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Highest-Paying Trade Jobs: Statistics and Duties

Due to the spectacular technological innovation we’re witnessing today, automation of white-collar work is actively gaining momentum. While being beneficial for businesses, automation may well bring large-scale job losses in the near future, according to “The Future of Work in 2030” report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It also says that the job market will become fiercely competitive, delivering opportunities only to those with the right skills. What are ‘the right skills’, you may ask. Here is what we think.
According to the Trade Skills Index 2023, construction and trade jobs are currently at record highs. Several reasons have contributed to the trend: the pandemic, the effects of an ageing workforce, Brexit, and the cost-of-living crisis. If nothing changes in the next years, the UK may not meet its construction demand by 3032. Such a shortage in employees is bound to result in an increase in wages, approximately by 4.3%, or an extra £2,043 in today’s prices to the average annual salary of a construction employee in 2032.

All things considered, why not take a closer look at various best-paying trade jobs of the upcoming year? Our article sheds some light on the topic.

Elevating Trades: Changing Perceptions and Realities

We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide on the trade workers demand in the new 2024 and also several years ahead. Having learnt about the duties and potential remuneration one can receive, you may discover a trade job as a career path worth pursuing in the new year.

Mastering the Sparks: Electricians’ Average Salary and High-Earning Potential

One of the trades that is bound to surge over the next decade is an electrician. Electricians are professionals who work with electrical systems.

Salary: Starting from £18,000 for entry roles, the salary of an experienced electrician can reach £42,000 in the UK.

To get into the job: You should do a college course where you will gain technical knowledge and practical skills. Relevant college courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Access to Building Services Engineering (Electrical)
  • Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction

To become fully qualified, one still needs to gain hands-on experience through doing an apprenticeship or landing a trainee position.

Core duties: Installing, maintaining, or repairing electrical wiring, components, and equipment. Electricians deal with troubleshooting electrical issues of various kinds, identifying faulty components, and repairing or replacing them. In such a way, they ensure the safe and efficient operation of the electrical infrastructure.

Wiring the Future: Trends and Innovations in Electrical Trades

Several reasons contribute to the high demand for electricians.

  1. The decarbonisation and transitioning to net zero power. The home improvement and repair market is expected to grow by 1.5% per year from 2023 to 2027.
  2. Digitalisation of businesses. Smart systems implementation will require electricians to work with complex digital systems.
  3. Renewable energy trend. The more renewable energy systems (solar panels, inverters, and batteries) people will get, the more electricians we will need to install and maintain them.
  4. Electric vehicles’ popularity growth. In the first quarter of 2023, electric car sales in Europe increased by around 10% compared to the previous year. This will inevitably lead to the growing need for charging stations to be installed and maintained, which in turn requires specialised knowledge.

Constructing Success: High-Paid Roles in Construction

One of the best things about making a career in construction is the variety of roles this field offers: architects, building inspectors, tilers, surveyors, water network operatives, and many other professions in demand.

Salary: The salaries for these trade roles often vary depending on the position and experience. For example, the highest average salary for a bricklayer is £40,000 while a quantity surveyor may well get £25,000 at the entry-level position with the perspective to grow to £80,000 as a highly qualified and experienced worker. Other lucrative specialisations include architects, building control officers, or civil engineers (all starting from £60,000 for experienced professionals).

To get into the job: To become a building control officer, one can either do a higher national diploma, foundation degree, or degree in building studies, civil engineering, building control surveying, building surveying, or other relevant subjects.

One can also choose one of the college courses (Level 3 Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment or T Level in Design, Surveying, and Planning for Construction) and land a trainee position after completion.

Core duties: Reviewing construction projects for compliance with safety regulations, conducting on-site inspections, and monitoring the construction progress. The role requires constant collaboration with other construction professionals, such as architects and builders, and also interaction with local authorities.

Beyond the Blueprint: Trends and Innovations in Construction Trades

What kinds of breakthroughs can we expect in construction in 2024? Among them, there are:

  1. The growth in popularity of CMS. This software is aimed to facilitate managing such processes as project planning, scheduling, and organising and maintaining documentation. CMS can determine the best possible sequence of construction operations and establish plans for project safety and security.
  2. Sustainable practices usage growth. Since the Government is determined to reach Net Zero by 2050, the sector is going to experience fundamental transformation connected with advanced technologies and sustainable practices implementation.
  3. The increased utilisation of 3D printing. The technology is expected to achieve improved levels of cost-efficiency, flexibility, and safety. Companies will need people to manage this technology.
  4. Further automation advances. At first sight, automation may seem to be reducing staffing necessity. However, experts believe, it’s going to serve more as a supporting tool for the industry representatives rather than their replacement.

Piping Hot Careers: Booming Salaries for Plumbers

Salary: As of December 2023, the national average salary for a plumber in the UK ranges from £15,000 for a starter to £40,000 for an experienced employee. Currently, it may not be one of the best-paid trades UK, however, the demand for plumbers (and therefore their remuneration) is set to soar. It’s because the country is determined to fill the alarming skills gap across the construction sector, which is so important for the restoration of the UK economy.

To get into the job: Going for one of the college courses (Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing and Domestic Heating or T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction) will help you land a trainee position.

Having completed a course, it’s a good idea to do an advanced apprenticeship in plumbing and domestic heating. This can take up to 4 years, however, it will significantly improve your employment prospects.

Last but not least, one can try finding a plumber’s assistant role and do on-the-job training to get the necessary qualifications.

Core duties: Plumbers are responsible for installing and maintaining plumbing systems, including assembling pipes, connecting fixtures, servicing gas and oil-fired central heating systems and radiators, and troubleshooting various issues. They are the ones who ensure both compliance with safety standards and secure functionality and efficiency of water and waste disposal systems in various settings.

Flowing with the Times: Trends and Innovations in Plumbing

Plumbing trends in 2024 are similar to those in the construction area:

  1. Smart AI-powered plumbing systems are coming more actively into play. As a part of smart home technology, smart plumbing systems are aimed at making water usage as efficient and convenient for homeowners as possible. The innovative functions will include providing real-time data on water usage, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, and also prompt water leaks or other malfunctions detection.
  2. A growing popularity of eco-friendly plumbing practices that promote responsible water usage. Among these, there are utilising low-flow fixtures, installing rainwater harvesting systems, and using more energy-efficient water heaters. For instance, solar power and heat pumps are gaining traction as alternatives to traditional energy sources that produce significantly less carbon emissions.

Crafting Wealth: The Lucrative World of Carpentry

With a predicted increase of 12% in the construction industry in 2024, carpentry and woodwork are bound the thrive too.

Salary: Currently, carpenters can count on receiving £17,000 at the start of their career in the UK, while more experienced employees will receive around £38,000.

How to get into the job: There are two ways to become a carpenter: doing a college course (Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Bench Joinery, Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Site Carpentry, or T Level in On Site Construction) or doing an apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship options include:

  • Carpentry and joinery with a focus on site carpentry or architectural joinery;
  • Wood product manufacturing operative with a focus on furniture-making.

Core duties: Carpenters are masters of crafting and assembling wooden structures of various types, sizes, and purposes. Their day-to-day duties comprise interpreting blueprints, maintaining structural repairs, measuring, cutting, and installing wooden items such as floorboards, doors, staircases, or window frames. They are responsible for making structures durable, functional, and visually appealing. Their work may well be called artsy as they also deal with creating custom woodwork with intricate detailing.

Carving the Future: Trends and Innovations in Carpentry

Carpentry, similar to other construction industry areas, will inevitably be exposed to automation and robotisation in 2024. For instance, there are now robots capable of constructing specialised carpentry tasks. They are highly unlikely to replace human workers, however, the chances of them becoming invaluable assistants, particularly for newcomers to the workforce, are quite high. And it’s not only because robots can ensure higher efficiency. The most valuable contribution of a robot assistant is improved work safety when doing low-skill mechanical tasks like sawing wood, thus allowing humans to concentrate on more demanding and creative work.

  1. GOV.UK Electrician
  2. The UK Trade Skills Index 2023
  3. Trends in Electric Light-Duty Vehicles
  4. GOV.UK Building Site Inspector
  5. GOV.UK Plumber
  6. GOV.UK Carpenter
  7. The Verge MIT’s robot carpenters will saw wood for you, but you have to make the furniture yourself
Highest-Paying Trade Jobs: Statistics and Duties
Date: 12 January 2024
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Useful materials about job search in your mail
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