These are the highest paying tradie jobs in Australia right now

One in five tradies charge more than $2000 per job, while those in the top-earning trade – plumbers – say they earn more than $100,000, a new study has revealed.
A plumber stands with a took pack next to a kitchen bench featuring a sink
Image: Kurhan (Shutterstock)

Trade services site ServiceSeeking polled tradies to find out how much they earned and how they made that money. The survey of more than 600 tradies found that while 9% of them made more than $200,000 a year, more than 40% made less than $100,000 a year, including around 30% who made between $50,000 and $80,000 a year.

Which tradies get paid the most?

According to ServiceSeeking’s report, the top reported yearly incomes for tradies were:

  1. Plumber, $110,000
  2. Concreter, $107,500
  3. Builder, $103,750
  4. Flooring company tradesperson, $103,125
  5. Carpenter, $102,424
  6. Earthworks contractor, $94,167
  7. Bricklayer, $92,500
  8. Building designer, $91,111
  9. Air conditioning and heating technician, $90,455
  10. Lighting installer, $90,000
  11. Landscaper, $88,750
  12. Renderer, $87,500
  13. Electrician, $85,972
  14. Removalist, $84,167
  15. Plasterer, $82,500
  16. Roofer, $81,364
  17. Painter, $80,946
  18. Exterminator, $78,000
  19. Building inspector, $77,500
  20. Handyman, $73,200

Most tradies (95%) surveyed said they owned their own business (either solo or with business partners), and just 1% were unemployed, with the remaining 4% working for someone else.

When it came to charges, almost half of all tradies surveyed (46.63%) said their average charge for a typical job was under $500, while more than one in five (21.89%) said a typical job cost more than $2,000.

How much do tradies earn compared to the average wage?

The average Australian wage is around $1,635 a week for a full-time worker, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures (May, 2019), which is just over $85,000 for a 52-week year.

While most trades come out above the average Australian wage, six trades surveyed reported below-average earnings. Of these, “building inspectors” and “handyman” said they earned the least, with more than 8% and 13% under the average wage respectively.

Trade Reported earnings per year Difference – reported earnings vs average wage ($) Difference – reported earnings vs average wage (%)
1. Plumbers $110,000.00 $24,990.00 29.40%
2. Concreter $107,500.00 $22,490.00 26.46%
3. Builder $103,750.00 $18,740.00 22.04%
4. Flooring company tradesperson $103,125.00 $18,115.00 21.31%
5. Carpenter $102,424.00 $17,414.00 20.48%
6. Earthworks contractor $94,167.00 $9,157.00 10.77%
7. Bricklayer $92,500.00 $7,490.00 8.81%
8. Building designer $91,111.00 $6,101.00 7.18%
9. Air conditioning and heating technician $90,455.00 $5,445.00 6.41%
10. Lighting installation company tradesperson $90,000.00 $4,990.00 5.87%
11. Landscaper $88,750.00 $3,740.00 4.40%
12. Rendering company tradesperson $87,500.00 $2,490.00 2.93%
13. Electrician $85,972.00 $962.00 1.13%
14. Removalist $84,167.00 -$843.00 -0.99%
15. Plasterer $82,500.00 -$2,510.00 -2.95%
16. Roofer $81,364.00 -$3,646.00 -4.29%
17. Painter $80,946.00 -$4,064.00 -4.78%
18. Exterminator $78,000.00 -$7,010.00 -8.25%
19. Building inspector $77,500.00 -$7,510.00 -8.83%
20. Handyman $73,200.00 -$11,810.00 -13.89%

 

Average tradie wage – all trades $90,246.55 $5,236.55 6.16%
Source: ServiceSeeking, ABS

What trades are the most in-demand in Australia?

Demand for construction trades workers, including bricklayers, carpenters, painters, tilers and plumbers, are expected to increase by more than 9% in the five years to 2024, according to the Australian Government’s Labour Market Information Portal (compiled in May 2019). At the same time, the demand for electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers – which includes jobs such as electricians and air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics – is predicted to rise by 3.2%. At the other end of the scale, jobs in electronic trades, including TV and radio repair work, are predicted to fall by around 5%.

Fastest-growing trade jobs in Australia

Below is the full list of trade jobs from the Labour Market Information Portal, ranked by their expected growth rate over the five years to May 2024:

Trade or job name Projected employment growth to 2024 (%)
Carpenters and Joiners 11.7
Plumbers 9.5
Wall and Floor Tilers 8.8
Painting Trades Workers 8.7
Glaziers 8.3
Floor Finishers 6.2
Bricklayers and Stonemasons 5.8
Plasterers 5.5
Electricians 4.9
Roof Tilers 4.9
Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics 3.5
Telecommunications Trades Workers 2.5
Electrical Distribution Trades Workers 0.1
Electronics Trades Workers -5.0

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