Australian tradies reveal eye-watering salaries – here's how they compare to New Zealand

  • 27/02/2024

Tradies across the ditch are raking in the cash with a video revealing the staggering six-figure salaries many of them are taking home. 

The video shows Queensland tradies from various roles in the sector discussing their earnings. Among the top earners was a diesel fitter specialising in heavy earth-moving equipment on $130 per hour – the equivalent of at least $270,400 annually for a 40-hour work week.

A coal miner said they made AUD$160,000 a year, while a plumber said they were on between AUD$40 to 45 an hour.

The video also featured two scaffolders, one of whom was making AUD$1500 per week,  while the other was making a huge AUD$3000 week – which converts to AUD$156,000 annually. 

"I think I'm in the wrong career," one person commented on the video.

"I mean it's great money but you have to consider the conditions these people are working in… I hope these young fellas are using their money wisely and setting themselves up because these jobs take a huge toll on your body after a few decades," another person commented.

Analysis done by TradeRisk found the average annual earnings for construction tradies in Australia was AUS$90,940 in 2023.

The highest average annual earning was boilermakers at AUD$113,000, followed by electricians at AUD$96,000, then plumbers at AUD$96,000.

"Before you say: 'I know plenty of electricians and plumbers who earn more than $100k.'  Yes we know they do, and plenty in our data did too, but these are average figures," the report said.

Compare that to New Zealand and the Government careers website found the average builder and construction labourer can earn between $23 to $40 per hour, which works out to be up to NZD$83,200 a year.

Meanwhile, it found Kiwi electricians make between $34 and $43 an hour which is up to $89,440 a year.

While the site did not have the average salary for Kiwi boilermakers, Seek NZ found their pay packets top their Australian counterparts ranging from NZD$105,000 to $125,000.

For those looking to make the megabucks, the mines look like it is the way to go. found the average mining salary for 2024 is AUD$120,000 per year, or $61.54 per hour. Entry-level positions start at AUD$98,409 per year, while most experienced workers make up to AUD$169,994 per year.