So you’ve finished your apprenticeship and now you’re qualified. First off, well done! Secondly, what’s next? There are a number of options available, you’ve just got to discover which one is best for you.
Do I stay or do I go?
Chances are you’ve been with the same company for the past four years. They’ve taken you under their wings, broken you down and built you back up into the qualified tradie standing there today.
However, now you’ve got to consider what’s best for you. At the beginning of your apprenticeship, you most likely signed a generic training contract, which outlined the terms and obligations of your apprenticeship.
Now, you’ve finished, there may be the option for you to stay on with your current company, under a new contract and job title. Although, there is no guarantee.
At the end of your apprenticeship, it’s always a good idea to survey the landscape and see what’s out there. Even though the company that you’ve completed your apprenticeship with have treated you well and shown you the ropes. You never know, you might land a better job at another company.
Now you can start earning the big bucks! This is what it’s all about. No more minimum wage and 2-minute noodle dinners or second-hand tools. As a qualified tradie, you can now expect to earn a significantly higher wage.
This could be a determining factor in whether you decide to stay at the company you completed your apprenticeship with or move to another. There is no magic number of what you can expect to earn once you’re qualified, you will generally need to negotiate this with your employer. For this reason, it’s important you have a general idea of what is reasonable for someone in your field and position.
Have a yarn with other tradies, see what online job websites say or use an online wage calculator to help form your wage expectations.
Do I become a contractor?
Fancy working for yourself? Well now, this is a very real possibility! As a fully qualified tradie, you now have the opportunity and qualifications necessary to run your own business.
If this is an option you are interested in, make sure you understand what licenses and paperwork you need to legally run your own business. Depending on your industry this may vary. For example, you may need special building permits to run a carpentry or construction company.
Another consideration you need to factor in is whether you require insurance for your new operation. In almost all cases, you will be required to have some form of public liability insurance. This protects you if someone files a claim against your business in case of property damage or injury as a result of your work.
And this is where Cactus comes in. We have a range of insurance options available to you if you are seeking to start your own business. We can design a package to cover almost anything, right from your tools to your public liability. Don’t go unprotected!
What about becoming a subbie?
As the mid-point between being an employee and having your name on the door, becoming a subbie is a common route. If you’re not in a position to branch out and start your own business, this could be a good first step to one day running your own company.
One of the major benefits of being a subbie is the contractor is responsible for managing all the dull admin and paperwork that we hate doing. This allows you to concentrate on the work and means your office (truck) remains relatively clean.
Even though you aren’t a business owner, you may still be required to hold similar licenses and insurance. So it’s important you investigate what paperwork subbies are required to hold.
Being qualified, now means you are no longer required to fetch the left-handed screwdriver or be the main source of entertainment. It’s an exciting time in your career!
Be sure to celebrate the completion of this major milestone but also be aware of the options available to you now.