When you’re a tradie or working your way through your apprenticeship so you can become one, there are plenty of people with opinions about your chosen career.
We’ve found some of the most common opinions you might hear from people and look at whether they are true or not.
1) Tradies are paid better than average
This one is almost true, but definitely not for the four long years for an apprentice. Apprentices make lower wages than other people their age working part-time jobs, but the tradeoff is pretty good.
Once qualified, the average tradie makes just over $1,140 per week according to recent figures. That works out to around $60,000 a year for the first year you are fully qualified (on average) which is higher than the starting wage for most university qualifications.
2) There are no jobs going now the mining boom is over
When people talk about the “mining boom”, they are talking about the billions of dollars that companies spent across all of Australia in places like Pilbara and Curtis Island to build enormous mines and gas processing facilities. A lot of those billions of dollars were used to pay the wages of skilled tradies who were snapped up by companies to do the work.
But that spending fell away as projects were completed. Fortunately, Australia is now undergoing an “infrastructure boom” as our cities, bridges, ports, and rail systems are upgraded and maintained. And our population is still growing, meaning more tradies will continue to be needed. In fact, there are an estimated 29,000 jobs opening up in the next few years to serve that demand.
3) There are already too many tradies
This is something you are likely to hear from certain people depending on how old they are and when they were first looking at a career. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a surplus of tradies as fewer school leavers chose to go to university. As university education became more common, fewer young Australians took up trades.
That trend has continued until today. The number of tradies entering the industry across almost all trades has not kept up with population growth and demand, meaning there is actually a shortage.
4) Tradies are all men
Yep, this one is actually almost true. Statistics show that just under 1% of all tradies are female, meaning that trades of all kinds are still dominated by men. But lady tradies are definitely on the rise and there are heaps of opportunities for girls who are looking to get into a trade as more and more companies look to diversify their workforce.
5) Tradies are all old guys nearing retirement
This is definitely true in some trades like plumbing where fewer young apprentices are choosing the trade, meaning that the average age of that workforce is getting older. But overall, on average, tradies are younger than the overall workforce, with the average tradie being only 32 years old.
Whether you are a new apprentice just starting out, or a tradie with years of experience, you can always benefit from connecting with other tradies and growing your professional network. We’ve created goodwork to help you do just that, and we’d love for you to sign up and see what it has to offer you.