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Construction Workers To Earn More Than University Students

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 29th March 2018

construction v uni pay

Federation of Master Builders (FMB) report the average salary for electricians is £47,265

Many people considering learning a vocational qualification are often put off because it is generally perceived that the only route to a well-paid career is via a university degree. However, recent research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which shows pay grades for manual jobs, proves that this isn’t necessarily the case.

Why it makes sense to get a trade versus going to university

The study shows the pay grades for both tradespeople and university graduates and reports that in general terms electricians and plumbers earn more than pharmacists, whilst roofers and bricklayers earn more than architects.

Research by the FMB also shows that construction apprentices will typically earn thousands of pounds more year-on-year than many of their university educated counterparts.

The research aims to prove that there are many career paths a school leaver can take without a degree and shatters the myth that apprenticeships have very little formal progression.

Money talks!

FMB’s chief executive Brian Berry said: “Money talks, and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.

"The average university graduate earns £32,000 a year whereas your average brickie or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK. Indeed, in London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year."

"Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students 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.”

Small building firms across the UK were asked what they paid their tradespeople and the average annual salaries were as follows:

Site managers - £51,266

Plumbers - £48,675

Supervisors - £48,407

Electricians - £47,265

Civil engineering operatives - £44,253

Steel fixers - £44,174

Roofers - £42,303

Bricklayers - £42,034

Carpenters and joiners - £41,413

Plasterers - £41,045

Scaffolders - £40,942

Floorers - £39,131

Plant operatives - £38,409

Painters and decorators - £34,587

General construction operatives - £32,392

The report also shows that university graduates were found to earn the following average annual salaries:

Pharmacists - £42,252

Dental practitioners - £40,268

Architects - £38,228

Teachers - £37,805

Chartered and certified accountants - £37,748

Midwives - £36,188

Veterinarians - £36,446

Physiotherapists - £32,065

Nurses - £31,867

Mr Berry added: “The construction industry is in the midst of an acute skills crisis and we are in dire need of more young people, including women and ethnic minorities, to join us.

"Our latest research shows that more than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers and 63 per cent are having problems hiring carpenters. This is a stark reminder of how the government's housing targets could be scuppered by a lack of skilled workers.

"The FMB is committed to working to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships because the only way we will build a sustainable skills base is by training more young people, and to a high standard.”

We’re pleased to see that this report shows that the average salary for electricians is higher than that reported by the ONS which is where the data for our 2018 Trades Salary Survey came from. This is only good news for anyone thinking of entering the industry and shows that it pays to enter the construction industry.

Of course, salary ranges will depend on a number of factors including, experience, qualifications, location and job responsibility etc and the starting salary for an entry level electrician will inevitably be lower.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page or speak to one of our course advisors on 01293 529777.

Source: www.irishnews.com

Categories: salary, pay, construction, graduates, university

2018 Trades Salary Survey: Electricians Salaries are still higher than other trades

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 10th January 2018

2018 Electricians Salary Survey

The results are in!

The latest electricians salaries results are now in. You may remember that last year we posted that the average UK electrician salary was £30,765. This year’s results show that there has been a slight increase of 0.1% with the average electrician earning £30,784.

Salary ranges will depend on a number of factors eg, experience, location, qualifications, professional credentials (NVQ and ECS Card level), employer and job responsibility. Of course the starting salary for an entry level electrician will inevitably be lower, but will rise once they have gained the relevant Electrical NVQs and experience.

Average Electrician Salary (£30,784)

The average salary for electricians is currently £30,784, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and has risen by 0.1% in the last year. This is based on the median value which means that half will earn more than this amount and half will earn less. This is the ONS's preferred measure of average earnings and is less affected by a relatively small numbers of very high earners that can skew the data upward. The median average gives a better indication of typical salaries than the mean which shows salaries at £31,617.

The data below is based on the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings taken from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW THIS AS AN INTERACTIVE INFOGRAPAHIC

2018 Electrician Salaries

Average Salaries by Trade

Other trades salaries have increased across the board with Roofers showing the biggest increase of 5.8% followed by Plumbers at 4.4%. We believe the reason these salaries have increased more is that they are catching up with the increase seen for electricians last year. When we ran this survey last year we saw that plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, and tilers salaries had dropped. This year all trades salaries have increased, ranging from 0.1% for electricians to 5.8% for Roofers, however, electricians still earn most. However, it is good to report that electricians still earn nearly £1000 more than any other trade on average.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£60 - £ Per Hour / £180 - £350 Per Day)

Obtaining accurate data is a challenge as many electricians are either self-employed or contracting. Most self-employed electricians generally charge a day rate, an hourly rate or fixed rate for individual jobs, therefore their earnings tend to fluctuate year on year, because work is not guaranteed. This is why it is difficult to gauge exactly how much they earn as there are no statistics available on a national level for this.

However, depending on where you are based in the country, on average it appears that an experienced electrician working in the South East charges £45 per hour or £350 per day.

Whilst self-employed electricians tend to earn more than those who are employed, there are other costs to take into account such as the cost of tools, van, costs of quoting and business insurance and your registration on a competent persons scheme.

How realistic is it to earn over £30K as an electrician?

Self employed electricians are more likely to earn more than those employed as they are not tied down by company pay categories. Whilst salaries represent what you can earn when employed by a company the amounts earned as a contractor tends to be more realistic.

An experienced self-employed electrician should be earning on average above £30K per year. In fact our research suggests that earnings are more likely to be around £35-40K per year, with this figure being higher if working in London and the south east.

Ways to earn more

As with any career, the better you are at your job the more you can earn. There are a number of ways you can increase your earnings, and this really comes down to how much effort you are prepared to put in.

1. Overtime – If you are employed and working on a job where deadlines need to be met then overtime is a great way to increase your earnings. Especially as overtime is often paid at a higher hourly rate.

2. Agency work – if you are starting out then working for an agency is an option. This will allow you to gain the confidence and experience to then go on to apply for contracts direct to building and contracting companies.

3. Up-skilling – if you want to progress in your career as an electrician then taking further training to improving your grade could increase your earning potential. Courses to consider are the C&G 2394/95 Inspection & Testing Courses – For Approved Electrician status and the C&G 2396 Electrical Design course – For Site Technician status.

4. Going self employed – once, you’ve got some experience and made some good contacts and you’re being offered work outside of your employed day job, you might find that it’s time to go self-employed. This means that you will be able to earn a much higher wage once you’ve set up on your own.

What are trainees salaries like?

Apprentices tend to earn below the minimum wage, however the benefit here is that they can earn while gaining a qualification. The current National Minimum Wage for apprentices in their first year is £3.50 per hour, although most employers will pay more and research shows that the average salary is approximately £170 per week. However, apprentices can start earning a higher salary once they have completed their training and get qualified.

An option many of our customers at Trade Skills 4 U choose is to front load their training and complete their technical certificates first (C&G2365 Level 2&3). This allows those entering the market as electricians mates to earn between £21-25,000 per year. This is a guide and will vary depending on the employer, where you work in the country, and the type of job you have been employed to do.

JIB Wage Grades

Each year the JIB publish wage grades on their website, however, whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are only guidelines and not every employer will stick to these. Since last year, the figures below have increased by approx. 1.9%

From and including Monday 2nd January 2017, the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

National Standard Rates:

Trainee Electrician - £11.79 - £13.95

Electrician - £14.68

Approved Electrician - £15.92

Site Technician - £17.92

And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:

Trainee Electrician - £13.20 - £15.64

Electrician - £16.45

Approved Electrician - £17.83

Site Technician - £20.07

A great way to increase your earnings potential is to get plenty of on the job experience, build a good reputation, work hard and improve your knowledge through further training. The courses below will help you to qualify for the higher pay grades:

1. Trainee Electrician – apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas

2. Electrician – relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)

3. Approved Electrician – as per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395

4. Site Technician – As per number 3 plus over 5 years’ experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as a HNC

The Sky’s the limit

The salary ranges listed in this article are only guidelines. We believe that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you could actually earn and as mentioned above this will depend on a number of factors, however, from our experience and from talking to our students, we believe that if you are prepared to put in the hours to build your business and work hard then there is no limit to what you could potentially earn.

We know that electricians are the highest earners among the trades, and to support this there have been some very interesting articles posted recently, one of which is a little extreme and did create quite a bit of stir on social media. I hope you enjoy reading them and wonder whether you agree with what they are saying!

Electricians are earning £156,000 a year amid a shortage of skilled workers

Apprentice electrician drives a Mercedes and expects to earn £50,000 by his mid-20s!

Categories: pay, salary

2017 Trades Salary Survey: Electrician Salaries Rise Whilst Many Others Fall

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 1st January 2017

It’s that time of year again. The results are in and it’s no surprise that for the 4th year in a row our salary survey shows that electricians still earn the most of all the trades. What is a surprise in the most recent data is that a number of trades (including plumbers) have seen a drop in average salary over the past twelve months.

Average Electrician Salary (£30,765)

The average salary recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) of £30,765 is actually the median value. This means that 50% of electricians earn more than this amount and 50% earn less. It’s the ONS's preferred measure of average earnings as it is less affected by a relatively small numbers of very high earners that can skew the data upward. Therefore this average gives a better indication of typical pay than the mean which comes out at £31,648.

When we  ran this survey last year we saw the biggest increase for plumbers whilst electrician pay seemed to have stalled. This year we can see plumber salaries have dropped by around 2% whilst electricians have increased by around 1%.

Why have some trades seen a drop in average salary?

When we last ran this survey it was surprising to see that the biggest increases in salaries had been in some of the less skilled trades where people still earned much less than an electrician on average. However the drop this time around is most likely a slight adjustment to these larger increases last year. It is also important to note that the data is for salaries, and as the construction sector sees increased demand more workers tend to go freelance or self-employed where they can earn a much higher wage.

How realistic is it to earn over £30K as an electrician?

The majority of electricians tend to work on a self-employed or a contracting basis. Whilst salaries represent what you can earn when employed by a company the amounts earned as a contractor tends to be more realistic. With established self-employed electricians you will be hard pushed to find anyone earning below £30K per year and earnings are more likely to be around £35-40K per year. In London and the south east this figure is likely to be higher.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£50 Per Hour / £140-£350 Per Day)

Since most of the people working as electricians are either self-employed or contracting it is very hard to gather data on how much they charge or earn. In the South East and London it is very realistic for an established electrician to charge £45 per hour or £300 per day, further north this amount will drop. However, these days it is more likely that a sparky will charge a set rate for a particular job. In this situation smart working and marking up on materials such as sockets, cables and consumer units can make a real difference to an hourly rate. You will be hard pushed to get a new consumer unit supplied and installed for less than £450 these days, and with the boxes costing around £130 and the job taking less than a day you can see that this is where the money really can start to add up.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £21K)

If you start out as an apprentice then you will most likely earn below the minimum wage. This is because you are earning and learning at the same time. However if you front load your training, like most of our customers, you can start out on a trainee salary usually around £21K per annum.

If you do a quick search online you will find that most jobs for electrician mates start off at around £11 per hour which is great for someone starting out.

The key to earning more?

If you do a search for electrician jobs on a website such as Indeed you will see that there are lots of jobs available offering some fairly decent salaries. You will find most of the jobs are advertised by agencies. These agencies will be taking a cut from your hourly wage- usually around 10-15%! So one very simple way to earn more is to put in the leg work and apply direct to numerous building and contracting companies. This will allow you to maximise your earning potential. There is nothing wrong with working for an agency and especially in the early days agencies can play an important part in finding you work. However as you progress your career you should make lots of contacts who will assist you in finding the latest and best contracts.

As well as working direct the best way to increase your earnings is simply to work hard, be on time, build a good reputation and of course progress your knowledge through great experience and further training. For most electricians one way to increase their wage or grade is to take the following courses:

1. C&G 2394/95 Inspection & Testing Courses – For Approved Electrician status

2. C&G 2396 Electrical Design course – For Site Technician status

For more information on JIB wage grades see below:

JIB Wage Grades

The JIB publish wage grades on their website. Whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are guidelines only and not every employer sticks to these.

As of the 4th January 2016 the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

Trainee Electrician - £11.56 - £13.68

Electrician - £14.39

Approved Electrician - £15.61

Site Technician - £17.57

And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:

Trainee Electrician - £12.94 - £15.33

Electrician - £16.13

Approved Electrician - £17.48

Site Technician - £19.68

In order to qualify for the higher pay grades most people will need to fulfil the following:

1. Trainee Electrician - Apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas

2. Electrician - Relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)

3. Approved Electrician - As per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395

4. Site Technician - As per number 3 plus over 5 years’ experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as a HNC

Remember at the end of the day it isn’t just about how much you can earn but also about how happy you are in your job. Most people choose to train as an electrician not just because of the earning potential but because they are sick of being stuck behind a desk and want to work on the road, on site and with their hands. Remember being a sparky is the perfect job for someone who wants to work with their hands and their mind.

 

Categories: pay, salary

2015 Trades Salary Survey: Do Electricians Still Earn The Most?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 28th January 2015

construction line up

We have since posted a 2017 Salary survey with the most up to date data.

When we last posted a blog on this topic the average UK salary for an electrician was £28,846, however since then wages in construction have risen far quicker than the national average due to a shortage of skilled labour and improving confidence in the UK economy and housing market. So what does your average electrician earn?

Average Electrician Salary (£30,172)

According to the Office of National Statistics the average salary for an electrician has risen to  £30,172 over the two year period which is a 4.6% increase. Not too bad for a period in which we are told most other salaries remained static. But how does this compare with the other trades?

Average Salaries by Trade

If you use the interactive chart above you will see that some of the trades have seen bigger increases in salaries than others. All except painters saw an increase in average salary which is not surprising as this is the trade which requires the least amount of training and has the least amount of regulation. The big surprise above is that Tilers and Carpenters have seen the biggest increases in salary whilst plumbers and roofers have seen the smallest. However due to the fact that they already earned the most and have still seen a decent increase, electricians now earn on average £1,919 more than plumbers which is up by nearly £1000 compared to 2013 when they earned £980 more than plumbers.

However this data above is only for salaried electricians and tradesmen. What about those who are self employed or working on an hourly wage?

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£25-£50 Per Hour / £185-£350 Per Day)

This is much harder to gage, however most experienced electricians will charge between £25 to £50 per hour. Many won’t even charge by the hour but may end up charging by the day or a fixed price for a complete job. The disparity in the industry is that those who go it alone and are self employed earn much more than those who work on an employed basis. However what you must remember is that if you are self employed you have other costs to consider such as you registration on a competent persons scheme, tools, van, costs of quoting and business insurance. However it is still realistic for an electrician or domestic installer to earn between 200-300 per day carrying out house re-wires and domestic work especially in the South East.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £20K)

If you start out as an apprentice then you will be earning below the minimum wage. However if you front load your training and complete your technical certificates first (2365 Level 2&3) then you should be able to start out on a trainee wage of around £20k per annum. This is not set in stone and will vary from location to location, job to job and company to company. At the end of the day the better you are at your job the more you can earn, however how do you get to increase your wage or earnings once you are an established electrician?

How to earn more?

There are a number of ways to earn more as an electrician and it all depends on you and what you are willing to do. We have listed the key ones below:

1. Go self employed – As stated above you can earn much more if you invest in setting up on your own. If you find yourself being offered work left right and centre but are employed full time then maybe it’s time to take the leap.

2. Overtime – Overtime is a great way to earn more and you will find if you are employed and working to deadlines that there will often be plenty on offer. Not only will you earn more but you get paid a higher hourly rate.

3. Become an Approved Electrician – If you already have your JIB gold card but want to increase your wages you should invest in gaining advanced inspection and testing skills. The City & Guilds 2394 /2395 courses are the nationally recognised as the key to making this step. Once you have achieved them you can step up a pay grade from

4. Become an Technician – This is the next step up from Approved electrician and can be achieved by demonstrating advanced technical skills and organisational ability. In terms of qualifications electricians wishing to achieve this grade should take the Level 4 qualification C&G 2396 Electrical Design course. This is the most advanced course that we offer.

5. Move into management – There are numerous possibilities in management and project management including but limited to roles such as Project Manager, Commercial Manager, Contracts Manager and also electrical design engineer. Most of these roles will take you away from the hands on side of the role and focus much more on your technical and people management skills.

What is clear is that becoming an electrician remains a great career choice. With the currents demands from the growing housing sector we can only see this continuing in the coming years. We know there is also an upcoming issue with numerous older electricians looking to retire leading to further shortfalls in labour to meet demand.

 

Categories: wages, pay

Electricians – Better Working Conditions And Better Pay?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 23rd August 2013

Please note that we have published our updated salary survey here where you can find the latest data for average electrician salary compared to other trades.

There is a perception in the construction industry that sparkies may have it pretty good when it comes to where they work, how they work and how much they get paid. The don’t need to get their hands dirty to the same extent as a plumber and don’t work outdoors as much as a roofer or brickie. So we thought we would investigate and see if this were true.

The job....

Electricians work is variable.  One day an electrician may find themselves outside installing shed lighting and another day fault finding in a kitchen.  It’s a job full of variety and suits people who don't like doing the same thing day in and day out.  You can find yourself working locally or at a job which requires you to work away from home for a while. Electricians work in a whole range of differing environments, from second fixing in residential homes to working at height installing wiring on half finished building sites. So although they will generally work on a water tight property there are still situations when they could be battling the elements along with everyone else.

Sounds good?

You may have heard good things (and of course not so good) about becoming an electrician, are you still a little undecided about whether to enter this exciting trade?  We have decided to expel, and confirm some of the myths and hearsay that surrounds the job of an electrician.  Do electricians get to swan in when everything is water tight and do their bit; and what is the extent of the dirty work.

An electrician gets all the clean work

This is definitely the case with the second fix.  Watch as all the other trades look at you in envy as you go into the job with your toolbox and accessories.  Without doubt this is the nice side of the job and is definitely the favourite amongst both electricians and their customers.  It's nice and clean and you only need a handful of tools – at this point all the hard work has been done, and you are close to getting paid for the work.  The second fix is known as being the cream of the work throughout all trades.  Whilst the brickies will have moved onto the next dirty job, the electrician is doing his job in a nice clean environment.

No two days are the same

Electricians are attracted to the job because they do not know what they will be doing from one week to the next.  If you like the element of surprise then you will thrive in this environment. Where a roofer only does roofing and a brickie only does brick laying, an electrician, by contrast gets involved in all areas and structures of a building.  All aspects of a property have to be taken into account as part of the work of an electrician including timbers, flooring, joists, floors, walls and ceilings.  This is what makes the job so interesting.  There are so many different aspects that an electrician gets involved in – and that is what makes the job of an electrician more than a job – it makes an exciting and varied career.

What about pay?

Looking at the official JIB rates which are known as the official wage reference for electricians at all stages of their career, even a salary for a trainee electrician looks pretty attractive.

A trainee electrician can earn up to £26,769.60 per year.  This is based on a 36 hour working week according to the JIB wage rate.

Once qualified an approved electrician can earn £30,532.32 according to the JIB wage rates.  Again this is based on a 36 hour working week.

If you continue to upgrade your qualifications and reach site technician status, you will be earning £34,388.64 which we think is a pretty impressive wage.

All these figures are based on a 36 hour week Monday to Friday.  Of course, the opportunity to earn more clearly exists and these figures do not take into account overtime, weekend work and being on call to name but a few.

What can I earn?

We have listed below the avrage houly rates for an elecrician nationally and in London where average wages are much higher:

Trainee Electrician - £12.76

Approved Electrician - £14.57

Site Technician - £16.40

Trainee Electrician - £14.30

Approved Electrician - £16.31

Site Technician - £18.37

Source: JIB Rates from and including 7th January 2013 http://www.jib.org.uk/handbook.aspx?cid=13

How does this compare to building and allied trades?

We did a bit of digging and found a 2012 survey published by the Guardian. What we can see is that electricians actually top the trades when it comes to average salary. They are closely followed by plumbers but once you move away from these two heavily regulated industries the average salary drops by a significant amount. On average an electrician earns £28,846 PA with Plumbers earning roughley £1000 less at £27,866 PA. This is purely based on salaries and doesnt take into account income if you are self employed where we know average earning are much higher.

Conclusion

Genrally an electrician appears to be better off in both working conditions and pay.  As we said earlier in the article, when other trades such as roofers and brickies move onto the next dirty job, the electrician proceeds to move onto the most favoured aspect of their job.  Not only that, but they also enjoy a higher rate of pay for the cleaner work.

 

Categories: pay