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Australia’s demand for tradesmen is pushing salaries high

A growing economy means a bigger population resulting in a greater demand for houses, schools, hospitals, malls, office buildings and factories. This means that tradespeople are still the most in demand professionals in Australia and it shows in their salaries too.


With contractors and employers in a bid to secure the best Tradies coupled with an extremely high demand for their services in the private sector too, Tradies are now commanding Top Dollar. In fact the demand outweighs the supply so much that Plumbers and Electricians are earning salaries on par with those of charted accountants and GP’s!

The trusted Australia website Home Advisor says the average rate for a good plumber can be as high as AUD $200 per hour or more depending on the job, timing and location.

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The global jobs site, Indeed, has analysed the current state of the job market to identify that tradesmen positions are hardest to fill due to a lack of talent and experience in the local labour force forcing employers to look for tradesmen offshore.

Indeed looked at the percentage of national job posts for tradespeople that have remained open for 60 days or more and looked at what’s called talent mismatch, or the number of job postings compared to the number of job seekers clicking on them.

It found the roles with the most significant mismatch are plumbers, electricians, cabinet makers and auto mechanics, each with more than three times the job posts compared to the level of job seeker interest in them.


In NSW, businesses are reporting they manage to fill only 60% of vacancies for general electricians. The state Department of Employment says almost 60% of businesses it surveyed failed to attract suitable applicants for mechanics, builders, carpenters and plumbers.

“We all require skilled tradies to get things done around the house or in a commercial context and we want it yesterday, but the reality is there are simply not enough to meet demand,” said Chris McDonald, Indeed’s managing director Australia-New Zealand.

“Employers can’t get enough of them and the self-employment prospects fantastic with niche opportunities across virtually all trades.”

The process

You must be licensed to work as a tradesmen in Australia.  You will have to:

Apply to have an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR).

An OTSR is done through a registered training organisation. There are numerous organisations eligible to provide an offshore technical skills record around Australia.

During an OTSR, the applicant must demonstrate that they have the technical skills required to work in the occupation in Australia. They do this by checking your previous education and experience with the technical competencies that are gained through an Australian qualification.

Apply for a Provisional License

Once you have completed an OTSR you can apply to the licensing body in your state for a provisional license.

A provisional license allows you to work in your trade under the supervision of a licensed tradesman. During your provisional license you will need to undertake additional training in order to be provided with the Australian qualification to work in your occupation.

You would need to apply for your license in the State or Territory that you intend to work in.


Source: Business Insider Australia,,, homeadvisor

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