Surprising Statistics about Australian Tradies

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Australians, whether it’s cricket averages, Brownlow votes in the AFL, or the polling numbers for elections, have a bit an obsession with statistics. And at Goodwork, we’ve got a bit of an obsession with tradies (not in a weird way). We’re all about building Australia’s best network for all tradies to connect, show off their skills, and expand their network.

But while we do that, we come across a lot of weird and wonderful stats about tradies. So rather than keep them to ourselves we thought we’d share a little of what we’ve found.

Keeping the Country Running

Tradies make up over 30% of the workforce according to Safe Work Australia and the most recent Census. That’s an impressive number, especially when you consider that many of them are also running one of the approximately two million small businesses in Australia.

Of that 30%, approximately 1.1 million people are classified as independent contractors, of which a significant proportion are tradies just like you.

In Demand Tradies

If you have one of the trades listed below, congratulations, you are officially in demand. With Commonwealth supported uni places increasing in the last few decades, more school leavers are opting into university rather than picking up a trade. While that’s not great for the industry long term, it does have the benefit that less people working means higher rates for those who are left.

According to Indeed, in Australian cabinet makers and welders are the hardest trades to come by when it comes to filling a part time role. These two are closely followed by plasterers and bricklayers. In a hot country, air conditioning engineers and mechanics will always be in demand, and the stats show that too, with these guys and girls being the fifth most in demand. Metal fabricators, auto mechanics, electricians, plumbers and carpenters round out the top 10.

Sobering Stats

It’s no secret that working as a tradesperson is a lot of likely to result in an injury than an air-conditioned office job. The most common types of serious injury claims for tradies in the last five years are traumatic joint injuries, with more than 4 out of 10 tradies who get injured on the job suffering one of these nasty setbacks.

Cuts, wounds and skin piercings of any kind make up another 18% of injuries, followed by 15% of tradies who get injuries that result in musculoskeletal disorders that might require the attention of a good physio or chiropractor (or acupuncturist, if you’re into that). Finally, and luckily, only one in ten tradies who hurt themselves on the job suffer a long-term fracture.

Some Fast Facts

– Only one in four tradies still smoke.
– Talkback radio is still the most popular background noise, though 1 in 5 tradies now report listening to podcasts on the job.
– Most tradies defy the “pie and iced coffee” sterotype with around 80% bringing lunch from home.

So there you have it —hopefully you’ve found something interesting in our stats above. Do you haveany other stats about tradies you reckon everyone else should hear about? Ifso, let us know.

Find out more about how we’re building Australia’s fastest growing network for tradies, and how you can join for free at

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