TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, the list goes on and on. Chances are you are active on some of these platforms. You may even spend hours collating that killer content to express your opinions and personality.
But did you know you can make a career out of it?
Social media is a massive industry, with almost every business needing a presence on at least a few platforms.
It’s a fast-moving, dynamic world with plenty of opportunities for tech-savvy young people.
It’s also an opportunity to work remotely and can be a good fit for those with mobility issues or neurodivergent candidates.
A social media apprenticeship could be the first step to an exciting and varied career.
What qualities does a social media apprentice need?
Besides being familiar with the latest social media platforms, mechanics and trends, the most important qualities are probably attention-to-detail and creativity.
When managing social media for a company, you must stay on brand at all times and triple-check all content for any errors before you post. Even a small mistake can undermine the brand’s credibility, so attention to detail is essential.
You will also be expected to offer fresh ideas to help push the business forward. You’ll need courage in your convictions and the ability to explain how your ideas will generate buzz and leads.
What are the entry requirements?
To be an eligible candidate for a social media apprenticeship in the UK, you must be 16 or older, not in full-time education, and a resident of the UK.
Other requirements will depend on the company running the apprenticeship, the specific role, and the level of apprenticeship. GCSEs (or equivalent) in Maths and English at grade C or above are usually required. However, there may be an option to complete these qualifications as part of your apprenticeship if you have not already done so.
What does a social media apprenticeship involve?
As with any other apprenticeship, your apprenticeship will be 80% hands-on paid experience, and 20% classroom learning. Depending on the level of the apprenticeship you will work towards a qualification equivalent to GCSEs, A levels or potentially a foundational degree.
Your days will be spent creating and collating content to increase brand awareness and generate leads via social media. You will learn new skills such as writing short and long-form copy, researching current trends, and using analytics to measure success and adjust parameters.
Why should I become a social media apprentice?
There are many benefits to becoming a social media apprentice, including:
- Earning a liveable wage
- On-the-job training
- Learning transferable skills, both practical and interpersonal
- Gaining a nationally recognised qualification
- Building a network of industry contacts
- Varied days
- The chance to show your creativity
- Some apprentices may be offered a full-time job when the apprenticeship ends
- Short duration – particularly valuable in such a fast-moving and ever-changing industry
How much will I earn as a social media apprentice?
Your wage will depend on a couple of factors, including your age, role, and the company you work for. The minimum wage for an apprentice in their first year is £5.28. However, this increases after the first year to £7.49 for those over 18 and £10.18 if you are over 21. Some employers will also offer a higher wage to attract the most promising candidates.
The average wage for a social media manager in the UK is around £31,000. Not bad, especially when you consider that you can often work remotely and devise flexible hours using scheduling technology to meet deadlines and maintain a presence.
How else can I forge a career in social media?
Apprenticeships aren’t for everyone, and that is perfectly fine. Depending on your ultimate goal, you can study social media as a degree at university. However, it is worth noting that over a three-year course, social media platforms will change drastically, with new sites competing in an increasingly crowded market.
Which careers could a social media apprenticeship lead to?
As part of a social media apprenticeship, you will learn transferable skills, including copywriting, data analysis, image selection and manipulation.
Depending on the level and course content, you could work for a digital marketing company or PR agency, become a full-time social media manager for a specific company, or work freelance and take on different clients. You could also branch out into other related areas such as blogging and vlogging, advertising or other forms of digital media.
How do I find a social media apprenticeship near me?
We offer an on-site apprenticeship finder where you can search by keywords and location. You can use similar filters on many job sites which also advertise apprenticeships. If you know a local company that you would like to work for, contact their careers or HR manager to see if they offer a social media apprenticeship and have places available.
You may need to fill in an online application form or write a cover letter to showcase your relevant skills and personality traits.
This is a competitive field and you should be aware that you may need to (temporarily) relocate to get the best apprenticeship with a top company.
For example, global brands such as Benefit Cosmetics run social media apprenticeships in London, and around the world. However, smaller companies across the UK, including local councils, recruitment and law firms also take on social media apprentices.
The BBC offers an advertising and digital marketing apprenticeship that includes social media. The levels typically offered are:
- Level 3/ Advanced (equivalent to A-levels
- Levels 4 and 5/ Higher (equivalent to a foundation degree or above)
- Level 6/ Degree (equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree
These apprenticeships are run at several locations, including London, Greater Manchester (Salford), Glasgow, Cardiff, and Birmingham.
Likewise, Sky and Channel 4 include social media in their respective digital media apprenticeships.
There are specialist social-media apprenticeship programmes in the UK, such as the Juice Academy, based in Manchester.
If you have any questions or just what to talk through your options, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to help you on your way to a new career.
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