Self-employed tradesmen earn £700,000 MORE than their female counterparts in a working lifetime

With the UK requiring a million new tradespeople to keep up with demand over the next decade, Magnet Trade wanted to highlight the importance of closing the gender pay gap as the demand for women in the self-employed trade industry increases.  Magnet Trade analysed ONS data, and information from The Association of Independent Professionals and […]
Self-employed tradesmen earn £700,000 MORE than their female counterparts in a working lifetime

Nov 1, 2023

With the UK requiring a million new tradespeople to keep up with demand over the next decade, Magnet Trade wanted to highlight the importance of closing the gender pay gap as the demand for women in the self-employed trade industry increases. 

Magnet Trade analysed ONS data, and information from The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) to find out exactly where the UK really stands when it comes to the gender pay gap in self-employed trade professions.

Self-employed men earn £700,000 more in a working lifetime compared to women in the same industry

Magnet Trade’s data found that, with women earning 43% less than men in self-employed jobs, estimates show that, for trade jobs, men charge £7 more an hour on average than women. In terms of the hourly rate, on average, this is £23 for self-employed men compared to £16 for women.

Across all industry trades, men earn an average of £700K more across a working lifetime compared to women. 

When looking at just one year, men earn £14K more compared to women in the self-employed trade industry. Therefore, self-employed tradeswomen would have to work five extra months per year to match a man’s salary across trade roles. 

Top ten self-employed trades with the largest gender pay gaps

RankingTradeMale hourly ratesFemale hourly ratesHourly gender pay gap
1Electrician£26.51£18.54£7.97
2Plumbing£25.88£18.10£7.78
3Joinery£25.73£17.99£7.74
4Insulation£24.12£16.86£7.25
5General construction£23.65£16.54£7.11
6Bricklaying£23.37£16.34£7.03
7Painter and decorator£23.31£16.30£7.01
8Steel and timber frame erection£22.19£15.52£6.67
9Surfacing contractors£21.85£15.28£6.57
10Specialist trades£21.60£15.10£6.49

Electricians have the biggest hourly gender pay gap at £7.97

Magnet Trade’s report reveals self-employed electricians have the biggest hourly gender pay gap with women only charging £18.54 compared to £26.51 for men on average.

This means that male electricians earn on average £16,583 more than women in a year. 

An average electrician’s weekly salary according to Hudson Contract is £1,055 which is just over £50,000 a year. Due to an increase in demand for jobs, electricians are able to charge more meaning their wage is above the UK average.

Plumbers have the second-highest gender pay gap

Plumbers rank as the trade with the second-largest gender pay gap within the industry. Plumbers have one of the highest average trade salaries, earning on average £53,824 a year. However the the pay gap between genders is also very high with females earning £18.10 compared to males £25.88 an hour. This equates to a loss of over £16,182 a year for women in the plumbing trade compared to their male counterparts.

Joiners rank with the third-highest gender pay gap Joiners have the third largest gender page gap equating to a loss of £16,099 a year for female joiners compared to men in the same trade. When looking at the hourly rate for joiners, men earn on average £25.73 whereas women in the same position on average only earn £17.99 per hour.

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