A list of Australia’s highest-earning tradespeople has revealed who wields the golden tools.
The “2016 Tradie Rich List”, released by online quote service directory ServiceSeeker.com.au, calculated that “highly-skilled” tradespeople who did “dangerous” work would be the best paid for their labour.
The list was interesting reading for those planning home improvement projects. High house prices had led to increased proprietor confidence and thus a willingness to spend on property work, the research found.
Electricians and plumbers earned the most cash per hour for their services, while Western Australia and New South Wales were the two most expensive states to hire a tradie.
Factors affecting the cost of tradespeople ranged from pressures put on the labour market by expensive house prices, to the mining boom and even qualifications needed to work in certain roles.
ServiceSeeker.com.au CEO Jeremy Levitt told The New Daily there were clear reasons for plumbers and electricians to be the best paid in the land.
“Plumbers’ work can be quite unsavoury,” Mr Levitt said.
“It also requires a license and be quite complicated. You need sophisticated tools so there is quite the capital outlay to get going.
“So plumbers can command higher prices compared to lower skilled tradies.
“It is the same for electricians with work that can be dangerous at times and licensing obligations are quite onerous.”
Mr Levitt explained that prices in WA were so high becuase of a tradesperson shortage in the state.
He said the mining boom also took students away from learning trades. Coupled with plenty of work happening in WA, the shortage had resulted in high prices.
High house prices drive up labour costs
Builders in NSW have increased labour costs by 28 per cent year on year, according to the report.
This is because high house prices have increased home owners’ equity, meaning they’re more likely and confident to invest in improving their property.
“They [home owners] are drawing down on equity they never had before and basically are piling it all straight back into their property,” Mr Levitt said.
“They anticipate any investment into property is going to generate positive return on investment.
“It’s hard to find a builder to do the work and those that can will charge more as a result.”
One way to ensure getting into a high-paying trade job was to pick a profession that required high skills and a high barrier for entry.