Which trade earn the most in Australia?

It is official. Tradies (Tradesprofessionals) in Australia earn more than most office jobs.

Industry figures provided by seekingservices.com.au from 2016 show that on average a tradesperson earns $60.88 per hour. Please note in Australia, most trades professionals who are fully qualified work as sole traders or sub-contractors, with a few heading up a building or trades company. Therefore the hourly rate they charge must cover their own superannuation, insurances and other business expenses.


Which trade earn the most per hour?

Overall, per hour plumbers take the cake and remain the overall highest paid per hour trade in Australia, averaging $78.40 an hour.

  1. Plumbing: $78.40
  2. Electricians: $74.61
  3. Building & Renovations: $66.17
  4. Carpentry: $58.55
  5. Plastering: $48.15
  6. Tiling & Paving: $43.14
  7. Painting: $42.18

* All statistics provided by seekingservices.com.au

Generally speaking, plumbers, metal fabricators and electricians are the highest paid trades workers in Australia, however this can vary from state to state. It is also important to note however, that most high-level carpenters often go on to become builders who can take home considerably more money when they are running a whole job compared to sole contracting plumbers, electricians, metal fabricators or boiler makers.

Once all other business expenses are taken out the average income for a professional tradesman in Australia is $76,800 (provided by traderisk.com.au).Traderisk.com.au states that:

  • 41% of trades workers earn between $50,000 to $75,000
  • 32% earn  between 75,000 – $100,000
  • Only 18% earn less than $50,000
  • 9% earn $100,00 or more


What about the other trades?

Numerous trades were not factored in by seeking services, so as referring to glassdoor.com.au,the average salary for other trades are listed below:

  • Welder/Metal fabricator average salary of $89,140
  • Automotive Electrician average salary is $85,340


Which trade can international students study in Australia?

Australia offers numerous courses to international students to become a skilled tradesman in Australia. These courses are generally done over 2 years with a focus of in-class study and practice, combined with 36o hours of vocational placement. This is apposed to the standard 4 year apprenticeship often done by Australians. In Australia international students can study the following trades:

  • Metal Fabrication/Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Carpentry
  • Joinery
  • Cabinet Making
  • Automotive Electrician
  • Automotive Body Repair
  • Automotive Mechanical
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plastering
  • Bricklaying
  • Tiling
  • Boat Building
  • Chef
  • Electrical-instrumentation

Unfortunately, there is currently no Cert III in Electro-technology offered to international students in Australia (the base qualification required to be an electrician). However, if you are interested, you can study: Cert III in Electro-Instrumentation, Cert III in Automotive-Electrical or the Diploma of Electronics and Communications

Can foreigners undertake an apprenticeship in Australia?

Unfortunately, foreigners cannot undertake a trade apprenticeship in Australia unless they have a valid work visa. However, they can undertake trade study at numerous private colleges and TAFES around Australia. This generally allows you to undertake the required Cert III in your trade in only 2 years (as apposed to 4 years for a standard apprenticeship). These courses also generally include 360 hours of vocational placement where you are placed for work experience on a work site.

What if I am a qualified overseas tradesman? How do I get my skills recognised in Australia? How can I work in Australia

Overseas tradesmen can generally apply to have their qualifications recognised to work in Australia. The process varies depending on which trade they work in. Feel free to contact us on info@pathwaytoaus.com to ask about your specific trade requirements or comment below. Electrical trades are generally the most difficult to get recognised in Australia. Feel free to have a read through this article about having your electrical skills recognised in Aus. Most trades are currently on the government Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List. This means that if you are educated and have work experience in your trade, you may be eligible to apply for numerous work visas in Aus. Generally speaking, you will require at least an overseas trade qualification equivalent to the Cert III in trade qualification in Australia and at least 3 years experience to pass a skills assessment. Feel free to contact Pathway to Aus for more information about your specific trade.

If you have any questions about trades in Australia, visas to Australia or would like any more information on any of the courses, feel free to contact Pathway to Aus on:

  • P: +61 7 55 265 900
  • E: info@pathwaytoaus.com
  • Or Apply or Enquire below