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Research reveals tradespeople earn thousands more than uni graduates

2-minute read

Anna Delves

22 March 2018

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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.

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:

  1. Site managers - £51,266
  2. Plumbers - £48,675
  3. Supervisors - £48,407
  4. Electricians - £47,265
  5. Civil engineering operatives - £44,253

Compared with university graduates:

  1. Pharmacists - £42,252
  2. Dental practitioners - £40,268
  3. Architects - £38,228
  4. Teachers - £37,805
  5. 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.”

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