Tradie Rich List: Australia’s $1m-a-year-tradie
Former banker-turned-plumber Alex Taskun sets his own hours, makes a difference in his clients' lives - and gets paid handsomely for it.
In fact, the Sydney man, who owns his own business, GT Plumbing, is on track to turn over $1 million this financial year alone.
He's just one of thousands of Australian workers making a fortune through the trades.
"I've been hustling, working 14 to 15 hours a day, and a typical day could include giving free advice to clients going through renovations, dealing with leaking vanities or toilets or water hammering coming through the house, then you've got people with water damage, the installation of rainwater tanks and hot water heaters and then blocked sewerage and rectification work," he said.
"In a month, you're looking at making anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, and of that you'd probably get 20 per cent.
"I make between $3000 and $12,000 per week profit after all expenses are paid."
The 41-year-old, who has a team of six subcontractors working for him, said he typically installed a hot water system a day at a cost to the client of around $2000, while fixing blocked drainage would set homeoenwers back around $300.
He said a typical day started with a 6am swim before starting his first job at 7am and then taking a break at around 10am which usually involved another trip to the beach if possible.
"I love my job - I'm never going to be short of a tan," he said.
Mr Taskun said he was aiming to grow his business in the months ahead and said while he chose to work long hours, there was increasing demand for qualified plumbers to carry out rectification work caused by dodgy tradies.
"There are a lot of unlicensed plumbers using other tradies' licenses and clients are completely oblivious," he said.
"The government has a lot of checks and balances but these people have no public liability and professional indemnity insurance, and when something goes wrong, they don't pick up the phone because they've been paid cash and have run.
"We end up going back to do a lot of rectification works for clients."
Mr Taskun, who started his working life in banking before discovering his passion for plumbing, said trades offered young people a well-paying, rewarding and flexible career provided they had the "spark" and drive for the job.
"You get to see new customers every day and the feedback you get and them referring you to other clients gives you a lot of confidence," he said.
"And you can go to any country of the world and find a job straight away because the skills are transferable - plumbing is plumbing, and that's a massive perk."
And it turns out Mr Taskun is not alone in making serious cash through a trade.
TRADIE RICH LIST
According to tradie website Service Seeking's Tradie Rich List for 2020, nine per cent of Aussie tradespeople are now raking in more than $200,000 per year.
The data revealed plumbing was the country's most lucrative trade with an average yearly income of $110,000, followed by concreters on $107,500 and builders on $103,750.
Meanwhile, those working in flooring are making $103,125, carpenters $102,424 and earthworks contractors $94,167.
On average, bricklayers make $92,500 per year, while building designers earn $91,111, airconditioning and heating technicians rake in $90,455 and people working in lighting installation score $90,000.
The average income for landscapers is $88,750 followed by $87,500 for renderers, $85,972 for electricians, $84,167 for removalists, $82,500 for plasterers and $81,364 for roofers.
The bottom spots on the high-earning list were painters with an annual average income of $80,946, exterminators with $78,000, building inspectors on $77,500 and handyman on $73,200.
A massive 89 per cent of respondents owned their own business, while six per cent have business partners, four per cent work for someone else and just one per cent were looking for work at the moment.
For a typical job, 32.32 per cent of tradies charge between $100 and $500, while 21.89 per cent charge more than $2000, 19.19 per cent charge $500 to $1000, 14.31 per cent charge less than $100 and 12.29 per cent charge between $1000 and $2000.
And 39 per cent had been working in the industry for more than a decade, while a quarter had been in the job for two to five years, 19 per cent for six to 10 years and 17 per cent were in their first year.
Tellingly, 43.81 per cent of tradies surveyed planned "massive growth" for their income over the next 12 months while 46.99 per cent aim to grow their income "a little" and just 9.20 per cent expect to keep their income at a similar level to 2019.