Does a Tradesperson Earn More the an average University Graduate?
Numerous recent reports have revealed that tradespeople are happier and tend to earn
more money on average than university graduates. Last year, Selco carried out a survey on
542 skilled manual workers to discover how experiences, work, and lifestyle differ from
those who had attended and graduated from university.
Based on Selco’s findings, attending and graduating from higher education doesn’t necessarily
guarantee high earnings and a secure job. This article will explore a Tradesperson earnings in the UK vs those that have cyst graduated from University.
Financial Security & Pay
Training for a future career can come at a cost for most job roles, especially those
continuing their studies in higher education. On average, tradies end up owing £5,600 after
completing their training. This is roughly £40,000 + less than a university graduate, with the
average debt of a graduate being around £45,000.
Furthermore, tradies are reported to have more financial security compared to the average
worker in the UK. Over 70% of tradespeople are in a position to manage and build up their
savings to a comfortable level of financial security. This may take a lot longer for the average
graduate due to factors such as earning a living wage later than tradies and having £40,000
more debt than a tradesperson.
The average wage of an electrician is reported at £37,000 – £40,000 p/a , with reports of
self-employed electricians earning £60,000 + . This is significantly higher than the average
wage of a university graduate, with the average figure being
Vocational training courses, such as those provided by Learn Trade Skills, are usually
completed a lot sooner than those attending a university course, enabling tradies to start
earning a living wage a lot sooner than a graduate. The average tradesperson can expect to
start earning a living wage from the age of 22, whilst for graduates it can take as long as up
to the age of 29.
Opportunities in the trade, progression, and growth
Expanding on job security, the trade sector, especially the electrical industry, continues to
grow and provide opportunities for those just starting out in their career. With the demand
for trades constantly on the rise and the movement to a more sustainable way of living, it
has become a lot easier for tradies (Electricians) to find themselves in comfortable and
stable job positions a lot sooner than the average University Graduate.
We are also now starting to see a lot more vocational training centres opening up due to the
great demand for manual skilled workers in the UK. The past few years have enabled us to
understand the importance of skilled manual workers and the contribution that they have
to society. This has also led to a significant increase in the number of people switching
careers to land themselves a more stable, secure, and high-earning career.
Lifestyle – Happiness and reaching milestones
Based on the findings already discussed, it comes at no surprise that 73% of the
tradespeople that participated in the survey are happy within their current job role, which is
far more than the average figure for UK job satisfaction, which is between 41-65%.
This leads us to the question, why are tradespeople a lot happier in their job role than most
workers in the UK? 72% of those surveyed believe that it comes down to the feeling of
pride in their work, with 67% stating that they felt satisfaction in their hard work.
With regard to reaching lifestyle milestones, tradespeople are more likely to achieve these
at an earlier age when compared to university graduates as tradespeople are likely to start
earning a living wage by 22, whereas some graduates may not even reach this until the age
This provides tradespeople with the opportunity to start saving and investing early on in
their career, and are likely to own a property and settle down a few years before the
the average graduate would be able to.
Are you thinking about learning a trade? Switching Career to become a tradesperson?
Check out our courses here
Learn Trade Skills, a Vocational Training Centre based in Hertfordshire, Provides part-time and evening electrical training to those that are experienced and new to the industry.
We have a team of trainers who have been in this industry for years and are instilled with a great
passion for what they do. LTS aspires to raise future generations of electricians and give
them the experience, skill set, and qualifications to be successful in their industry.
Our trainers have years of experience in this industry teaching with passion and have
exceptional pass rate records to help you get the qualifications you desire.
The Electrical Courses on offer are tailored to the needs of students and what our trainers
believe is crucial, to get you the accreditation you seek.
LTS is designed to cater to the needs of its students and help them succeed by giving them
the flexibility to do so.
- Part-time / Evening Training
- Highly Experienced Tutors
- Career Guidance
- Small-sized classes (Extra one-to-one support)
- Payment in monthly Instalments
- 1 Free Exam Retake (On our Package Courses)
- Price Matching