Australia’s highest-paid construction jobs in 2023

Jarrod
By Jarrod
6 Min Read

As the nation ignites a decade-long construction boom ahead of 2032’s Olympic Games, construction workers have become some of Australia’s highest-paid workers. 

The building industry has always been one of the biggest in the country, and with the right experience and qualifications, tradies can easily earn well upwards of $100,000 a year.

We’ve analysed the average industry salary and growth opportunities around to put together a list of some of the highest-paying construction jobs out there for tradies right now. 

Electrician 

Responsible for any and all your electrical needs, Electricians (or sparkies) are essential to most residential and industrial projects. Whether installing electrical switchboards, diagnosing systems or performing routine maintenance, the latest housing construction boom has seen the demand for electricians skyrocket over the last year (along with their salary). 

To become an Electrician, you’ll need to complete a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician as part of an apprenticeship. This typically takes four years and includes structured training through registered training organisations like TAFE.

Builder

While rising industry costs have some worried for the future of the building industry, don’t be fooled. Thanks to a federal commitment to building one million new houses and record-high spending on home renovation, these tradies are one of the most in-demand jobs in Australia right now.

Able to work on residential, commercial, and industrial projects, licensed builders can be highly versatile and easily find jobs in most places across the country. Depending on whether they decide to work for an employer or run their own business, builders’ salaries can fluctuate from anywhere from $70,000 to $ 130,000 and beyond. 

To get a job as a builder, you will need to meet technical requirements to apply for your builder’s licence, such as completing a Certificate IV in Building and Construction.

Site Supervisor

With less labour, more responsibility and a whole lot more money, Site Supervisors are in charge of making sure worksites run smoothly and on time. With the average salary sitting comfortably over the 100k mark, experienced supervisors are in high demand in most cities across Australia. 

While most Site Supervisors begin as entry-level tradespeople who work their way up in the building and construction industry, certifications in construction management are also highly valued by employers. 

Crane Operator

A staple of any major construction site, Crane Operators are in high demand in most cities across the country. Using their speciality skills to lift, move, and position massively heavy objects, these operators can command a salary upwards of $120,000 a year. 

With more risk (and certainly more reward), Crane Operators must obtain several licenses before becoming certified. These include a high-risk work licence, working at heights accreditation, intermediate rigging accreditation and a dogging licence – all of which can be attained through Safe Work Australia.

Foreperson

The big boss of any worksite, a foreperson (commonly called a foreman), can be a very lucrative role in the construction industry and easily earn upwards of $130,000 a year. Similar to a supervisor, a foreperson oversees and directs other construction workers on site, acting as a point of contact for managers and the people working under them. 

To become a Foreperson, you must have years of experience working as a tradesperson in a particular industry and have held worksite responsibility. Diplomas in Building and Construction can also be very valuable to construction workers chasing the role. 

Construction Project Manager

Taking home anywhere between $130,000 and a very nice $200,000 salary, Project Managers are basically supervisors with more responsibility as they oversee and organise every stage of a project. They may need to review architectural plans, coordinate and lead teams, manage schedules, and organise materials and labour. 

Like any other supervising role, tradies must work their way up the ladder to gain experience on the worksite. Project Managers are also required to complete an accredited qualification in the field, whether it be a Cert IV in Building and Construction or a Diploma of Building and Construction Management

Construction Manager

Taking home the title of the highest-paid job in the industry is Construction Management. One step up above a project manager, construction managers oversee and advise all staff on the progress of a project. They are involved in all aspects of a work site’s operations and need to liaise with property developers, building owners, clients, and subcontractors. 

Capable of comfortably taking home upwards of $200,000 a year, these managers are in high- demand and can often “name their price” across the growing number of major projects in cities like Brisbane and Sydney. 

Like the other supervisor and management roles mentioned in this list, tradies must climb the rungs before they can apply for the job. Alongside years of experience and accredited qualifications, Construction Managers should also possess advanced knowledge of advisory, administrative and management services for constructing large, high-rise and complex buildings. 

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Jarrod
By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.