Hamburger icon


  • Business insurance

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Manage your policy
Telephone iconCall Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Knowledge centre

Research reveals tradespeople earn thousands more than uni graduates

2-minute read

Anna Delves

Anna Delves

22 March 2018

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

Construction apprentices will earn thousands of pounds more than many university graduates, according to new research.

The Federation of Master Builders looked into the average salaries of UK tradespeople and found that many are earning well above the average wage for university graduates.

  • How to become a plumber in the UK
  • How to hire an apprentice for your small business
  • How to become a self-employed electrician in the UK
  • The UK trades earning six times the national wage
  • What type of business insurance do I need?

Tradesmen earning £10,000 more than the average graduate

The research found that the average wage for a university graduate in England is £32,000 a year, while the average bricklayer and roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK.

When you focus in on particular regions, things look even rosier for tradespeople. In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year.

Brickies have had a good few years, after 2016 research found UK bricklayers were earning £25 an hour.

Plumbers and electricians earn more than architects and accountants

Plumbers and electricians are some of the top average earners among tradespeople in the UK, along with site managers, supervisors and civil engineering operatives - and they all earn more than architects, accountants and dentists.

Here are the top five average earnings for UK trades professionals:

  • Site managers - £51,266
  • Plumbers - £48,675
  • Supervisors - £48,407
  • Electricians - £47,265
  • Civil engineering operatives - £44,253

Compared with university graduates:

  • Pharmacists - £42,252
  • Dental practitioners - £40,268
  • Architects - £38,228
  • Teachers - £37,805
  • Chartered and certified accountants - £37,748

Earning while you learn spells promising future for apprentices

Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders said: “Money talks and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.

“Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students in England will graduate with an average £50,800 of debt, according to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, while apprentices pass the finish line completely debt-free.

“Not only that, apprentices earn while they learn, taking home around £17,000 a year.

“We are therefore calling on all parents, teachers and young people, who too-often favour academic education, to give a career in construction serious consideration.”

Are you protecting your trade?

As the UK's biggest business insurance provider, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored tradesman insurance quote?

Start your quote

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon

People also liked

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Facebook icon

Follow us on Facebook

Twitter icon

Follow us on Twitter

YouTube icon

Subscribe to our videos on YouTube

LinkedIn icon

Follow us on LinkedIn


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.