When it is hard to find anyone qualified to carry out a certain job, there is a niche market, and a gold mine for anyone specialised in the work.
New data released last month by find-a-tradie site ServiceSeeking.com.au shows that in some areas, Australia is in the midst of the worst tradie shortage in years. Although an inconvenience for home owners, it is an opportunity for tradies to earn premium rates.
The data was taken from over 52,000 quotes submitted by customers to ServiceSeeking in the 2016-17 financial year. On average, jobs listed receive 4 quotes. However, a number of specific categories were not getting filled. They included:
Bathtub resurfacing (69%)
Glass installation (64%)
Staircase jobs (64%)
Garage, shed and carport installation (60%)
Stonework and masonry jobs (56%)
ServiceSeeking CEO Jeremy Levitt says this offers a great opportunity for tradies looking to grow their business. They will have little or no competition, and can charge top prices for customers desperate to get the work done.
In 2016-17 there were 7,729 jobs worth $4.9 million in the top ten niche jobs. The highest paid were stonework and masonry jobs, making an average of $3,438 per job. Cabinet making, insulation installation and carpet laying made an average of $1200 to nearly $1600 per job.
The lack of qualified tradies is related to the low rate of apprenticeships. A recent survey by ServiceSeeking revealed that 75% of Australians believe that going straight into a trade after high school gives children a better start in life than going to University. Young people considering such a move might use this information to guide their career choice.