Top Earning Trades in 2015!

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Increase your earnings in 2015 through RPL & Skills Recognition

Australia is one of the most expensive countries to live in. Scratch that – Australia is the most expensive country to live in, having been ranked as such for the fourth year in a row by the Deutsche Bank in their annual Mapping the World’s Prices report. In fact, only 4 cities are more expensive than Sydney in terms of cost of living.

Yes, that’s right. Australia’s bucks are bringing in the least bang.

With high transport and accommodation costs, achieving a high paying job is important for Australia’s working population, including its blue collar workers. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact amount Australian tradesmen earn, as this differs between trades and the structure of employment (i.e. sole trader, contractor or sub-contractor), Trade Risk have pooled together their resources to highlight the top earning trades in 2015, as based on average income.



(Graphic by Trade Risk)

Taking the top three spots, boilermakers, electricians and plumbers have topped off the list for the second time in a row. However while these tradies are earning the biggest bucks, it’s the cabinetmakers, bricklayers and painters who have experienced the highest increase in average income, with a 10% rise in earnings.

What’s more, the average income for tradies has increased from $68,900 in 2014 to $70,500 in 2015.


If one were to gather anything from these findings, it would be that our Aussie tradies have a world of opportunities to earn bigger dollars in 2015. We’ve identified two strategies that tradies could implement to bring in a bigger return in the year ahead – moving to a higher earning trade, and converting their existing skills to a qualification.

Upping Your Trade

In their time, many tradies have worked across dual or multiple trades, successfully acquiring a range of different skill sets through hands-on experience. Rather than being limited to one trade, they have directed their efforts towards learning the features of each trade, and effectively transferred these expert skills between them.

Making the move to a higher earning occupation in which the tradie is qualified, could open up new opportunities for the tradie to earn more money. Take John Cheakery for example.

After working as a carpenter for fifteen years, and applying his woodwork skills on large structural projects like housing frames and decking, John became interested in concentrating his efforts on more intricate constructions and trim carpentry. Sharpening his skills, this more concentrated focus on finer details led John to complete a large number of internal fitting jobs, creating tables, kitchens and cabinets over the course of six years. Shifting his efforts to cabinet making, John decided to cross-over into this specialised trade, upping his annual earnings in 2015 by a whopping $8,210.

Qualifying Your Trade

In view of the above scenario, should John have acquired all the necessary skills to work as a cabinetmaker in Australia over the course of his 21 years of experience, he would be eligible for a Certificate III in Cabinetmaking.

In addition to his increased earnings, the process of having his skills, knowledge and experience qualified through skills recognition or RPL would not only give John the minimum requirement to achieve trade recognition for Cabinetmaking in Australia, but also help him secure future jobs, roles and promotions, thus increasing his earning potential.

Qualifying your skills, knowledge and experience, especially if you’re competent in all industry units and have the required experience, is a great way of boosting your salary and job prospects as a formally recognised tradesperson. Find out if you can achieve formal trade recognition through RPL with this simple 2-3 minute free skills review.

Remember, it’s never too difficult or late to increase your earning potential. Moving to a higher earning trade or qualifying your skills through Skills Recognition or RPL are only two of the possible ways to go about this in an effective manner. The opportunities , however, are endless. 


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