North East Connected

Which is the best city for your trade? Study reveals the best locations for salary and opportunity across industries

Whether you’re a brickie, a sparky, or a plumber looking to start climbing the career ladder, there are plenty of opportunities to get hired. It comes as no surprise that the construction industry is considered as a top sector in terms of growth compared to other industries, but where in the country would you say is the best place for your trade in terms of finance or opportunity?

Leading commercial vehicle leasing company Crusader Vans have researched the best locations for each trade around the country by comparing metrics such as salary, vacancies, and the number of businesses to help you make the right decision for your career.

Best Locations for the Trade                                                           

A valued profession can get you onto the career ladder quickly and offers vast opportunities for personal growth and income. If you’re looking to relocate or want to get the most from your trade – here are the best locations in the UK:

  1. Southend – If you’re looking for a new job, and a change of scenery, Southend is a top contender. It has the second highest average salary across all the trades (£32,335) in the UK, just behind London (£36,233). With over nine businesses per 10,000 people and the second highest amount of trade vacancies, over 16 per 10,000 – it is one of the best locations for vacancies and businesses in the electrical trades.
  2. Wolverhampton – Located in the West Midlands, Wolverhampton has an average salary of £26,348 across all the trades. It also has the highest amount of vacancies, with 21 trade jobs per 10,000 people, particularly for those in the wood trades.
  3. Manchester – Being the second most populous urban area in the UK, there are over 13 trade jobs per 10,000 people, making it a popular choice after the capital city. With an average salary of £26,000, it is one of the best locations if you’re looking for a job in the electrical trades, and if you’re looking to start your own painting and decorating business – Manchester is the place to be.
  4. Coventry – Also part of the West Midlands, Coventry should be added to your list if you’re looking for jobs in the wood trades, or want to start a business in the electrical trades. Coventry remains just above the average salary for tradesmen in the UK at £26,972, compared to the average of £26,738.
  5. York – A move up North may help you climb the career ladder – with the average salary in the city being £24,393 for tradesmen. With nearly 14 trade jobs per 10,000 people, it is also the best location for vacancies in electrical trades and independent plumbing businesses.

Trades Earning the Most

Although money isn’t everything, it does play a considerable role when deciding which career path to follow. The study also revealed the best places for each individual trade when it comes to annual income.

  1. Bricklayers – Not only does Brighton top the list for the best location for independent businesses (joint with London) but also the average salary. Brickies can earn around £43,240 in this seaside town, which is £12,000 more than the UK average of £31,217.
  2. Glaziers – If you’re a glazier, a move to Bradford may be in your favour, with the highest salary being £37,412. Always being in demand across the UK, the research found London and Newcastle were the best locations for the number of job vacancies open.
  3. Electrical Trades – With iconic skylines and bright lights, it’s no surprise that sparkies earn the most in London, around £34,986, nearly £6,000 more than the national average. If you’re looking for a new job, Southend has the highest amount of job vacancies available – and Southend, Coventry, and Liverpool are the best locations for independent businesses.
  4. Scaffolders – A growing business hub, an increasing amount of construction is taking place in the city. The national average salary for the trade is £28,514 – Birmingham’s scaffolders earn the most in the country with an average salary of £34,892.
  5. Plumbers – Plumbers in Southend earn the most in the country with an average salary of £34,103, nearly £6,000 more than the UK average which is £28,163. The lowest average salary for the profession is £26,808 in Bradford – with Sunderland being the best location for job vacancies.
  6. Wood Trades – If you’re a chippy, you may be interested in moving to Newcastle to make the most money, with the average salary being around £33,614. A popular trade, there’s a number of locations where you can find a job – but Coventry and Brighton were the best locations for job vacancies overall.   
  7. Roofers – If you want to earn £6,000 more than the national average, roofers can earn up to £29,140 in London. Being the largest city in the UK – keeping the roofs over 8.8 million peoples heads means there’s a great demand. If you’re looking to set up an independent business, the research revealed Sunderland and Newcastle as the best locations for the trade.
  8. Painters and Decorators – With the number of construction projects increasing, the demand for painter and decorators is too. Whilst the average salary for the trade is £23,725 – Peterborough has the highest average salary for the trade at £28,785, with Dundee being the best location for independent businesses.
  9. Plasterers – Often referred to as one of the hardest trades, plasterers can earn up to £29,610 in London, compared to the national average of £25,154. Whilst Liverpool had the highest number of job vacancies available.
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