AI Apprenticeships (How to get started)

Ai is everywhere and we interact with it every day. Take YouTube for example.

See the ‘Suggestions for you’ section? That’s powered by an AI algorithm that can customize suggestions for you based on all the data gathered from the previous videos you’ve watched. TikTok uses a similar algorithm.

That’s an example of how AI positively impacts our daily lives – and here’s how you can get involved with an AI apprenticeship.

Jobs in AI

AI engineer

AI engineers are responsible for developing new applications and systems that use AI to become more efficient and smarter. Essentially, you’ll be a master problem-solver: find a process and make it better using AI.

AI researcher

The AI industry is innovating and evolving every single day, and it’s all thanks to AI researchers. As an AI researcher, you’ll use and create the mathematical models and techniques that form the foundation of AI algorithms to make AI smarter and more useful.

Machine learning engineer

Machine learning (also called ML) is kind of like a subcategory of AI. ML engineers use loads of data to build AI systems capable of learning and predicting things. This role involves technical skills like statistical analysis, computer programming and data science.

Data scientist

Before you can build an AI model, you need tonnes of data. Data scientists are responsible for gathering and analysing this data using techniques like data mining and statistical tools. You’ll work closely with AI and ML teams to develop new algorithms and fine-tune them if they’re not working correctly. Looking for data scientist apprenticeships? Read our ultimate guide next.

Robotics engineer

AI acts like a robot’s brain, so the two disciplines go hand in hand. Robotics engineers train AI algorithms and software, which then control a robot without needing a (human) helping hand. You’ll also work on building robotics hardware and conducting research to improve it.

Apprenticeships in AI

You can earn a Level 7 apprenticeship (equivalent to a master’s degree) by applying for a government apprenticeship. This programme lasts for 24 months, and you’ll earn £17,000 while learning how to analyse data, advise clients on AI and design algorithms.


Apprenticeship provider QA has an Artificial Intelligence Data Specialist Higher Apprenticeship. You’ll qualify with a master’s degree qualification, and the course takes fifteen months. Courses start in January, April, July and October every year, so take a look now to secure your place.


AstraZeneca is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Join the company for the four-year Data Science Apprenticeship, and you’ll learn how to use data ethically and combine it with AI and ML approaches to discover new medicines. This course has two huge benefits: you’ll earn a data science degree at the end and work with some of the best minds in the business.


Apply at the BBC to earn a Level 6 Data Science Degree Apprenticeship over 36 months. You’ll learn about predictive modelling using ML and AI, the foundations of data engineering and how to use big data tools. Most of the positions are based in Birmingham and London.

Health Data Research UK

Health Data Research UK is a national institute for health data science research. HDR UK has a partnership with education company Cambridge Spark. Together, they offer a Level 7 AI and Data Science Apprenticeship that enables you to earn an MSc while working with an employer of your choice.

Entry requirements

Don’t panic if the words ‘databases’, predictive modelling’ and ‘programming skills’ make you feel a bit scared. The point of an apprenticeship is to learn, so you won’t be expected to have a long checklist of skills before you begin.

For most AI and data science apprenticeships, you’ll need to get BCC or above at A Level (or the BTEC equivalent). Computer science and maths are two of the most important fields in AI, so make sure you concentrate extra hard on these subjects (if you aren’t already!).

Employers expect you to demonstrate exceptional problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. When you write your application, think about specific examples of when you demonstrated these skills in real life as well as at school.

Extra tips

The hardest part about starting your career in AI is understanding what it actually is. Here’s a handy guide to help you grasp the basics:

  • Artificial intelligence: A broad term to describe systems that mimic human functions like problem-solving.
  • Machine learning: Creates algorithms that machines use to complete tasks.
  • Data science: Algorithms and models are trained on data. Data science is the study of analysing data to identify patterns and learn things.
  • Algorithms: A set of instructions that tells the machine or computer how to learn and make decisions on its own.
  • Models: A fancy word for an ‘AI program’ that uses mathematical formulas to predict future events.

AI is the future – what will you do?

The booming popularity of ChatGPT is just one example of how AI can change our daily lives for the better. Despite all this innovation, the AI industry is still really new, and it needs smart minds like yours to drive it forward.

Check out apprenticeships in data science and IT for similar opportunities.

Relax. We’ll send the jobs to you.

Reckon you know what you want to do, but can’t find the perfect role? Most companies hire their apprentices in a ‘recruitment window’. This means many great jobs are only available for a short time once or twice each year.

Sign up for our job alerts service, and we’ll send you any jobs that fit your search criteria.