ATI Accounting Technician Apprenticeship (Level 6)

Please note: some courses may involve remote teaching next year depending on Covid and the instruction from the HSE.

AWARD: QQI Level 6

DURATION: Two Years Full Time

What is the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship?

The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship is a two-year, work-based learning programme which leads to a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Accounting.

Places are awarded via a competitive interview process, where applicants who meet the minimum eligibility criteria (see below) are put forward to participating employers for consideration. If you are successful at interview stage, your new employer will issue you with a two-year contract and you start your apprenticeship in September 2020.

You will work four days a week in an office environment, and study one day a week at Rathmines College of Further Education. You will be paid a salary of at least €19,700 a year, and enjoy fully funded college tuition fees.

You will emerge from the programme with a valuable qualification, which is strengthened by two years of practical work experience in accounting and finance.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for membership of ATI, the leading professional body for Accounting Technicians in Ireland and the provider of the highly sought-after MIATI designation.

What does an Accounting Technician do?

Maintaining a set of accounts is a fundamental element of any business from a sole trader to large multinationals.

An Accounting Technician supports all elements of accounts function, including income and expenditure, balance sheet transactions, statutory returns and payroll requirements.

The Accounting Technician is concerned with bookkeeping, and processes all accounts payable and receivable in order to prepare, or support the preparation of, periodic accounts. They record and monitor income and expenditure including accrued and deferred income.

The Accounting Technician completes regular bank reconciliations and accounts for/completes statutory returns. Regular analysis and reports are undertaken to contribute to producing accounts.

The Accounting Technician produces management accounts and supplies vital financial information as to the running of the Company. They have the ability to do costing and cost controls.

The Accounting Technician prepares company annual budgets and monitors the progress of this throughout the year. They prepare, or assist in the preparation of, company year-end financial statements.

Course Requirements

The minimum eligibility criteria are as follows:

Leaving Cert students and applicants under 23

Leaving Certificate students 2019 and 2020 should have at least 300 CAO points and at least an O5 grade in English and Maths or Accountancy. If you are sitting your Leaving Cert in June 2020, you can apply for the programme with your mock results, but any final offer will be subject to your Leaving Cert results.

For applicants aged under 23 who sat the Leaving Cert in 2015, 2016 or 2017, this is 300 CAO points and a D3 in Ordinary Level English and Maths of Accountants.

If you undertook a PLC course after your Leaving Cert, you are considered a Previous Qualification Holder, and should provide details on your application form. See the Previous Qualification Holder Eligibility Guide below.

The levels listed below refer to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in the Republic of Ireland.

Mature learners (23 and above) with previous qualifications

Mature learners are eligible to apply. Previous qualification holders should provide details of their qualifications during the application process.

Applicants with no previous qualifications

Where an applicant has no (formal) qualification, eligibility will be determined through a series of questions.

Generally this will be done during the ATI telephone interview but it can be done in person where appropriate.

Enhanced Eligibility Criteria

All applicants should bear in mind that individual employers have the discretion to enhance the entrance criteria beyond the minimum academic standards.

Course Modules

Apprentices will work at their employer’s office four days a week, and attend classes at Rathmines College one day a week. They are also given three weeks’ study leave each year. The Diploma for Accounting Technicians is awarded upon successful completion of the programme. Programme modules include:

Financial Accounting
Law and Ethics
Business Management
Advanced Financial Accounting
Advanced Taxation
Integrated Accounting Systems
Management Accounting

Who would this programme suit?

Firstly, you should have a clear motivation to become an Accounting Technician and develop a career in accountancy. It is important to consider why you are interested in the programme, and what is it about accounting that appeals to you as a career path!

To succeed at interview stage, you must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Motivation to learn and achieve.
  • Dedicated class and work attendance.
  • Proficient time management.
  • Reliability when on the job.
  • Professional etiquette.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and use your own initiative.
How does this programme work?

The duration of this programme is two years from the commencement date in September 2020. You should be able to commit to completing the programme syllabus while working in full-time employment over the two years.

You will be attending off-the-job training at college one day and working with an employer four days during college term time (on-the-job training) on a weekly basis. Outside of college term, you will be working five days a week.

Additional home study will be needed to ensure success in the programme.

You are entitled to three weeks’ study leave from your employer each year, and you will be required to sit the ATI exams in May each year.

What skills will Apprentices be taught?

· Bookkeeping and accounting systems

· Accounts preparation

· Conceptual and regulatory frameworks

· How to prepare financial statements

· Business functions and management

· Business ethics, CSR, Law and Corporate Governance

· Tax Administration, Tax Management, Personal Taxation, PAYE, VAT

· Payroll, spreadsheets and budgeting

Registered employers are operating in industry, practice and the public sector. They are offering two-year employment contracts, where Apprentices will be trained ‘on-the-job’, in every aspect of the qualification, and will be closely mentored by a qualified accounting technician or accountant.

Key facts about the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship

The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship is a two-year, work-based programme that enables the participant to earn while they learn.

It is a new route to a career in professional accountancy for those who prefer practical training to a full-time college course.

It also provides new options for employees who wish to work in a finance role.

Apprentices graduate with the Diploma for Accounting Technicians, a nationally and internationally recognised qualification.

Government funding levels for the programme to be confirmed shortly.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before July 1 in the year of entry.

Applicants must have a pass grade in LC English and Maths at Ordinary Level to be considered for the apprenticeship. Leaving Certificate Accountancy is not a requirement.

Apprentices commence with a two-year work contract, with wages paid by the employer. It is at the employer’s discretion to enhance the entry criteria for selection.

Apprentices work at their employer’s office four days a week and attend classes at a local college one day a week.

Apprentices earn the standard industry salary for an incoming trainee Accounting Technician.

Apprentices’ progress is monitored by mentors in both the workplace and the college.

The apprenticeship caters to a growing trend among businesses looking to school-leavers to meet an increase in activity.

Apprentices who successfully complete the programme may be eligible to progress to Chartered Accountants Ireland.

How to Apply?

If you would like to become an Accounting Technician Apprenticeship in September 2020, please visit to read:

  • The full Accounting Technician Occupational Profile
  • The detailed Recruitment Process
  • The full Eligibility Guide and Application Advice

Then complete the Online Application, carefully following the instructions.

ATI will follow up on your application directly.

Introducing the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship

Accounting Technicians Ireland is the leading professional body for Accounting Technicians on the Island of Ireland. With offices in Dublin and Belfast, and strong links with other professional bodies such as Chartered Accountants Ireland, the organisation supplies high-calibre Accounting Technician graduates to industry, practice and the public sector. Many progress to the highest levels in their field.

The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship aims to provide young school-leavers and employees with a fast-track path to a career in accounting, which blends solid work experience with quality academic tuition.

Apprentices graduate as fully qualified Accounting Technicians, with the opportunity to progress to Level 9 studies with Chartered Accountants Ireland after just two years.


‘On-the-job’ training combined with college tuition.

Students ‘earn as they learn’, taking home the full-time industry salary for an incoming trainee Accounting Technician.

Large and small accountancy practices, service firms and industry employers are taking on school leavers as apprentices.

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