Electricians and plumbers are in high demand in Australia – here’s how much they earn and how to make the move

Trade-related jobs are in high demand in Australia right now, and if you’re a qualified plumber or electrician, you could move there on a skilled migration visa and earn a tidy sum in local dollars, currently valued at about R10.70 against South Africa’s local unit.

According to Sable International, electricians in countries like South Africa earn between R37.02 and R153 per hour.

To be on the higher end of this scale, skills such as plant maintenance, switching and routing, and automation are sure to increase pay.

When it comes to plumbers, they can expect to earn between R20 and R117 per hour. While those who work in residential settings, power plants, factories and water treatment facilities (known as master plumbers) generally earn more.

Throughout Australia, however, electricians are earning an average of AUD75.71 (R748.55) per hour, and plumbers an average of AUD83.04 (R821.02) per hour, according to data from the Australian service hiring site ServiceSeeking.

In addition, due to the high demand for these skills, wages are increasing at a rapid rate, said Sable.

There has been an increase in hourly rates of 4.25% year-on-year for electricians and 3.1% year-on-year for plumbers in Australia.

Why plumbers and electricians are in such high demand in Australia

“While cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth continue to become more developed, rural areas in regional Australia are slowly but surely becoming more urban. In both the big cities and regional territories, the key skills of trade workers are needed to keep this development going strong,” said Sable International.

“The current supply of trade workers is simply not satisfying the demand in Oz, which is why occupations like bricklayers, building inspectors, plumbers and electricians continue to feature on Australia’s list of eligible skilled occupations.”

This is how you make the move

Sable noted that plumbers and electricians are both on Australia’s Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

To apply for a visa as a plumber or electrician, you will first have to undergo a skills assessment through Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), the appointed assessing authority in Australia for all trade workers. If you pass the relevant skills assessment, you could be eligible for the following Aussie visas:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186);
  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189);
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190);
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489);
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).

The visa that you should apply for will depend on your individual circumstances and long-term plans, Sable said.

Read: DA pushes new plan to change South Africa’s dual-citizenship laws

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Electricians and plumbers are in high demand in Australia – here’s how much they earn and how to make the move