Latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) quizzed small contractors on how much they pay tradespeople.
The highest reported annual salary for a London bricklayer was £90,000.
The average annual salaries were:
- Site managers earn £51,266
- Plumbers earn £48,675
- Supervisors earn £48,407
- Electricians earn £47,265
- Civil engineering operatives earn £44,253
- Steel fixers earn £44,174
- Roofers earn £42,303
- Bricklayers earn £42,034
- Carpenters and joiners earn £41,413
- Plasterers earn £41,045
- Scaffolders earn £40,942
- Floorers earn £39,131
- Plant operatives earn £38,409
- Painters and decorators earn £34,587
- General construction operatives earn £32,392
In comparison government figures show the UK’s university graduates earn the following average annual salaries:
- Pharmacists earn £42,252
- Dental practitioners earn £40,268
- Architects earn £38,228
- Teachers earn £37,805
- Chartered and certified accountants earn £37,748
- Midwives earn £36,188
- Veterinarians earn £36,446
- Physiotherapists earn £32,065
- Nurses earn £31,867
FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Money talks and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.
“The average university graduate in England earns £32,000 a year whereas our latest research shows that your average bricky or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK. In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year.
“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.”