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Which Job is Better - Plumber or Electrician?


There is one thing that an electrician and a plumber have in common and that is having jobs that are in high demand. If you are currently contemplating a career as either an electrician or a plumber, you might be faced with the question: plumber vs. electrician - which job is better?

There is no doubt that both trades will continue to be in high demand for a long time, so the choice might be personal for many. However, if you are having a hard time deciding, here are some of the most important aspects about plumbers and electricians that you should know.


Becoming an Electrician


Working with electricity is not easy and there is more to it than most people imagine. That is why, in order to become an electrician, you will have to attend courses and to undergo an apprenticeship.

To get started in this industry you will have to attend electrotechnology courses. It is important to know that there are two different levels of training, namely a Certificate II that is associated with the prevocational course, and a Certificate III that is more advanced. 

The process of becoming a licenced electrician might be different from one state to another. But generally, in order to become self-employed, an electrician will have to do undergo an apprenticeship for four years. After becoming fully qualified, an electrician will be able to repair, maintain, and install all kinds of electrical wiring, circuits, and appliances.

The electrician vs. plumber dilemma can be quite difficult to solve, and to be able to choose one of these jobs, one must know what services they provide. The most common services that a qualified electrician will offer are:

  • Planning, installing and repairing power and lighting systems.
  • Installing security systems and fire protection systems.
  • Installing and repairing telephone and data systems.
  • Installing and repairing USB power points and regular power points.
  • Repairing electrical appliances.


Becoming a Plumber


In Australia, it is recommended to hire licenced tradies, especially since only a licenced plumber can legal plumbing work. Additionally, the majority of employers only hire plumbers that have completed their plumbing courses.

In plumbing, there are IV levels of training and a plumber will be able to get an apprenticeship from level II. However, it’s worth mentioning that a plumber’s licence will only be obtained when a plumber gets to level IV of their training.

The apprenticeship period for a plumber will usually be the same as for an electrician, around four years. If you want to become a plumbing contractor, you might also have to consider taking business courses in order to be able to operate your own business. A licenced plumber does two main types of work: plumbing construction and plumbing maintenance and it is possible for a plumber to be qualified to do both. Additionally, a plumber that has a gas fitter’s licence will be able to install gas systems and hot water systems.

If you want to solve the fitter vs. electrician impasse, you should also know what the most common services provided by a licenced plumber are:

  • Building and fixing water supplies in residential, commercial, or industrial settings.
  • Building and fixing sewerage systems.
  • Installing and fixing waste disposal systems.
  • Installing and fixing septic systems.
  • Installing and fixing drainage systems.


How Much Do Plumbers and Electricians Earn?


If you are thinking about becoming a plumber or an electrician in Australia, you will be surprised to find that you might earn more money than a lawyer. The average pay for a plumber is around $78 per hour, an electrician’s is around $74 per hour, and a lawyer makes $37 per hour.

Keep in mind that the average pay for these services can differ from one state to another. For instance, in Western Australia, between 2015 and 2016, plumbers made around $87 per hour, which is 9% less than they made the previous year. However, the plumber’s rates were lower due to a downturn in mining in Western Australia. The rates of electricians were not affected by this mining downturn and their rates were constantly around 87$ per hour.

Did you know that in Australia, electricians and plumbers are among the best-paid tradesmen? On average, an Aussie tradie will make around $60.88 per hour, which is significantly less than what plumbers and electricians make. 


Plumber vs. Electrician - Which Job is Better?


As indicated by the aforementioned pay rates, plumbers might earn a little more than electricians. A small disadvantage associated with being an electrician is having to be up-to-date with all the new technologies in order to have many customers. However, for people who are interested in technology, this is not a disadvantage at all, so it is safe to say that what you choose to become depends on your personal preferences.

What are the main differences between plumbing and electrical work?

  • Electrical work involves less manual labour than plumbing.
  • Electrical work requires a significant amount of manual dexterity.
  • Plumbing work may become repetitive.
  • Electricians must be up-to-date with technology.

Choosing the right career depends on your strengths and personal preferences. Do you enjoy learning new things and are you interested in technology? Then you should consider becoming an electrician.

Are you more inclined towards doing manual labour? Then you might want to become a plumber. But regardless of which job you will end up choosing, you will earn more than other tradies and even other professions. So plumber or electrician, you can choose whichever job is a better fit for you.

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Topics: Tradie Advice

Rafael Niesten

Written by Rafael Niesten

In his early 20s, Perth local Rafael Niesten, won a scholarship to study in Canada, with that came the opportunity to volunteer at a local radio station. That spawned his entrepreneurial streak, returning to Perth in 2001 he set up community radio Groove FM. More by luck than design, they became successful, too successful as they took a significant chunk of the Perth Market. This sent up the red flag with his commercial competitors who saw to it that he came before the Australian Broadcasting Authority and on technicalities such as the number of volunteers he was forced to move on. He received the citizen of the year award for Western Australia (youth) and was a finalist in the Australian of the year awards (Youth). Falling on his sword he turned to running small and large scale events, all the while buying, renovating and selling properties. Buying and selling land and renovated houses provided a grounding in the property industry. He founded a cloud based medical grade voice recognition company, followed by co founding the first true cloud application for private practice in the health sector. He successfully exited these ventures at the end of 2016 and began building Bricks+Agent.

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