The Aussie tradies getting paid more
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.
Carpentry apprentice Oliver Horvath says he is not surprised salaries are increasing in his trade as there is growing demand for carpentry skills.
Horvath, 23, says any pay bump is well-deserved, although he did not choose carpentry for the money.
"I chose it because it opens a lot of pathways," he says.
"You learn to build an entire house rather than just a certain aspect of it.
"The builder I am with does a lot of custom architecture builds so we are there for the entire job, which is cool."
Horvath, who won the bronze medal for carpentry at the WorldSkills National Championships this year, spent two years studying civil engineering at university before realising he wanted a more hands-on career.
"I encourage anyone to do a trade rather than uni," he says.
"I've gotten a lot more out of doing this than studying there."
Adrian Fadini, former plumber and coach at tradie business community Tradiematepro, 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 to fall back on but now it's becoming the career for wealth, security and lifestyle," he says.
"Tradies can earn more than doctors and accountants, with many going on to launch their own business, join the lucrative speaking circuit, coach other businesses or walk into operations and management roles - the sky is the limit.
"There is still a stigma in the 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.
This industry experienced the fifth strongest job ad growth, behind mining, resources and energy (up 32 per cent), community services and development (18 per cent), government and defence (16 per cent) and consulting and strategy (15 per cent).
Overall, job ads increased 8.3 per cent in the year to June.
Twenty out of 29 employment sectors recorded job ad growth, two remained steady and seven recorded a decline in job ad postings.