What is a tradie?
A tradie is a person who specialises in specific practical skills. The most common skilled occupation that tradies do in Australia is in the field of construction, plumbing, electronics, and gardening.
For years, trade jobs are often undervalued because some believe that manual labour is an undesirable occupation. But now, the air has finally shifted as more people understand its true value and the benefits it can provide. For this reason, more people are interested to become a tradie.
How to become a tradie?
Upon understanding what is a tradie all about, the next question most people will ask is ‘how to become a tradie?’ Just like in any other profession, it requires everyone to get proper and formal education, training, certification and licences (depend on the field of the job).
- The first step to take before becoming a tradie is education, the requirement for tradies is to gain either a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate.
- The second step after acquiring the above certification, tradies will need to undergo formal training. They can do this by enrolling a vocational education on a technical school, community college, or other registered training organisation. This is where they will learn everything about their chosen career. Once they completed the training, they can then file for apprenticeship.
Fact: Tradies can file for an apprenticeship even without taking formal training as this isn’t a requirement. Though it isn’t a requirement, unions and companies still highly advise tradies to take formal training. This is mainly for the purpose of getting better apprenticeships and having edge over other candidates.
- The third step is an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is a type of formal training where the tradie will be exposed to the actual job of their chosen trade. They will be under supervision by a master tradie to provide guidance. The good thing about this apprenticeship is they will get paid during the whole program (most of it). Everyone can apply for this by submitting a written application and passing the exam required.
Apprenticeship is open to all Australian citizen ages 15 up to 65 years old. The apprenticeship program is offered by different companies and local union contractors.
- The fourth step is to become a journeyman. The journeyman is the position that a tradie needs to take before becoming a master tradie. This requires additional certifications and classroom training. During the training, they will learn all the knowledge that a master tradie knows such as, but not limited to, designing blueprints and securing permits.
- Lastly, the final step is to continue mastering the tradies’ chosen career. Just because someone is a master of their own trade doesn’t mean they will stand the test of time. The tradie must update his/her knowledge all the time to ensure they will stay on top of their game.
How long does it take to become a tradie?
The length of time before becoming a certified training will depend on the trade itself. But the average period ranges from 5 to 7 years. This includes the formal training, apprenticeship, and passing all necessary exams.
3 Tips in Starting a Tradie Business
After acquiring all the skills and knowledge a tradie needs, it’s only best for the tradie to start their own business. They can start this by creating a detailed business plan. The business plan should include the tradies’ goals, a contingency plan for errors, and all financial aspects.
The second tip is to understand the legal requirements it accompanied. This includes taxes, licences, and permits. To ensure they will get the right permits and licences, they must check the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find all the licences and permits that apply to them and their business.
Lastly, tradies should always have insurances. Insurance is protection for the client and tradie. This will guarantee that when accidents happen, they will be both covered. Common insurance for tradies are liability insurances, tool insurance, and public liability insurance.
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