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Can Tradies really earn more than Doctors

One of Australia’s prominent online news services recently told us that tradies can easily earn more than Doctors. The key inside the article, is that many qualified tradies are in increasing demand, to carry out rectification works for damages caused by dodgy tradies. The Australian Bureau of Statistics demonstrates the facts that tradies can and are earning more than Doctors.

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We must first have a glimpse of the “tradie” and “doctor” definitions so as to clear any doubt. In Australia, a tradie refers to people who have a trade like plumbers, electricians, painters, etc. The word tradie is a short form for tradesmen, who are a group of skilled persons working in a defined trade. On the other hand, a doctor is an individual who has studied at the tertiary level for many years to gain sound qualifications, on disease management.  The question remains, how much does each of them earn?

So how much do they earn

For us to arrive at a consensus on such a comparison, we must first take a look at the earnings of each. According to the Australian Taxation Office statistics, a tradesman who specializes in property maintenance, renovations, demolitions, and fit-outs may pocket more than $372000 in 12 months. Is that for real? Yes, it’s correct.

In 2017, the average hourly rate for tradies was $88.49 per hour. The data, which was broken down state by state, shows that South Australian removalists also managed to top their state’s list for highest-paid tradies, despite a drop in hourly rates from $102.32 in 2017 to $94.83 per hour. Our question now should be which are Australia’s highest-earning trade jobs? In Australia, plumbers have the highest average yearly income taking home $110,000 followed by concreters who take home $107,500. This was revealed by the Trade Rich List. Builders earn $103,750 and those who work with flooring companies earn $103,125.

And now for Doctors

In Australia, with everything taken into consideration, it is on record that the average doctor’s salary (working in general practice) is a little over $110,000. This is closely behind a physician working in an emergency department in a hospital, who brings in about $102,000. Entry-level GPs can expect to earn around $80,000 annually, while highly experienced doctors who own their own practice can earn more than $300,000. PayScale lists the median salary for general practitioners in Australia as $117,000. A tale of two doctors Starting salaries for a trainee doctor in Australia starts at A$45,000 rising to A$115,000 to A$240,000 for a specialist consultant. The basic salary, however, assumes a working week of 38 hours – anything after that is paid as overtime.

We can now do the comparison in terms of salary for a trader and a doctor based on the above salary weights. It is still evident that a trader can earn more than a doctor without any doubt. This brings a trader to a more advantaged position compared to a doctor. Let’s now focus on the advantages of being a trader over a doctor.

A raw comparison

Job Security.

In a world where job security is a big fear, tradies are largely unaffected. With tangible practical trade skills, you can ensure safety in the knowledge you and your family have a more secure future than most.

Get a head start, become qualified without putting yourself in debt

A trade skill set and qualification eliminates the responsibility and financial enormity of taking on a student loan. Tradies work in an apprenticeship while learning the ropes and get paid for practical work completed during their qualification. Studying a profession by university degree poses high risks especially if you are simply unsure what to do next. University degrees are likely to have you lumped with a large debt and uncertain future in a tough job market, you may not achieve a fair income for some time after graduation and then there will still be that debt to pay off before you can move ahead.

Goals can be met.

Renovating your home or investment can cost a whole lot less with the option of doing some of the expensive skilled trade work yourself and maybe some friends in the industry might lend you their expertise and at mates rates prices too.

Flexibility and early finishing work hours.

As a trade, you may be required to rise early but this also often means you finish early with afternoons off to make use of while many others are stuck in office cubicles until dinnertime you can be surfing or playing with the kids.


These days, there is definitely a shift from people wanting to go to university and get a degree to learn a trade. The myths about being a trader and that you can’t make serious money are slowly being dispelled. It is no doubt that tradies are pulling in huge amounts of cash. Not only do they work hard, they have to be smart about building their trade business empire. The ability to secure your financial position, with skills that are in high demand and the potential to run your very own business sounds like a good ‘trade’ to me.

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