What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?

The U.S. Department of Labor does not have an official definition of internship or externship. However, generally speaking, differences between internships and apprenticeships include:

1)   Length of Time: Internships are usually short term (1-3 months) and apprenticeships are longer term (1-3 years).

2)      Structure:

a.     Apprenticeships include a structured training plan, with a focus on mastering specific skills an employer needs to fill an occupation within their organization.

b.     Internships aren’t structured and often focus on entry-level general work experience.

3)    Mentorship: Apprentices receive individualized training with an experienced mentor who walks them through their entire process. Internships do not always include mentorship.

4)    Pay: Apprenticeships are paid experiences that often lead to full-time employment. Internships are often unpaid and may not lead to a full-time job.

5)    Credential: Apprenticeships lead to an industry-recognized credential. Internships typically do not lead to a credential.

6)    College Credit: Internship and apprenticeship experiences may both lead to college credit, although some apprenticeship programs will lead to a debt-free college degree.