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(August 2, 2016) Australian tradies may have increased their hourly rate by 1.4 per cent in the past year, but 94 per cent are often working weekends and 58 per cent work more than 40 hours a week to sustain their business.

Despite commanding an impressive $61.65 hourly rate nationally across 10 industry sectors, 75 per cent of business owners surveyed by ServiceSeeking.com.au consider themselves to be middle class.

Thirty-four per cent of business owners earn less than $50,000 a year, while a further 50 per cent earn between $50,000-$100,000. Just 16 per cent earn more than $100,000 a year as small business owners, according to a recent business confidence survey of more than 1,000 businesses registered through the site.

“It should be pointed out that tradies have overheads to come out of their hourly rates with insurance, tools and travel among them, whereas an office worker does not,” says ServiceSeeking.com.au CEO Jeremy Levitt.

“But smart and hard-working tradies, can and are building strong businesses on the back of Australia’s resilient property market.”

Those trades with more qualifications, such as electricians and plumbers, are sitting highest amongst tradies. Plumbers have increased rates by 4 per cent in the last 12 months with an average rate of $80.92; while electricians charge $75.56 which is a 5.4 per cent increase year-on-year.

Carpentry services had the highest national increase with a 7.7 per cent increase to $56.45. Painting prices stayed mostly static at $42.56 hourly.

The rise in renovation prices closely mirrors the national Consumer Price Index (CPI), which showed a year-on-year increase of 1.0 per cent for the March-June quarter.

To view price changes across 10 popular renovation services around the country, see www.serviceseeking.com.au/renovations

The prices were derived by comparing 52,000 quotes submitted through the online services marketplace during the FY16 Q4.

The national Renovation Consumer Price Index (RCPI) for FY16 Q4

Industry2016FY Q42015FY Q4% change YoY
Building and renovations$62.80$59.375.8%
Average combined$61.65$60.771.4%