TRADE WAY TO HIGH PAY
Follow the money into a trade. Melanie Burgess reports
TRADIE salaries have increased by as much as 27 per cent in the past five years as skill gaps widen in high-demand fields.
An analysis of SEEK job advertisements reveals the average salary for carpenter and joiner roles is now $68,296 – 27.4 per cent higher than in 2013.
Other trades averaging significantly higher salaries are chefs, up 13.9 per cent ($61,204), horticultural trades workers, up 13.6 per cent ($56,083), plumbers, up 12.5 per cent ($68,655), glaziers, plasterers and tilers, up 8.7 per cent ($65,056), and motor mechanics, up 5.1 per cent ($63,130). Average five-year growth for the industry was 2.6 per cent.
Adrian Fadini, coach at tradie business community Tradiematepro and former plumber, says many tradespeople further increase their pay packets by combining their practical skills with business know-how.
“Years ago, people went into trades because they didn’t do well at school and needed an apprenticeship but now it’s becoming the career for wealth, security and lifestyle,” he says. “Tradies can earn more than doctors and accountants, with many able to launch their own business, join the lucrative speaking circuit, coach other businesses or walk into operations and management roles.
“There is a stigma in trades, with a lot of the issues coming from parents. The education system is geared towards academic students, which is not for everyone. People can be highly intelligent and not academic.”
Fadini says there is a national shortage of trained workers right across the building industry so it is a good time to start on a vocational career path.
“There has literally never been a better time to enter into the trades,” he says. “Australia is screaming for electricians, plumbers, roofers and everything in between. These are not fallback jobs, these are viable career paths.”
SEEK job ad data for June also reveals increased demand for trades and services workers, with the number of new job listings up 12 per cent year on year.
Overall, job ads increased 8.3 per cent in the year to June.