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What do Australians really want to know about tradies?

Google’s autocomplete function gives us an insight into this question when you start typing “do tradies” or “why do tradies”.

So we thought we’d have a crack at answering the hard-hitting questions that show up.

Why do tradies google search

The twenty questions Google came up with are:

  1. Do tradies work on weekends?
  2. Do tradies get paid when it rains?
  3. Do tradies get the ladies?
  4. Do tradies work in the rain?
  5. Do tradies get good money?
  6. Do tradies make good money?
  7. Do tradies really get the ladies?
  8. Do tradies get a discount at Bunnings?
  9. Do tradies need utes?
  10. Do tradies get annual leave?
  11. Why do tradies start work early?
  12. Why do tradies get the ladies?
  13. Why do tradies wear high vis?
  14. Why do tradies earn so much?
  15. Why do tradies start work so early?
  16. Why do tradies get paid so much?
  17. Why do tradies charge so much?
  18. Why do tradies wear fluro?
  19. Why do tradies smoke?
  20. Why do tradies wear short shorts?

Here at Trade Risk we do insurance.  We deal with thousands of tradies, but we’re not tradies.  So we can’t promise to answer the twenty question above accurately, but we’ll do our best!

1. Do tradies work on weekends?

Like many different occupations, some tradies will work weekends, and some won’t.

If we’re talking about self-employed tradies (like many of our clients) then it’s really down to the individual.

Some tradies are in the fortunate financial position that they can prioritise family time on the weekends and not work, whilst others might not have a choice.

And some just love a weekend cashy…

Cashy Number Plate

2. Do tradies get paid when it rains?

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, employers are not required to pay workers if they are stood down due to bad weather unless their award or agreement says they do.

“An employer can’t ask their employees to start or continue to work during severe and inclement weather if it’s unreasonable or unsafe. Employers don’t have to pay their employees when this happens, unless an award or agreement says they do. If the award or agreement doesn’t say anything about inclement weather, find out when an employer can stand down employees.”

But what is “inclement weather”.  Is a bit of drizzle enough to tools-down and head home?  Fair Work does have further information on this.

“Inclement weather is when it’s unsafe or unreasonable for an employee to work because of severe weather conditions. Examples include heavy rain and storms, bushfires, extreme heat or cold, hail or high winds.”

If they’re subcontracting and can’t work due to the rain, it’d be fair to say they won’t be earning money on rain days.  But the work still has to be done eventually.

So the answer to this question is potentially no, they don’t get paid, but it all depends on the award or agreement they’re working under, or if they’re self-employed which changes everything.

3. Do tradies get the ladies?

Probably!  According to this article in the Daily Mail, Aussie tradies are hot property and are definitely getting the ladies.

The Daily Mail says this is a result of their high earnings and “their rugged bodies and handsome looks”!

4. Do tradies work in the rain?

It would depend on the type of work and how it is affected by the weather.  The Fair Work Ombudsman says they can’t be asked to work in bad weather if it’s “unreasonable or unsafe”.

If it’s an electrician working in a new home that has reached lock-up stage, a bit of rain probably isn’t going to stop them from doing their job.

But if it’s a carpenter putting up a new frame, they’ll probably not be working out in the rain.

So it all depends.

Another major factor is whether the tradie is employed or self-employed.  A self-employed tradie is only going to earn money if they can work, so they might be a little more inclined to work through the weather if possible.

5. Do tradies get good money?

Like any occupation, some workers will make great money, and some won’t…

Whether we’re talking about a tradie on wages or a self-employed tradie will have a big impact on this too.

Every year we release our “How much do tradies earn” report.  It shows that a few building trades have annual incomes over the national average, but also that some are below.

Average Income by Trade - 2019

According to the ABS the national average income in Australia is $88,140, whilst the average for construction trades on our report was $81,636.

Electricians and plumbers often top the list, so if you’re wanting to do a trade that does get good money, those might be the ones to consider.

Our report revealed that around 12% of tradies earn over $100k in taxable income, so if you class six-figures as “good money” there is definitely the potential to make it!

And if all else fails, just be like this guy…

Scott Cam Earnings

6. Do tradies make good money?

See above, and below…

Bunnings Ferrari

7. Do tradies really get the ladies?

Apparently they do…  See “Do tradies get the ladies”.

8. Do tradies get a discount at Bunnings?

They sure do!  Tradies can apply for a PowerPass, which gives them access to trade pricing and a range of other benefits.

We couldn’t find anywhere the actually details what the discount is, and it appears that it might differ depending on the individual PowerPass member?

9. Do tradies need utes?

It would certainly make a lot of sense for a tradie to own a ute, but there are plenty of photos to prove us wrong!

The owner of this Holden Astra would argue that having an appropriate vehicle is totally unnecessary…

Astra loaded with timber
Astra ute.

Jokes aside, plenty of tradies are moving from utes to vans these days, with one of the reasons being the added security they can offer.

With tool theft being a massive issue, having a more secure vehicle is not a bad idea.

10. Do tradies get annual leave?

This will depend largely on whether we’re talking about an employed or self-employed tradie.

For employed tradies on wages, they’d be just as entitled to annual leave as any other employed worker.

But many tradies work as subcontractors, and as a subcontractor they get paid an hourly rate and there is generally no annual leave or sick leave.

For self-employed tradies there is certainly no annual leave, so if they want to take a few weeks off for a family holiday, knowing they’ll earn nothing whilst they’re away, they need to put some money aside.

11. Why do tradies start work early?

It’s all about the weather we’d guess.  Australia is a hot place, and tradies don’t typically work in air-conditioned offices like some of us lucky ones…

Starting the working day early means less time in the hot afternoon sun.

12. Why do tradies get the ladies?

See “Do tradies get the ladies”.

13. Why do tradies wear high vis?

Is this really one of the most common questions people ask Google about tradies?

Why would someone working in a dangerous environment like a building site want to be more visible…?

14. Why do tradies earn so much?

See “Do tradies get good money?” and “Why do tradies charge so much?”.

Cash belt

15. Why do tradies start work so early?

See “Why do tradies start work early

16. Why do tradies get paid so much?

So many questions about pay!  See “Do tradies get good money?” and “Why do tradies charge so much?”.

17. Why do tradies charge so much?

Presumably this question relates more so to self-employed tradies such as electricians and plumbers.

Ever year we see these articles in the media about tradies “earning” $200 an hour or whatever, simply because they charge $200 an hour.

The articles seem to make out that a tradie charging $200 an hour is making that amount 38 hours each and every week…

The truth is that a self-employed tradie spends many hours every week traveling from job to job, quoting jobs and doing paperwork.

How much do they charge for that work?  Typically zero.  On top of that they have business expenses to pay, such as insurance.  It’s not like that $200 for the one hour job goes straight into the back pocket.

Being self-employed they’ll also have no access to sick leave or annual leave, so out of that hourly rate they have to account for potential time off work down the track when they won’t be earning anything.

So do tradies really charge so much?  Probably not…

18. Why do tradies wear fluro?

See “Why do tradies wear high vis

19. Why do tradies smoke?

What else are you going to do at smoko?

Maybe it’s due to stress…?

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in seven Australian adults are daily smokers.

Looking at young males the rate jumps to around one on six.

Considering that many tradies are young males, and statistically one in six is a daily smoker, it’s perhaps no surprise that people think tradies are smokers.

20. Why do tradies wear short shorts?

This seemed like an odd question, but according to a poll run by RSEA Safety, more tradies do prefer short shorts.

The poll results showed that 57% of tradies chose the option “as short as possible”. 

Tradie short shorts

One of the reasons is likely to be manoeuvrability.  A tradie is going to be twisting, kneeling, crouching and everything else whilst on the job.  Longer shorts would likely just get in the way.

How did we go?

We specialise in insurance for tradies, not whether or not they work in the rain or get the ladies!

But we hope we’ve managed to answer a few burning questions.  If you’re a tradie and have some better answers for us, please get in touch.

Why do tradies

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In 2017 Trade Risk was awarded a Gold Trusted Service Award for the amazing service we offer to thousands of tradies from around Australia.

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