Electricians to plumbers – the best cities for building a career in a trade

With 25 new trade start-ups opening their doors every day, new research shows the best cities in the country to start a trade business.

A new study from IronmongeryDirect finds that Brighton is the best city to start a construction, carpentry or gardening trade – but plumbers and electricians might be better off elsewhere.

If your dream is to build your own UK construction trade company, or if you’re a carpenter who’d like to up sticks and move elsewhere, now you have the right tool for the job.

With 25 new trade startups opening their doors every day, architectural ironmongery suppliers, IronmongeryDirect have produced a tool for exploring the best UK cities to be a tradesman based on local trade company competition, advertising costs, start-up survival rate, among others.

See how the cities fare across the board, or filter by each measurement to tailor it to your needs, so no matter where you are in your career development – learning, looking for a job, or ready to start your own business – you’re equipped to see which cities have the resources you need.

The top five

While different trades might be better off in different cities, these cities stood out as the overall top 5 best cities for the trades:

Brighton – best for builders, carpenters, and gardeners, job availability is quite high across the board, and start-ups tend to survive for more than a year.

Chester – Chester is the best option for plumbers, with high start-up survival rates, low advertising costs, and a significant number of jobs available per capita.

Leicester – ideal for gardeners, there are few competing companies in the area, but high start-up survival rate, making it prime turf for new gardening companies.

Coventry – the top location for electricians, there’s a high number of jobs available in the area, and advertising costs for electricians are low.

Newcastle upon Tyne – one of the best places to build a construction career, there’s a low amount of competition, with minimal advertising costs.

London Trades

In contrast to trade-topping Brighton, England’s capital ranked only 14th overall on the list of 20, scoring most highly for construction workers, where it placed 7th due to a high number of courses available and a significant number of hardware stores.

Electricians wouldn’t fare quite as well in London, however – for whom it placed only 17th, with high advertising costs and a low number of jobs available per capita.

‘It’s surprising to see the difference across industries,’ says Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect. ‘The city ranking is significantly different between plumbers and builders, for example. But it looks like Brighton could always use more tradesmen!’

Further reading on starting a trade

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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