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You might be surprised to find that trade-related jobs are massively in demand in Australia right now. In fact, if you’re a qualified plumber or electrician, you could move to the land Down Under on a skilled migration visa and earn a tidy sum in Aussie Dollars when you get there.

Skilled workmen smiling

How much do plumbers and electricians earn in Oz?

Electricians in countries like South Africa are earning between R37.02c and R153 per hour, according to salary comparison site PayScale. 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 are earning an average of AUD83.04 (R821.02) per hour, according to data from the Australian service hiring site ServiceSeeking. That’s a large chunk of change! What’s more, due to the high demand for these skills, wages are increasing at a rapid rate. There has been an increase in hourly rates of 4.25% year-on-year for electricians and 3.1% year-on-year for plumbers Down Under.

Why plumbers and electricians are in such high demand in Australia

While cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth continue to become more and 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. 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.

See also: If you’re moving to Australia, you need to take the English language test

This is how you make the move

Unfortunately, this is where things get complicated. The Australian immigration system is notoriously complex, especially when it comes to skilled migration. With the host of changes to the immigration system last year, it can be tough knowing where to begin when navigating these murky waters. The first step is to figure out which visas you’re eligible for and then decide which one best suits your needs.

See also: Australian Immigration points calculator

First, pick the right visa

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) 

See also: Australian citizenship

Have a question about which Aussie visa is right for you?

Email our expertsLeave a comment below

The visa that you should apply for will depend on your individual circumstances and long-term plans. The best advice I can give you is to get in touch with a MARA-registered Australian migration agent who can assess your situation and advice you on which visa would suit you best. A registered migration agent can also assist you throughout the application process, ensuring that your visa application is 100% correct and you don’t waste unnecessary time and money only for your application to be denied.


If you’re interested in your Australian visa options, feel free to get in touch with one of our Australian immigration agents on ausoffice@sableinternational.com or +61 (0) 38651 4500.

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