Whether you’re coming to the end of your time in education, or looking for a change in career, there are a number of lucrative trade options available. In this article we explore some of the best trades to get into in the UK including their average salary, how difficult it is to get into and the jobs pros and cons.


Plumbers fit and maintain water systems in buildings, this includes toilets, baths, showers, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. One of the best trades you can get into is plumbing, a licensed and regulated trade providing you with the opportunity to work your way up to master level if you wish to do so. Master plumbers achieve a higher salary, have more job flexibility and more opportunities. However, basic plumbing still gives you the chance of a lucrative career. Statistics show that plumbers are amongst the top average earners amongst tradespeople in the UK, earning more than architects, accountants and dentists.

How to get into plumbing: To qualify as a plumber it generally takes 1 to 2 years to gain all the plumbing qualifications you need if undertaking an NVQ Diploma level 2. An apprenticeship on the other hand will typically take anywhere between 2 and 5 years.

Pros of plumbing:

  • Unlike some trades, plumbing supplies are relatively cheap and can be bought from online retailers like PlumbHQ.
  • Lucrative trade.
  • Sociable job.
  • You will always have work.

Cons of plumbing:

  • Long/ irregular hours
  • Physically demanding
  • Occupational risk

Average salary: £35,865

IT support

IT support is a trade that involves providing assistance with a variety of technological issues such as computers, printers, networks and devices. In an age where almost everything has moved online, IT support is an excellent career option. The IT sector is a prominent one generating billions of pounds each year. This growing industry has a high demand meaning it is useful to have the skills that pay well.

How to get into IT support: It is possible to get straight into an IT support role without any degree level qualifications. As long as you can demonstrate a good knowledge of computer hardware and software and have an interest in how computers work with a technical mindset, you should be able to find a number of roles.

Pros of becoming an IT support worker:

  • IT workers are in demand
  • Growing industry
  • Lucrative career option
  • Variety of jobs within the industry

Cons of becoming an IT support worker:

  • Long hours
  • Personal time will be interrupted
  • Customers can be angry
  • Stressful

Average salary: £32,500


Becoming an electrician is an excellent and interesting career. An electrician is a tradesperson who specialises in the electric wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines and related equipment. There are a number of reasons why an electrician is a popular trade, one of the main reasons being that it pays the most out of all trades. What’s more it gives you the flexibility to be your own boss and choose the hours you work.

How to become an electrician: Typically, electricians apprenticeships take 3 years to complete and involve a combination of college and on the job training. However, some colleges offer two year fast track options for more advanced students and even part time study which would take longer.

Benefits of becoming an electrician:

  • Highest paying trade.
  • Challenging and interesting.
  • Cheap training.
  • You will always have work.

Cons of becoming an electrician:

  • Training takes a long time
  • Physically demanding
  • Occupational risk

Average salary: £38,599

Civil engineer

A civil engineer is another excellent trade to get into in the UK. A civil engineer plans, designs and manages large construction projects whilst protecting the health of the public and the environment. This can include anything from bridges to buildings to transport links and any other major structures. Out of all engineering jobs, civil engineers are in the top five in-demand of the future.

How to become a civil engineer: The main route into civil engineering is to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject.

Benefits of becoming a civil engineer:

  • Varied, challenging and interesting.
  • It is a creative career.
  • It can take you around the world.
  • Makes a tangible difference.
  • High paying trade.

Cons of becoming a civil engineer

  • High pressure
  • Occupational risk
  • Long hours

Average salary: £38,850