When we are younger, our dream careers can range greatly depending on our interests. Some say astronauts, others musicians, doctors, builders, fire fighters – the list goes on. But it is unlikely that in the decision making process, a great deal of time was spent considering remuneration agreements and working conditions. It was pure excitement. Unfortunately, as we grow up and leave school, we have to make some hard choices. In this blog, we try offer some assistance, comparing tradies and white collar workers while asking, ‘who’s winning?’
Table of Contents
Tradies vs White Collar Workers
1. Earning Potential & Trades Recognition
If you are looking for a glamorous profession, it’s likely you are looking elsewhere to those in the trades industries. Long stints on hot sites, heavy overalls becoming covered in dirt and sweat, muscles aching and skin turning raw – the roles really aren’t for everyone. And with that thinking, for generations, public perception has moved away from considering becoming a tradie as a lucrative career when compared with ‘white collar’ work.
The truth is, becoming a tradie might be the best decision for you, especially with ease of entry through avenues like trades recognition. Average tradies out there are earning a minimum of $60.88 per hour, with some lucky enough to even be able to charge in excess of $90 per hour, which often exceeds roles that require university degrees, such as many lawyers, accountants and doctors.
2. Opportunities with Government Incentives & RPL Assessments
Job security is something we all crave, no matter what line of work we are in. With the public perceptions mentioned above in mind, it is good to consider whether blue-collar or white-collar industries have more opportunities available. Right now, Australia is in the middle of a trades skill shortage. Apprenticeships and trainee numbers on work sites are drastically decreasing, greatly effecting our economy.
Paired with changes in visas available to overseas workers, and more emphasis being placed on the prospects of career paths starting with university, the country is crying out for trades workers in every industry, with great incentives being handed down by the government to boost numbers, and growing opportunities with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessments.
In comparison, white-collar jobs have subsequently become more competitive than ever. Parents have believed their children’s best chances at a secure future are all in these ‘professional’ industries, making them heavily saturated, and candidates with more degrees than referees are lucky if they can scrape together some unpaid intern work.
Building on from the last point, many white-collar professions require workers to stay in a position for an extended period of time, progressing through continuous hurdles and training programs to be deemed competent in performing a task. And with such rampant competition for coveted roles, it is likely that these people will feel nervous about chasing adventure, and starting an enterprise on their own.
Tradies, on the other hand, are rewarded with a wealth of benefits in the realms of independence. As skill and reputation develop, there isn’t a need to progress onto more training. Plumbers, electricians, bricklayers and more are simply able to be more select about the projects they work on, and easily start their own businesses.