According to a survey of smaller building companies conducted by Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in UK, the annual average salary of a plumber is now £48,675, whereas that of a university-trained architect is just £38,228. Architect’s salary is less than that of Bricklayers (£42,034), Carpenters and joiners (£41,413) and Scaffolders (£40,942).
In fact, plasterers, bricklayers, plumbers and electricians are all taking home more in pay a year than architects now, and not just architects, but other professionals including teachers, veterinarians, nurses, and accountants, the FMB says.
According to Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB “The construction industry is in the midst of an acute skills crisis and we are in dire need of more young people, including women and ethnic minorities, to join us. Our latest research shows that more than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers and 63 per cent are having problems hiring carpenters. This is a stark reminder of how the Government’s housing targets could be scuppered by a lack of skilled workers. The FMB is committed to working with the Government to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships because the only way we will build a sustainable skills base is by training more young people, and to a high standard.
Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students in England will graduate with an average £50,800 of debt, according to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, while apprentices pass the finish line completely debt-free. Not only that, apprentices earn while they learn, taking home around £17,000 a year. We are therefore calling on all parents, teachers and young people, who too-often favour academic education, to give a career in construction serious consideration.