Home » Trade News » 10 Surprising Realities Of Being A Tradesperson

10 Surprising Realities Of Being A Tradesperson

A cartoon image of a person chasing another with a "kick me" sign on the floor alongside text reading "surprising realities of being a tradie"

There’s nothing quite like being a tradesperson, whether you’re a plasterer, bricklayer, electrician or gas engineer.

The industry can only truly be appreciated by those who are part of it, from the banter on-site to using your skills to help people who need it most.

And no matter your trade, there are certain things that everyone in the industry will understand.

1. Fixing Bodge Jobs

You get called out for a “small problem, ” but you soon realise that’s not the case upon arrival. Instead, a small problem has been made a hundred times worse by the homeowners attempting a bit of DIY.

Research from Local Heroes has found that the Great British public pays £34 billion a year to fix their DIY fails.

2. Early Finishes On Friday

You’ve worked hard all week, and hey, you make the rules. You’ve earned it, so you’ll clock out at 1pm on a Friday. You’re making the most of your weekend – and rightly so.

3. Apprentice Pranks

It’s a right of passage that every apprentice has to experience. Whether you’re asked to find that “left-handed hammer’ or sent off to pick up a bubble for the spirit level, every tradesperson has been there. Some may say it’s bullying, but you know it’s character-building and made you who you are today.

4. When The Tables Turn

After going through numerous pranks and practical jokes yourself, it’s only fair that you get to inflict the same on the new apprentices that come along. They’ll thank you one day.

5. “It’s just a little favour.”

Whatever your trade, you’ll have experienced family and friends asking you to do some work for them but disguising it as a favour. It may take you a few hours, or it may only take you five minutes, but since when did you work for free and not have bills to pay?

Two gas trainees working on boilers in the workshop bay as they  work to become qualified tradesperson

6. Late Paying Customers

A sad reality of the trades is that sometimes, people just don’t want to pay you. Whether they’re having money-flow issues or just trying to get out of paying, it’s a nightmare to deal with. Thankfully, there are ways to combat late payment, so while you can’t always avoid it, you can reduce the risk!

7. Working With The Weather

In the UK, the weather not being on your side can happen at any time of the year. From being unable to drive due to snow to torrential downpours, sometimes you can’t make it to work.

8. And Making The Most Of It

As a tradesperson, you’ll often be working outside, and when it’s sunny, you’ll be sure to make the most of it. So while your office worker friends are stuck in stuffy offices all day, you’re out basking in the sunshine.

9. Sorting Your Self-Assessment

Being self-employed is all well and good until it comes to sorting your self-assessment. The last-minute scramble to find receipts each year drives you mad. Every year you promise next year will be different. It never is.

10. You Wouldn’t Change It For Anything

Your job is undoubtedly more physically demanding than an office job. 5 am starts are brutal at any time of year, not just in Winter. It’s not perfect, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. Your workmates, the banter and being your own boss is unbeatable.

Become A Tradesperson

Two years ago, we reported that there is no better time to learn a trade, and the demand for skilled workers has continued to rise. With a skills shortage combined with a higher demand for skilled trades, wages have increased – and that is just one of the reasons why the trades industry is a great industry to join.

Want to join? Become an electrician or gas engineer with us. Fill in the online contact form or call us at 0800 802 1306.

All data correct at time of publication.