than gain knowledge.

These terms should not be used interchangeably due to their varied meanings and intended usage. Looking into the type of job that an individual undertakes can help people differentiate the terms and use them appropriately.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=U5uOAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA14&dq=apprentice&ots=KNARAxjrj3&sig=0rAMSqJTZEYXcbDRPyHEHEbUFiU
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=abukd8bDhKIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA53&dq=apprentice&ots=GYIbxQ84Ep&sig=279besBkrBJvtLFwM07FpC0B-zs
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