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Blue collar workers becoming high earners

Not long ago, the earning potential of a career was largely related to the experience and qualifications of a jobseeker. A university degree and months of work as an unpaid internship was enough to get you onto a career ladder that may pay off in the long term – though often it still wasn’t.

This mentality may persist among many jobseekers in Australia; it is still easy to believe that this route is indeed the best choice. However, in many blue collar roles, workers can be paid some of the most attractive wages in the country.

What’s more, thanks to apprenticeship programs in Australia, a new recruit earns a living wage as they learn their skills – unlike unpaid internships.

These jobs are often related to skill shortage areas, and apprentices of any age can now find real financial reward in taking on a blue collar role in these industries, compared to a decade or so ago.

For example, the average wage of an employee in the transport industry is $1,357.80 per week, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This equates to an increase of 67.95 per cent over the past decade, when the average wage was $922.60 across the country.

Those in transport and logistics jobs earn more on average than those in education and training employment. This makes it an ideal industry in which to find an apprenticeship. After learning on the job and completing an industry qualification, apprentices can begin to reap the financial benefits of working in the sector, while avoiding the debt that often comes with years of university education.

Mining apprenticeships

The same can be said for mining apprenticeships in Queensland. The state is known for its rich supply of natural resources, and finding employment in the industry can have great financial gains.

In fact, workers in the mining industry earn higher on average than any other profession in Australia. Mining employees earn an average of $2,505.40 per week – double what many earn in other sectors.

A booming mining trade spurred on by huge developments in Australia’s export markets has also allowed the paychecks of mining workers to rise by more than half (59.93 per cent) over the past 10 years.

Construction apprenticeships

Finally, apprentices in the construction industry have a real reason to smile. Their wages have increased by 55.69 per cent over the past decade, and the average worker now takes home a wage of $1,469.60.

This is a higher salary than the majority of qualified professionals in the insurance and financial sectors.

With a range of jobs available in the construction industry, an apprentice has great promotion prospects, too. What starts as an entry-level bricklaying role can eventually lead to site manager opportunities and long-term career development.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator.

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