A guide to choosing the right trade business

The moment has come and you’ve decided you want to become a tradie, an industry that offers many different avenues, skill sets and no two days that are ever really the same. Now the hard part- narrowing it down to what kind of tradie business you want to pursuit and is going to work best for you. From carpenters to plumbers, landscaper to cabinet makers and many more, there are plenty of tradie fields that you can specialise and start your business in.

Our guide breaks down some of the key things you need to consider and research before deciding which trade career path you are going to chase.

Identify what your interest and talents are

You’ll want to be able to enjoy what you are doing every day for a crust, so it’s important to take some time out and really think about the things you enjoy doing as a job. Maybe you have a keen eye for detail, love the great outdoors, or thrive when working with your hands crafting projects from scratch.

Make a list of the things that you feel passionate about and what skills you already have. Bringing these two areas together can help you when navigating the various tradie job options available.

On the flip side, also make note of the types of jobs and things that you don’t want to be doing. You may have a fear of heights or not wanting to work on a commercial site environment. Understanding what you like, dislike and what you’re good at is one of the first steps you can to getting on the right tradie career path

Get some career advice

Having a chat to a professional career advisor can give you some valuable pointers and insights when you are researching and considering which type of trade business you want to pursuit. Educational institutes often offer this service as well as private businesses specialising in career advice.

It’s a chance to ask about what kind of skills and courses are needed, the time frame to complete the course and what career opportunities are out in the market. You may have plenty of questions you would like answered so it’s always a good idea to make a list and jot down anything you want to ask and find out more information about.

Recommended reading: 3 types of sole trader business

Look into work experience options

Get a first-hand insight into what certain tradie jobs are like by getting some work experience. This is something you can also discuss with your career advisor but also with family and friends who may know people in the industry that they can network you with. Contacting local businesses is another way to find out about work experience options too.

The great thing about work experience is that you get to see what goes on when on the job. You can ask questions about the type of work, what is expected, what skills you need and anything else you may want to find out.

Research industry stats

Having a solid understanding of the trade industry you are looking to get into is a wise move. You may want to research things like:

  • What the demand is like for the trade you are interested in?
  • What is the pay like?
  • What kind of training and skills are involved?
  • Is there career growth in this industry?

What are your future trade career goals?

Once you sort of have an idea of the type of trade you want, you need to also look at things long term and consider your future goals. Is this an industry that you want to start your own business in? Look at things like the area you will be working in and the need for that particular trade.

You might also want to further your study and specialise in certain niche areas of the trade, something which can be very lucrative when you have your own business.

Having some goals in place and a vision of where you would like to be in the future can help to keep you motivated and also whether you really can see yourself doing the trade at hand for the long haul.

Examples of types of tradie jobs

It may seem overwhelming when it comes to looking at the amount of different tradie fields and jobs out there, so we’ve featured some of the most popular kinds of tradie occupations and a brief overview of what they entail.


  • Varied role from small domestic jobs to large scale commercial fit outs
  • Some maths and physics knowledge required
  • Understand and be able to read wiring frames/ diagrams
  • Working with electricity brings an element of risk so knowledge of work place health and safety practices is vital


  • Works mostly outdoors
  • Physical job which requires an element of fitness
  • Create design and plans for clients
  • Calculating the cost of materials and construction
  • Be able to interpret designs and plans


  • Understanding and experience with plumbing and water systems
  • Broad range of areas of specialisation including working with gas installations, how water tanks and septic tanks for example
  • Can be a physically demanding job
  • Good level of maths required

Carpenter/ Builder

  • Opportunity to work on small scale domestic jobs to larger scale commercial construction sites
  • Some level of maths required for measuring materials, calculating quotes and costs
  • Good eye for detail
  • Clear communication skills when working with your clients, creating plans, ordering materials, and working on site with others

Sort out your insurance

Another thing you will need to think about once you decide with which trade you want to work in is your business insurance. Regardless if you decide to become a sparky or a chippy, business insurance is one of those important things you need to have in place to protect yourself.

Public Liability insurance, Tool cover (also known as Portable Equipment cover) Personal Accident and Illness insurance* are just some examples of the types of business insurances you may need as a tradie.

Fortunately getting your cover sorted with BizCover takes less time than a smoko and without the dramas of having to shop around and waste time. Get a quote today and see how you can get covered when you need it most.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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