The Highest-Paying Jobs in Australia

Are you aspiring to launch a career as a tradesperson or simply seeking to supplement your income with a tradie job? Here’s the good news… You live in a country where tradies are not only valued as the country’s backbone, but also earn far more than the average Australian wage. In Australia, there are several prominent trades, and you may be wondering which one pays the best.

According to research performed by, the most lucrative trades in Australia are as follows:

Trade Average Annual Salary
Plumber $110,000
Concreter $107,500
Builder $103,750
Flooring specialist $103,125
Carpenter $102,242
Earthworks contractor $94,167
Bricklayer $92,500
Building designer $91,111
Air conditioning/heating professional $90,455
Lighting installer $90,000


Plumbing is the process of installing and maintaining systems for potable water, sewage, and drainage. Because of the expanding home market in Australia, it is quite profitable. Despite the coronavirus pandemic’s detrimental impact, tradies continue to find work simply because domestic leaks, such as a leaky faucet or showerhead, remain widespread.

The plumbing industry is so profitable that it has attracted not only blue-collar employees, but even professionals, with cases of investment bankers quitting the office to become plumbers.

How to Become a Plumber

Plumbers in Australia are obliged to hold a license in addition to proper training. Because there is no one governmental licensing organization for all trades, you must also be licensed in the state where you are conducting the work. As a result, if you’re licensed to undertake plumbing work in Queensland, you’ll need to apply for a license in NSW as well.

Because applying for a license might take some time, many foreign-trained plumbers work as trade assistants for a plumbing or building firm. A trade assistant is a person who assists qualified tradespeople but is not qualified for the position.

Consider getting tradie public liability insurance to protect yourself and your business. To learn more about tradie public liability insurance, click here.


Plumbers get the most money, followed by concreters and builders, who earn an average of $107,500 and $103,750, respectively. Meanwhile, business floor fitters came in fourth place with an average annual salary of $103,125, followed by carpenters on $102,424, bricklayers on $92,500, and building designers on $91,111.

All of these tradies are essential in the construction process.

How to Work in the Construction Industry

Concreters and builders, floor fitters, carpenters, bricklayers, and building designers

receive their training and certification from a trade school or university before progressing to complete on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

Builders must get a license in the state where they work. Each position also has its own set of certifications:

Builders: Certificate III in Construction Concreters: Certificate III in Construction Concreters: Certificate III in Construction Concreters: Certificate III in Construction Concreter Floor installers: Certificate IV in Building and Construction Flooring Technology Certificate III

Carpenters must possess either a Certificate III in Carpentry or a Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery.

Bricklayers: Building Designers: Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying

Anyone working on a building site in Australia must also complete construction induction training and get a “White Card” from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Earthwork Tradies

Because of the vast amount of building going on throughout the country, earthwork contractors are in high demand. These tradies are in responsible of land clearing, which includes terrain and building destruction, as well as underwater soil clearing, soil extraction, and garbage and other rubbish collection from the project site. They also dig trenches for drainage and cable installation, as well as subterranean excavation for subway and other pipe connections.

To minimize soil erosion and building site accidents before and after earthwork projects, proper planning and competence are essential, and this is where earthwork contractors’ expertise and talents come in. Earthmoving equipment is extremely costly, which is why many who are just starting out in this line of work take out a tradie loan or equipment finance. However, the investment pays off well because earthwork contractors are in high demand and well compensated, with an average annual salary of $94,167.

How to Become an Earthwork Tradie

To operate the following types of equipment, you no longer require an earthmoving or particular crane (EPC) certificate under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

However, there are still rules in place that govern who is allowed to operate earthmoving equipment and under what conditions.

As the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking, you will be fully responsible for the safe operation of equipment if you are an earthwork contractor. This will involve ensuring people have the necessary training and information to operate equipment and ensuring compliance with all safety requirements. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring that any equipment is well maintained at all times.

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