Want a secure job? Then train in a trade

Covid-19 has decimated the economy, so if you're starting out on your working life, think about jobs that will always be needed

Take on a training for a trade

Contrary to what you might think, trades aren't jobs of the past but they're very much needed today and will go on being so. Robo builders, electricians and plumbers are still a long way off....hopefully

Recent research shows a worrying dearth of young people coming into the trades, as our skilled workforce of plumbers, electricians, builders and carpenters are ageing and will be retiring in the next decade.

So young people, if you don't have that Oxbridge first in maths needed to get into Goldman Sachs and you worry about robots taking over loads of desk jobs, just as they've taken over many of the roles in car factories, the trades still look like a good bet for fairly long term employment. After all, try to imagine robots building the Shard, plumbing it and fitting out its electrics.. Exactly. 

So which trades are the best paid and indeed which countries pay the best? Because if you're a plumber or an electrician, your skills will be welcomed wherever you want to go and live.

Electrical Direct have created an infographic that focuses on salaries within the construction industry. In the visual, electricians, plumbers and carpenters are the key focus within five different countries. It also drills into the specifics on which region within each country offers the best pay and what qualifications you'll need.  

Electricians in the UK

Here, an electrician can earn a good £30,500 a year, though a newly qualified electrician’s salary usually falls between £19,000 and £22,000. The hourly rate outside London usually comes in at around £25 to £50.

Top five regions with the highest salaries for electricians:

London - £36,028

Bristol - £32,669

Portsmouth - £32,364

Brighton - £32,058

Glasgow - £32,058

Education is important to start a career in this industry. Qualifications you might need:

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Diploma at Level 3 in Electrotechnical Services.

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Diploma at Level 3 in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment.

Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations – if part of an apprenticeship.

Plumbers in the UK

People who progress to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3 can around £18,000 pa and after five years expect to be on  £25,000. Those who are self-employed and very experienced tend to earn £30,000 to £40,000 - and more in the big cities.

Education requirements

City and Guilds National Vocational Qualification at Level 2 (England and Wales).

Scottish Vocational Qualification at Level 3 (Scotland).

You can start work as a plumber straight after leaving school if you can find an apprenticeship. These are a good idea as you're being paid as you learn on the job and you'll work for around 30 hours a week over a two-year placement.

Carpenters in the UK
The average salary for carpenters falls between £25,000 - £40,000 — those who work as team leaders/project managers can earn considerably more though. However, those who begin as an apprentice will usually have a starting salary of around £16,000.

Educational requirements:

Level 1 Award in Basic Construction or Wood Operations.

Level 1/2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Wood Occupations.

Level 1/2 Certificate/Diploma in Construction Crafts.

Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry.


To find out more about pay around the world, check out the infographic.