Gender pay gaps across the trades

Tradesperson comparison site,, has looked at the big differences between male and female pay in the trade sector and which profession has the biggest gender pay gap.

Using data from the ONS, it was found that on average a male plumbing and heating engineer in the UK takes home an average yearly net salary of £24,983, which is 25.2% higher than the average net wage of a female plumbing and heating engineer of just £17,585.

The biggest pay gap was found to be among carpenters, with the average male salary being £22,072 compared to the female salary of £12,632, a difference of 74.7%.

Male painters picked up an average net wage of £20,607 a year, 44.1% more than their female counterparts who make £14,304.

The wage paid to male cleaners was also amongst some of the biggest tradesperson gender pay gaps at 39%, and while electricians as a whole are amongst some of the highest-paid across the nation, male sparks are paid £26,118 a month, 28.7% more than female electricians.

Builders (25.1%), gardeners (17.2%) and car mechanics (14.8%) were also some of the trades home to the most notable pay gaps.

While pay is one issue for females within the trades sector, the lack of female tradespeople, to begin with, is also apparent, with no salary data recorded for many regions of the UK due to the fact the ONS were unable to gather a large enough sample to start with.

Founder and CEO of, Tarquin Purdie, comments: “While the gender pay gap continues to be a hot topic across the board, the stigma around the trades sector being very much a man’s place means that there are very little female tradespeople to help fight the change, to begin with.

“However, it does mean that those out there flying the flag are doing very well, as a female tradesperson offers an additional level of comfort for female customers in particular when inviting them into their home.

“Other sectors aside, the trades sector is pretty clear cut in the sense that if you have the skills to do a job and do it well, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be at the top of your game, and whether your female or male should have no influence on what you are paid for these skills what so ever.”

Trade professions – by largest gender gap (%)
Trade / profession Average Net Salary – All Average Net Salary – Male Average Net Salary – Female Gender Gap £ Gender Gap %
Carpenter £21,964 £22,072 £12,632 £9,440 74.7%
Painter £20,338 £20,607 £14,304 £6,303 44.1%
Cleaner £9,624 £12,262 £8,822 £3,440 39.0%
Electrician £26,003 £26,118 £20,299 £5,819 28.7%
Builder £22,299 £22,356 £17,858 £4,498 25.2%
Plumber and Heating Engineer £24,906 £24,983 £20,585 £4,398 21.4%
Gardener £17,930 £18,263 £15,582 £2,681 17.2%
Car Mechanic £22,849 £22,892 £19,939 £2,953 14.8%


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