The Highest (and Lowest) Earning Tradespeople in the UK

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When setting up and running your own company, understanding how to price your services can make or break your success. Striking the right balance between profitability and competitiveness is crucial for any aspiring tradesperson or established business owner. But with so many factors influencing pricing, from experience and skill level to geographical location, it can be challenging to figure out what to charge.

To help tradespeople understand how to best position their company and price their offering, we’ve analysed the average hourly rates of 16 common trades across the UK. Our findings reveal the trades that command the highest fees and those that offer more affordable services. We’ve also looked into how pricing differs per location, revealing which UK cities are home to the highest and lowest-earning tradespeople. 

Finally, we’ve shared expert advice explaining the importance of competitor research and how best to go about pricing your services as a small business owner. 

How much does each trade charge on average?

Our research revealed the average hourly wage of tradespeople in the UK is £31.49 — which is £20 more than the country’s National Living Wage for 2024 (£11.44). While this may seem like a substantial income, it's important to note that a significant portion of these earnings often goes towards covering expenses such as taxes, business overheads, and other essential costs associated with running a trade-based business.

But how do earnings differ across each trade?

The highest-earning trades

1. Locksmiths

Locksmiths are crowned the highest-earning tradespeople in the UK, with an average hourly wage of £44.65. That’s nearly double the average wage of some of the more inexpensive trades on the list. They’re also the most highly-rated tradespeople, boasting an average rating of 4.97/5.

Locksmiths are required to deliver a swift and responsive service, dealing with the common challenges of customers being locked out or seeking enhanced security measures. The urgency and critical nature of their job means most locksmiths offer around-the-clock services, which enables them to charge more for their work.

Additionally, the locksmith industry is not as saturated as certain other trades due to the specialised skill set and specific training required including background checks, creating a favourable market environment for skilled professionals. This limited competition allows locksmiths to command higher rates for their expertise and time commitment. 

2. Heating Engineers & Gas Fitters

Heating engineers and gas fitters follow closely in second, with average earnings of £41 per hour. They also hold an average rating of 4.96/5 in the UK, positioning them as the second-most highly rated tradespeople. 

Whether they’re being called out in the dead of winter to fix a broken boiler, or are routinely testing our homes for gas leaks or fire hazards, those in this profession are constantly keeping us safe and warm. Their vital work makes them truly indispensable, putting them in a position to charge higher fees for their service.

3. Plumbers 

With an average hourly wage of £39.25, plumbers come in third. 

They’re responsible for maintaining the plumbing systems that keep our homes and businesses functioning properly, preventing costly water damage and ensuring that we have access to clean water. Their expertise and knowledge are highly valued, making them a sought-after service provider and enabling them to charge a higher price for their work.

Plumbers also receive a high average rating of 4.95/5 for their services across the UK, demonstrating people’s appreciation for their skills.



Hourly Wage





Heating Engineers & Gas Fitters






Bathroom Fitters



Painters & Decorators












Roofers & Roofing



Landscape Gardeners



Fencing Contractors



Kitchen Fitters



Carpenters & Joiners



Double Glazing






Plastering & Screeding


The lowest-earning trades

Plasterers and screeding contractors are revealed as the lowest-earning tradespeople, with workers paid just £23.45 an hour on average. Tilers follow in second, with average hourly earnings of £24.50, followed by double-glazing installers with £26.60.

These trades all have relatively low barriers to entry. That means there is a large pool of workers available, which can drive down wages due to more competition for work. 

On top of that, while services such as plumbing are usually required year-round, demand for plastering, tiling, and double-glazing installation can vary significantly depending on the season. This can lead to periods of lower earnings for these workers. 

The highest and lowest-earning locations

As well as revealing which tradespeople earn the most and least for their services, we wanted to understand how their salaries differ across the country.

To find out, we’ve calculated the average tradesperson’s salary across all trades in each UK city. We also compared this to the average salary of all jobs in each city, revealing how tradespeople’s wages compare to those of the general population. 

The highest-earning cities in the UK

Glasgow leads the way for earnings in the UK, with tradespeople in this Scottish city taking home an average wage of £50 per hour. That works out at an average gross salary of £7,961 per month, which is three times higher than Glasgow’s average monthly net salary of £2,479. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the UK capital comes in next. Those working in trades in London earn £41.31 per hour on average, adding up to a gross salary of £6,577 per month. That’s over double the average monthly net salary of £3,244. 

Reading places third, with tradespeople earning an average of £40.63 per hour — roughly £6,468 per month — followed by Preston (£32.31 per hour) and Birmingham (£32.13 per hour). 

Surprisingly, some northern cities rank among the top 10 highest-earning locations for tradespeople, challenging the conventional idea of high-income opportunities being predominantly in southern regions. Cities like Preston, Manchester, and Sunderland have emerged as attractive hubs for trades, demonstrating that there are good opportunities for tradespeople to earn a high wage across the country. 



Hourly Wage































The lowest-earning cities in the UK

Kingston-upon-Hull is at the bottom of the table, offering the lowest average hourly wage for trade workers (£25.56). This translates to an average monthly gross salary of £4,070, which — although lower than in other cities — is still much higher than the city’s average monthly net salary for all jobs (£2,772).

Swansea is the second lowest-earning city for tradespeople, with a marginally higher hourly wage of £25.88. At a monthly average of £4,120, this still places them far above the average net salary across all jobs, which is just £1,662 per month. 

In third is Leicester with average earnings of £26.19 per hour, followed by Coventry (£28.25) and Sheffield (£28.31). 



Hourly Wage































How to price your services for growth

Whether you're a tradesperson just starting out, or a small business owner looking to expand your offering, understanding the pricing landscape is crucial for success. Pricing your services too high can be a major misstep, potentially pricing yourself out of potential jobs and limiting your customer base. On the other hand, setting prices too low can result in significant losses, affecting your overall profitability and sustainability. To offer some guidance, our experts have put together five top tips on how to effectively set prices for your services.

1. Know your costs 

This includes all of your expenses, such as rent, utilities, employee salaries, and marketing. You'll also want to factor in any hidden costs, such as insurance and professional fees. Once you know your total costs, you can start to calculate your profit margin.

A business credit card could help you keep on top of your costs, enabling you to accurately assess your actual expenses related to providing services. Many business credit cards also offer comprehensive expense management platforms, allowing you to track spending, identify trends, and make informed decisions about pricing and resource allocation.

2. Research your market 

This will help you figure out how much your customers are willing to pay for your services. Look at what your competitors are charging and consider the value that you offer. Are you providing a premium service? If so, you may be able to charge a higher price.

3. Get feedback from friends and family 

Before you set your final prices, get feedback from friends and family. Ask them what they're willing to pay for your services and why. This information can help you refine your pricing strategy.

4. Aim to make a profit 

At the end of the day, your goal is to make money. You need to charge enough to cover your costs and make a profit. If you're not making a profit, your business isn’t sustainable.

5. Be flexible 

Pricing can be a tricky business. You need to be flexible and willing to adjust your prices based on market conditions and customer demand. If you're not making enough money, consider offering discounts or packages. On the other hand, if you're not able to keep up with demand, consider raising your prices.

Methodology & sources

To uncover the best-rated tradespeople, we created a seedlist of trades. We then used a trade comparison website to find out each trade's average rating in the UK. 

We then created a seedlist of the 20 biggest cities in the UK and looked at the average ratings earned by all the trades in each city. 

To uncover the best-paid trades, we used HaMuch to find out the hourly fee that each trade charges. We then used ONS statistics to find the average number of hours worked per week in the UK (36.6 hours per week is the average taken from the figures given when Jan 2023 to December 2023 is selected). From there, we created an average monthly salary for each trade based on the earnings we found and the average number of hours worked in the UK.  
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