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Which tradesman trade should I get into?

Whether you’re looking to broaden your horizons after many years in the job market, or you’re a school leaver looking to acquire an apprenticeship, entering a trade offers the opportunity to make good money and carve out a unique space in the job market through your unique skill set. However, there are a few different questions you should ask yourself when determining the right skilled trade to suit your own aims and goals.

Working out which trade you love can help you gain base-level expertise and develop skills which can really help your career blossom further down the line. And beyond that, they’re jobs that will always be necessary, which makes them not only consistently in-demand, but more likely to remain well-paying, even when more white-collar career paths become less lucrative. From harnessing the skills you already possess, identifying the ones you want to develop, and the all-important question of salary, this guide will outline five of the most useful (and lucrative) trades to take up, and why they’re so beneficial.

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If you’re looking for an in-demand tradesman job which pays extremely well, then becoming an electrician is easily the best trade to learn. In fact, it’s one of the most well-paid trades of all, with the most recent survey from the Federation Of Master Builders putting their average annual salary at a cool £47,265 for top-tier electricians.

It’s also one of the most versatile trades, guaranteeing a consistent stream of residential and commercial clients in need of your expertise in wiring, installation, and maintenance. Training as an electrician requires a level 3 qualification, which takes up to four years to complete. However, many courses offer the opportunity to take up an apprenticeship to help you learn on the job.


As with electricians, plumbers will find themselves working for a diverse range of clients in both the private and business sectors. Plumbers’ rates are also extremely high, with the FBM survey showing that the most experienced plumbers can take home an annual salary of £48,675.

The job also offers versatility in the type of work you could be doing. For example, you can get started as a plumber with a level 2 diploma, but the role offers the opportunity to upskill with higher qualifications or additional training in gas repair. Plumbing work also requires well-developed soft skills, to allow you to engage with customers and respond to the unique needs of each job with aplomb.


Working as a roofer is one of the more high-risk trades but, as such, can also be one of the most lucrative, with the best in the business earning around £42,300 a year. This trade requires less formal training than the two career paths mentioned above, and working as an apprentice labourer will offer some essential on-the-job tips. However, the majority of building sites do require proof of completion of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Roofing is a collaborative job, with numerous people working onsite at any given time, so having people skills and a good capacity for teamwork is a must, as well as being able to understand blueprints and other technical documents. It also goes without saying that anyone considering becoming a roofer should be comfortable with heights.

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Heating engineer

Heating engineers work on issues across all manner of properties, and are responsible for installation and maintenance of boilers and gas heaters, as well as the associated pipework. They earn an average salary of between £32,500 and £37,500 per year, and require qualifications in gas safety and central heating repair. As with plumbing, apprenticeships are easy to come by and will give you a good idea of the day-to-day expectations of the job.


Level 3 welding qualifications require up to 5 GCSEs between A* and C level, but can give you the greatest potential for landing the best welding jobs. College courses and apprenticeships are widely available and you will also need to successfully acquire a Client Contractor National Safety Group certificate before you begin working. The work can be challenging and dangerous, and you should be comfortable with following technical drawings and blueprints, as well as working with the required machinery. However, your effort will be rewarded handsomely, with a salary of around £33,500 a year.

Dean Laming

Dean Laming is a Chartered Insurance Broker with more than 25 years insurance experience. Through various underwriting, operational and management roles, Dean has built up extensive knowledge of how to run a business and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Dean Laming

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