Data from IPSE reveals men earn 43% more than women in self-employment proving that women are undervaluing themselves and charging lower hourly rates. 

This doesn't just affect self-employed workers either, women are paid 8.3% less than men which is up from 7.7% in 2021. 

Magnet Trade has investigated the growing gender pay gap for the most popular jobs in the trade industry.


To find out the gender pay gap for employed tradespeople in the UK, Magnet Trade analysed ONS data on average hourly pay, salary and the pay gap for each trade. Alongside this, they used data from IPSE to estimate the average pay gap and average salary for self-employed tradespeople. 


  • On average, the hourly rate for self-employed men is £23 compared to the £16 hourly charge for women.
  • Self-employed electricians have the biggest hourly gender pay gap with women charging £18.54 compared to £26.51 for men on average.
  • On average, self-employed tradeswomen would have to work five extra months per year to match a man’s salary across trade roles. 
  • For full-time employed people, the median hourly pay for women is £12.96 compared to £14.82 for men. 
  • Full time male vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians earn 30% more than women.


With women earning 43% less than men in self-employed jobs, our estimates show that, for trade jobs, men charge £7 more an hour on average than women. In terms of the hourly rate, this is £23 for self-employed men compared to £16 for women on average. 

For full-time trade employees, the average gender pay gap is 15% which is above the average of 8.3%. The pay gap could be due to women taking time out of their jobs or going part-time to look after their families.

When pricing up a job, you’ll need to consider different elements like cost of materials, time it takes to complete the project and years of experience. However, regardless of gender, you are the expert and should feel empowered to charge at least the industry standard rate for the work you do. 

Don’t be afraid to show off your skills and hard work, from customer reviews and building an online presence to registering your services with credible sites and displaying your accredited qualifications. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so don’t shy away from giving yourself a public pat on the back! 

Despite women gaining the same qualifications as men, they are yet to receive pay equality. If you’re looking for full time employment in the trade industry, companies are encouraged to show salary ranges so you can negotiate your pay as well as structured interviews for recruitment to help stop unfair bias creeping in which helps close the gender pay gap

However, with more people choosing to go down the self-employed route, it can be difficult to know what to charge so we’d encourage open discussion with other tradespeople as well as looking online at what people in your area charge. Alongside this, you can use our data report above to help inform your decision.

Remember, people are approaching you for the job so feel confident in your ability to charge your worth. 

Whether you are new to construction or have been an expert for a while, we can help you get the best service and value you for the products you buy regularly, by applying for a trade account.


Magnet Trade used ONS data for the gender pay gap of full-time employed trade jobs alongside average salaries and hourly pay.

We used data from Hudson Contracts to find salaries for self-employed workers. We're using the 43% freelance/contractor gender pay gap and applying that across all job types/industries. No data is available to show this per job type. The hourly rates are based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Many trades may work longer hours than these, but the average UK 40 work week is being used across all job types/industries to allow them to be compared. The data doesn't contain a % of women for all trades. We've used the generic "Construction & other building trades" figure from ONS. 

For working life figures and pay, we’ve used

Google search data correct as of 9/08/2023.