$60/hour average charge for renovation work. Sparkies, plumbers and concreters earn the most.

Tradie charges

Sparkies: Plenty to smile about.

The highest paid tradies and contractors for home renovation jobs are plumbers, electricians and concreters and Queensland tradies charge the most according to new research by job quoting website serviceseeking.com.au

The site looked at the average price that tradies charge in 10 home renovation industries bid on jobs posted by customers from July to September 2013 and compared them with the same period in 2014, presenting results on national and state levels. The national sample size was 58,540 bids.

Findings show the national average hourly charge of all trades in the 2014 period was $59.70 with plumbers smashing those figures courtesy of a national average hourly charge of $76.73, a 6.5 per cent rise on 2013.

Painters, tilers and floorers consistently bid the lowest in both years at around $40 per hour.

Overall 2014 saw a 2.4 per cent increase in the hourly bid across all trades, from $58.31 to $59.70. Queensland led that charge with its 7.5 per cent increase helping offset the NSW hourly bid average declining by 1.2 per cent along with WA’s 2.8 per cent decline.

Average bid per state (all trades):

State July to Sep 13 July to Sep 14 % Change
QLD $58.71 $63.14 7.5%
WA $64.12 $62.32 -2.8%
NSW $59.23 $58.50 -1.2%
VIC $55.38 $56.56 2.1%
Average $58.31 $59.70 2.4%


Average bid per trade (all states):  

Trade (National) July to Sep 13 July to Sep 14 % Change
Building & Home Renovations $59.25 $59.93 1.1%
Carpentry $53.19 $51.34 -3.6%
Concreting $61.81 $66.92 7.6%
Electrical Services $69.87 $74.85 6.7%
Flooring $44.86 $38.14 -17.6%
Gyprock & Plastering $48.95 $46.85 -4.5%
Landscaping $54.50 $60.00 9.2%
Painting $44.00 $40.90 -7.6%
Plumbing $71.53 $76.53 6.5%
Tiling $44.65 $42.75 -4.4%
  • Figures do not include commercial work, employment or sub-contracting and are focused on businesses and tradies servicing the home renovation market.
  • Total sample size of all trades was 58,540 bids however ServiceSeeking could not supply the sample size of individual trades at time of publishing.

According to Joint-CEO of serviceseeking.com.au Jeremy Levitt, it is a good time to pick up more work,

“Demand to renovate is currently outstripping supply,” he said.

“The number of quotes per job is declining, from 4.1 quotes per job in July [2014] to 2.5 quotes per job in November [2014] as renovation companies reach capacity.”

“Those renovation businesses that have capacity to take on more work are enjoying higher win rates and less competition.”

Deputy Executive Director of Master Builders QLD, Paul Bidwell told ABC Radio that building approvals are sky high and many tradies are moving back to the Southeast Queensland thanks to an increasing amount of work in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts.

Despite this he said that Queensland tradies being the most expensive came as a complete surprise.

“A lot of trade contractors are still looking for work and I would have said rates are very competitive.”

However he conceded new house prices increased 3.3 per cent in the 12 months to September 2014 and that ServiceSeeking’s “figures could work”.

Speaking of the NSW Bidwell said: “Their housing market is booming… I can’t see how prices could have gone backwards.”

Listen to the entire ABC interview with Paul Bidwell:


About Author

Tom Haynes

Tom is the founder and publisher of Tools Trades Toys. He has been working as an editor and producing content for the trades for around five years. He loves to tell a good story.

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