UK Tradesperson Index

The trade industry is one of the biggest in the UK, with over 2.2 million workers. There are many different trades, from plumbing and electrical to carpentry and roofing. So whether you need someone to replace your guttering or repair your corrugated roofing, it’s easy to find someone suitable for the job.

But have you ever wondered which trades are the highest paid or where in the UK is the best place to find a job in the industry?

We’ve analysed various data sources to find out which trades are earning the most, as well as the region with the most trade job opportunities. We also discovered which DIY projects the UK is searching for the most and how much each project would cost on average if they were to be carried out by a professional.

The highest earning trades in the UK

highest earning trades in the UK

1. Carpenter - £832 average weekly pay

Topping the list with an average weekly pay of £832, carpenters are essential in many construction projects. Carpenters are involved in the design and construction of structures such as staircases, conservatories and media walls. Workers within this trade need to have excellent attention to detail, as the job involves a lot of technical drawing, accurate measuring and the use of a range of power tools. All of these skills contribute to the high pay that carpenters receive.

2. Gas engineer - £735 average weekly pay

The second-highest-earning trade in the UK is gas engineers, earning an average of £735 per week. Gas engineers specialise in systems and appliances that use natural gas, such as boilers, fires and range cookers. This can involve installing, maintaining or repairing these systems. Jobs like these require you to have up-to-date technical knowledge, as well as adhere to specific regulations in line with customer health and safety. Due to these necessary skills and levels of education, gas engineers earn high levels of pay.

3. Scaffolder - £718 average weekly pay

Scaffolders earn an average of £718 per week, making this the third highest-paying trade on the list. Scaffolders are vital for safety on construction sites, providing temporary structures that allow other trades to work at height safely. For example, for installing gutters or a new roof. The physically demanding nature of the job, combined with the need for precision and adherence to safety regulations, justifies the high pay relative to other trades.

The highest earning trades by region

highest paid trades by region

1. East of England - £659.30 average weekly pay

Trade workers in the East of England are the highest paid on average, earning almost £660 per week, including overtime. The biggest upcoming construction project in the region is the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station in Leiston. The project is due to start in October 2024 and is valued at £34.8 billion.

2. South East of England - £649.10 average weekly pay

The region of the UK with the second-highest earning trade workers is the South East of England. On average, trade workers in the region receive a weekly pay of just over £649. The biggest upcoming construction project in the South East of England is the Lennox Point Masterplan in Portsmouth. The project is due to start in July 2024 and is valued at £1.3 billion.

3. London - £648.60 average weekly pay

London’s trade workers earn the third-highest average weekly pay, at over £648. The biggest construction project in the region is the Thameside West Masterplan at the Victoria Dock. The project began back in March 2024 and is valued at £3.5 billion.

The regions with the most trade job opportunities

regions with the most trade job opportunities

1. South East of England - 3,303 job opportunities on Indeed

With over 3,300 job adverts currently live on Indeed, the South East of England is the region of the UK with the most job opportunities for trade workers. This includes almost 890 adverts for electricians, over 110 adverts for painters and decorators, and nearly 50 adverts for window fitters.

2. North West of England - 2,404 job opportunities on Indeed

The region of the UK with the second-highest number of job opportunities is the North West of England, with over 2,400 job adverts on Indeed. The most opportunities are available to those within the electrical trade, with over 750 adverts currently live. This is then followed by 398 adverts for gas engineers and almost 310 adverts for carpenters.

3. South West of England - 2,371 job opportunities on Indeed

Following closely behind is the South West of England, where there are currently over 2,370 job adverts live on Indeed. Just like the South East and the North West of England, the most in-demand trade in the South West is electrical, with 680 opportunities currently available. There are also nearly 70 live adverts for plasterers and over 200 live adverts for welders.

The most-searched DIY jobs on Google in the UK

most searched DIY jobs

It’s no secret that many people in the UK would prefer to save a bit of cash and carry out a DIY job themselves rather than hire a professional. This can then lead to many hours being spent trawling Google and reading instructions on how to carry out the job.

But which DIY jobs are people in the UK Googling the most?

The most commonly searched DIY job in the UK is painting a fence, with over 518,940 searches being made within the last year. The actual job itself is relatively easy to do; however, there are some other things that need to be completed beforehand, such as wash and sanding the fence and cutting back any shrubs or bushes if needed. For this reason, some people may prefer to hire a professional to paint their fence for them. On average, it costs around £112 to have a small wooden garden fence painted by a professional in the UK.

Another commonly searched DIY job is cleaning a patio, which received over 380,080 searches. Although it isn’t particularly hard to do, it can be a lengthy job, particularly if there is a large buildup of stubborn dirt and grime. Because cleaning a patio can be time-consuming, people often hire professionals to carry out the job. This costs around £100 on average in the UK but can vary depending on the size of the patio and labour costs.

The third most commonly searched DIy in the UK is bleeding a radiator, with over 355,270 searches being made within the last year. By carrying out this task, hot water will be able to circulate through the heating system properly. Although it is rather a quick and easy job, many people don’t know how to do it correctly. In the UK, it costs around £62.50 on average to have your radiator bled by a professional.

The most expensive DIY jobs to be done by a professional

most expensive DIY jobs done by a tradesperson

Things often end up going wrong when people attempt to do DIY jobs themselves. This can lead to more money being spent fixing the issue than if a qualified tradesperson had been hired in the first place.

But which DIY jobs are the most expensive to have done by a professional in the UK?

As expected, the most expensive DIY job to hire a professional for is building a garden room. Garden rooms are standalone structures away from the home and are often found at the bottom of a garden. They can be used for a variety of things, including home offices, kid’s playrooms, home bars and even businesses such as beauty treatments or dog grooming (with the right permissions). For an unassembled mini garden room plus labour costs, it will cost around £6,500 on average.

The second most expensive DIY job to hire a qualified tradesperson for is building a pergola. Pergolas are built from posts, beams and roofing sheets and are typically used to create shaded walkways or sheltered areas in a garden. They can also be used to create partitions, either to help plants grow or to separate one area of a garden from another. For a standard pergola, you can expect to be paying around £2,500 in the UK.

The third most expensive job to hire a professional for is building a fence. In the UK, it will cost around £1,600 to have a four-foot-high fence installed. However, it’s important to note that having a fence installed by a professional can vary massively. The total cost will depend on the materials used, the height and length of the fence and labour costs.

 

Methodology

We used Indeed to find the average weekly pay for different trade positions throughout the UK. Carpet fitters were removed from the list due to insufficient data. All data is correct as of 19 April 2024.

We used ONS data to find the average weekly pay, including overtime, for construction workers in each region of the UK.

We used Indeed to find the number of live job adverts in each region of the UK for the following trades: carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, bricklayer, roofer, plasterer, welder, carpet fitter, gas engineer, landscaper, scaffolder and window fitter. We then worked out the total number of live trade job adverts for each region and ranked accordingly. All data is correct as of 12 April 2024.

We used Google Keyword Planner to find the number of searches made between April 2023 and March 2024 for a variety of DIY jobs. We then used Checkatrade to find the average cost in the UK to hire a professional to carry out each job.

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