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Which trade earns the most – and where?

Tradesman checking the level of a wall

Drylining was the fastest growing trade for turnover in 2023, according to new research from Simply Business.

Annual average turnover for dryliners in the UK was £105,832, up 12 per cent from £94,559 in 2022.

The research also reveals which trades had the highest average turnover and the UK towns where tradespeople made the most in 2023.

Which tradespeople earned the most in 2023?

Builders had the highest annual average turnover among UK tradespeople in 2023 at £114,353.

After builders, the top earning trades in terms of turnover earned in 2023 were dryliners, groundworkers, glaziers, and flooring contractors.

What are the top earning trades?

Overall, UK trades businesses received an average turnover of £68,474 in 2023, down from £82,821 in 2022.

However, it’s important to remember that turnover doesn’t equal profit. Tradespeople all over the country have suffered supply chain problems in recent years, as well as higher material costs.

While in 2022 we saw large jumps in average annual turnover recorded, this latest data tells a different story. Of our top 20 top earning trades, only eight saw an increase in average turnover between 2022 and 2023.

Bricklayers saw the biggest fall in average turnover, down 17 per cent from £80,933 in 2022 to £67,465 in 2023.

The top 20 trades for turnover in 2023

Trade

Average turnover 2023

Average turnover 2022

Percentage +/-

Builder

£114,353

£115,550

-1%

Dryliner

£105,832

£94,559

+12%

Groundworker

£105,434

£105,490

-0%

Glaizer

£99,766

£94,706

+5%

Flooring contractor

£92,386

£85,662

+8%

Plumber

£84,090

£86,813

-3%

Roofer

£81,517

£79,565

+2%

Joiner

£76,039

£71,937

+6%

Electrician

£75,883

£67,088

-5%

Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen fitter

£71,562

£73,677

-3%

Landscape gardener

£68,545

£72,148

-5%

Bricklayer

£67,465

£80,933

-17%

Gas fitter

£66,206

£59,623

+11%

Carpenter

£63,218

£64,779

-2%

Tiler (floor and wall)

£63,182

£67,088

-6%

Driver – heavy goods

£57,351

£56,729

+1%

Plasterer

£54,902

£58,400

-6%

Painter and decorator

£50,380

£49,015

+3%

Office cleaner

£44,648

No data

No data

Handyman

£44,285

£45,667

+3%

Where did tradespeople earn the most in 2023?

The top towns in terms of turnover for tradespeople were Grays in Essex, Fareham in Hampshire, St Albans, and Oxford.

But it’s important to remember that location can make a big difference to earning potential when setting up a business.

top-earning-trades-locations.png

Location

Average turnover 2023

Grays

£115,445

Fareham

£113,846

St Albans

£112,631

Oxford

£109,681

Romford

£105,868

Dagenham

£105,862

London

£101,908

Harrow

£101,532

Luton

£101,331

Dartford

£100,602

Top locations for builders in 2023

Oxford, Dartford, and Sutton were among the top towns and cities for builders when it comes to average annual turnover.

What are the top earning trades?

Where did tradespeople earn the least in 2023?

The towns where tradespeople earned the least in 2023 were Worcester (£61,269) in the West Midlands, St Helens (£62,024) in North West England, and Eastbourne (£62,618) in the South East.

Town

Average turnover for tradespeople in 2023

Norwich

£67,941

Wolverhampton

£66,904

Middlesbrough

£66,003

Darlington

£65,963

Stoke-On-Trent

£65,081

Halifax

£64,941

Chesterfield

£63,171

Eastbourne

£62,618

St Helens

£62,024

Worcester

£61,269

How we calculated the data

We’ve looked at tradespeople who completed our quote form and requested a quote in 2022 and 2023, only taking into account trades with more than 3,000 submitted quotes. The turnover is the average across the quotes submitted.

For the towns data, we included locations that had more than 500 submitted quotes for insurance from tradespeople.

Useful guides for tradespeople

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Photograph: Photographee.eu/stock.adobe.com

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a professional writer with over 10 years’ experience across the property, small business, and insurance sectors. A trained journalist, Conor’s previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor has worked at Simply Business as a Copywriter for three years, specialising in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

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