But why not landscapers?

Electricians are earning as much as £3,000 a week as they cash in on a chronic shortage of skilled workers across the country.

That amounts to £156,000 a year – around six times the average wage and more than the £150,000 earned by the Prime Minister.

Plumbers and bricklayers are also benefiting, with wages rising by as much as 10 per cent in the past 12 months. 

Plumbers can earn as much as £2,000 a week, while brickies can bring home £1,125 – more than £50,000 a year.

The pay bonanza, revealed by recruitment firm Manpower, comes amid increasing demand for new homes across the country at a time when skilled workers are in short supply.

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  • PRO

    Although...reading Manpower's recruitment site for electricians gives another story:

    Full-time Electrical jobs from Manpower -
    The UK’s No.1 job site is taking the pain out of looking for a job. The app brings to market for the first time a new and powerful way to find and ap…
  • PRO

    ...... because it is difficult to 'prove' our worth and/or skill to clients.

    With few formal hurdles to enter the industry, the public & clients perceive us as 'cheap',  'easy', 'unregulated' and part of the 'Black economy ? I'm not generically implying that, but it's feedback often seen .....

    A form of basic regulation / licensing is the way forward as seen in other trades & countries where our industry is typically valued more.Any regulation must be inclusive and create no/few entry barriers.

    My view is based upon Trading Standards BWC scheme where the 'business' is vetted for legality / insurance / consumer rights compliance / T&Cs etc. A license system controlled by TS and displayed on invoices/websites/literature etc would help clients gain confidence & acceptance of reasonable charge rates.

    Next, proving skills by qualifications is an emotive subject for many, but in the absence of any other means is it a valid method ?

    Personally, I think TS led licensing would help to start to separate us and show we are a serious & legitimate industry, raise the image, hence ability to charge comparable rates.

  • On building sites, you don't get landscapers as such.

    Maintenance teams that do a bit of turfing and fencing yes.

    Hard landscapers normally work for the finishing teams.

    A few years back I did a garden on a new build and the ganger on site was offering me £18 an hour to work for him.

  • There are several factors involved with this:-

    Ease of entry into the business

    The perceived value the customer is made to believe they are getting from a landscaping service

    Marketing plays a big part in getting the right customer paying the right price

    The training required to be able to start landscaping compared to the training required to become a brick layer, electrician, plumber or gas fitter. The public perceive that the latter are far more skilled, and are willing to pay a higher price.

    You can get higher prices for landscaping and maintenance, its just a matter of knowing how to pick your customers.

  • PRO
    It's a bad habit reading the Daily Mail and worse believing it!

    The story in the side bar about Holly Willoughboobies breasts probably has more of a ring of truth to it, then again maybe not.

  • PRO

    I think it all boils down to the fact that a nice garden, finished to a high standard isn't a necessity.

  • I think that there are several factors.

    Firstly people see gardening as something anyone can do. Their parents may have been keen gardeners, looked after their own garden and had no training or qualifications. Most of their friends and neighbours deal with their own garden, so how hard can it be? Thus we get viewed as unskilled manual labourers, that are employed just because they can't be bothered to do it themselves, rather than for our skills and knowledge. Where as electrical work, gas work, plumbing, these are things that people can't do themselves and need special qualifications to be able to legally sign off the work. So they feel like they have no option but to pay the prices, even though they think they are expensive.

    Secondly. People need a plumber, electrician, mechanic once in a blue moon, when something goes wrong. So, they can and have to find the money for high prices. For regular garden maintenance though they need someone by definition on a regular basis. As such it is much harder for people to find the money for prices of that level, when it may be every week.

    Thirdly, electricians, plumbers and the like will have taken a long time to get qualified, see themselves as professionals and all ask the same kind of prices, so people have no option but to pay. Since you don't have to have any training or qualifications to get into our industry, there are a lot of chancers that will do the work for a pittance and under cut everyone. While all of us on here are professional and won't even try to compete with these people and join the race to the bottom, it still has an impact on our prices. Our customers chat with friends, family, neighbours, and in doing so the population forms a picture of the ball park prices they expect to pay for certain services. So if there are a lot of people putting in prices for jobs based on very low hourly rates it makes it much more difficult for more professional people to charge realistic rates. If common perception is that a gardener should cost around £10/hr then you have to do a lot of explaining to justify £30/hr. Now even if you can persuade the client, if this happens a lot and you are constantly under pressure to justify your "inflated" prices it can creep into the back of your mind that maybe you are a bit pricey. So whenit's time to review your prices, maybe you won't do an annual increase and you'll freeze your prices just for this year, and over time prices drop compared to other trades. Or alternatively because clients always wince at the price and you have to justify it, then when you are pricing, you look at the price, you think they'll never go for that, perhaps I've over egged it, and shave off a few mins on each element to get the price down a bit to be more acceptable. In either case the bottom of the rung cheap as chips guys have brought the overall industry prices down, despite us not cansciously wanting to compete with them on price.

    Finally. These reports are often exagerated and factually incorrect. If you asked the electricians and plumbers in your area, how many do you expect are actually earning over £100,000 per year? Mainly they are driving vehicles no better than ours and living in similar neighbourhoods. Would they really be doing that if they were earning sooooo much. I'm certain that on average these trades do charge more per hour than the average in our industry, but I'm sceptical about them all earning that much.

    • You have hit the nail on the head there Chris. Unfortunately there are a lot of guys charging £10/12 an hour and running themselves ragged in the process. A few years ago when I worked for the National Trust as a Gardener we were discussing the fact that bin/ refuse collectors were earning more than us earning £18k back in the 2000s and some of the team were indignant at that. The simple truth is that we need people to collect the bins due to health and environmental hazards; maintaining gardens is a luxury to many.
    • Just regarding your comments about pricing. If your advertising is aimed at a target market and gives the target the impression that your business gives a much better service, then the target is much more likely to be willing to pay a higher rate for such a service, than they would be willing to pay Joe Bloggs who does not give that impression.

      • That's exactly my approach Adrian. I make a point of my RHS, design, and arboriculture qualifications, and market myself at the top end of the market, to people that want a fully qualified person that knows what needs doing, when and cam do it. That way I don't have to worry about the £10/hr cowboys, as they are no competition to the service I offer.

        They still can't afford to pay the same weekly as they would pay for a once a year (or less) tradesman like an electrician. But on a positive, my customers would book a top of the line expensive tradesman for these jobs too, so less than their rates is still higher than many in our industry.

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