Apprenticeship or University Degree?

As reported on, the first year wage of tradespeople ($ 52,000) is even higher than the salary of university graduates ($ 50,000). The disadvantage of graduates is among others their student loan debt whereas apprentices get paid for their work while being educated.

We all know the mining boom has increased the demand for skilled tradespeople, so much so that the National Centre for Vocational Education Research says qualified tradies are now getting an average first year wage of $52,000.

While we can’t directly compare the fourth year salary of a tradesperson, it’s not unreasonable to expect a similar rise given the high regional demand for their services. Because, like every other good or service, wages are a product of supply and demand.