How to become a Tradie
A tradesperson, or tradie for short, is someone who works in the construction, engineering, or automotive industries. This work can include plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, or motor mechanics. Working as a tradie is a very popular business choice in Australia. It pays well, is relatively easy to start, and can be financially lucrative. Check out our step-by-step guide to becoming a tradie in Australia.
Step 1: Research your options
There are many different types of trades and certifications available for those looking to become a tradie. It's important to do your research and understand the differences between each type of trade so you can find the right one that suits your interests and skill set. Pick a trade that you either have some experience in or feel that your skills will align well with. Learn about what type of business suits your skills and experience with this quick business quiz.
Step 2: Learn the ropes from a mentor
A great way to learn about what being a tradie is really like is to job shadow someone who is already working in the trade that you’re interested in. Having a mentor is a great way to learn from someone as they go about their daily work tasks so that you can see firsthand what the job entails. This is a great way to get an insight into whether the trade is right for you before making any commitment to further study or training.
Step 3: Get qualified as a tradie
Before you can become a qualified tradie, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program or complete a Certificate III qualification in your chosen trade. Apprenticeships usually take three years to complete while Certificate III qualifications usually take one year or less depending on which trade you choose. Once you have completed either option, you will be able to apply for a contractor license and start working as a tradie in Australia.
Step 4: Build your tradie network
Whether it’s through social media or attending industry events, networking is an important part of becoming a successful tradie. Connecting with other professionals in the industry can help broaden your knowledge base and give you access to job opportunities that may not be available through traditional channels such as newspapers or online job boards. Many tradies refer clients or jobs to each other, for example, if you are a roofer, you might refer a plumber to work on the same building.
Step 5: Complete tradie industry training
Another way to learn about what being a tradie is really like is to participate in an industry experience day or week. These events typically involve spending a day or week shadowing a tradie as they go about their work tasks. This is a great way to get an insight into whether the trade is right for you before making any commitment to further study or training.
Step 6: Register your tradie business and purchase insurance
Now that you have the required experience, network and certifications, it’s time to start your own tradie business. Most tradies will start the journey as a sole trader business structure, to do this, you just need to register for an ABN. If you expect to generate over $75,000 in income, you’ll also need to register for GST. From there, you can start purchasing the equipment you need, a work vehicle, and insurance to protect you in the event something goes wrong.
Step 7: Start looking for tradie jobs
Now it’s time to promote your services. Most tradies will advertise their services through online classifieds, social media, or local newspapers. Online platforms such as Airtasker, HiPages and Oneflare connect customers with tradies in their local area, and they are easy to get set up for. Joining an industry association, such as the Master Builders Australia, can provide access to job opportunities and industry contact as well. Once you find some clients, you will need to issue a quote to try and win their business.
Step 8: Automate financial admin
The final stage of being a tradie is winning work and getting paid to boost your cash flow. With Thriday, you can open up a separate business bank account* and Visa Debit card, which is important for tracking your tax obligations. All you then need to do is earn income and spend money using these accounts and Thriday takes care of all your bookkeeping, accounting and tax. Thriday is very popular with tradies as it automates financial admin using artificial intelligence. Step 4: Pick your banking and accounting provider
You can join Thriday for free, and more advanced features are available for only $29.95 a month, which is a bargain when you consider how much time and money it will save you. Thriday is the best accounting software for tradies and is also tax deductible.
Becoming a tradie is no easy task but it is possible with dedication and hard work. Educating yourself on all the options available and taking advantage of networking opportunities are key steps towards achieving success as a tradie in Australia. With these steps in mind, you'll be well on your way to becoming a high demand tradie whenever you are ready to take the plunge.