what is a trade assistant?

As a trade assistant, you assist the facilities manager and other tradespeople in completing their tasks. For instance, you participate in maintenance tasks for buildings or business sites. Since you don't have fixed duties, your tasks are assigned by a supervisor. You attend to various tasks within the stipulated timeframes to complete the allocated work. As a trade assistant, you respond to emergencies, periodical maintenance and scheduling tasks. Some of your duties may include cleaning, painting, rubbish removal and inspecting the site for safety and security problems. You are expected to support ad hoc duties and project work. You should ensure that jobs are completed according to the stipulated instructions. Trade assistants usually rely on repair and maintenance skills and the ability to use hand and power tools to complete their tasks.

where do trade assistants work?

Large organisations and industries rely on trade assistants to ensure optimal operations on a site. As a trade assistant, you will likely work in building and construction or a mining or manufacturing company. In the mining industry, a trade assistant is a multi-tasker completing jobs like mechanical repairs and operating power tools. They also conduct maintenance and restorations during mine shutdowns.

trade assistant jobs

average trade assistant salary

A trade assistant in Australia takes home a salary of $65,000 per year. If you are joining the profession with minimal experience and qualifications, your remuneration package starts at $55,000 per year. Experienced trade assistants with extra qualifications and skills earn over $75,000 annually, which increases as they improve their skills. Trade assistants are paid hourly and make an average salary range of $30 to $35 per hour.

how to increase the salary of a trade assistant

As a trade assistant, you perform ad hoc duties assigned by your supervisor. Therefore, your remuneration package depends on your skills and experience performing various maintenance tasks. While educational qualifications may not impact your earnings, having additional skills and expertise in operating machines and power tools improves your salary prospects.

The industry you work in is also likely to influence your earnings. Trade assistants working in the mining industry earn higher salaries because the complexity of the role and additional expertise required justify a better remuneration package. Your location may also influence your salary prospects due to the fluctuations in demand in various regions and the higher cost of living in metro areas.

Want to know what you will earn as a trade assistant? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

trade assistant salary

types of trade assistants

Trade assistants perform a variety of roles in different industries. Some types of trade assistants include:

  • building trade assistants: as a building trade assistant, you assist tradespeople in the construction industry. Your job is to ensure the worksite is clean by collecting rubbish and tools when workers leave for the day. You also assist with the cleaning and maintenance of machines.
  • mining trade assistants: when you work in the mining industry, your role involves operating machines and other equipment. You repair and maintain equipment and machinery used on-site during shutdowns. You also ensure the mine sites are safe by disposing of hazardous substances.
Womale wearing a red overall, looking down in a factory/production site.
Womale wearing a red overall, looking down in a factory/production site.

working as a trade assistant

Working as a trade assistant involves helping other professionals complete their tasks. Since you perform a wide range of duties, you require exceptional mechanical and physical skills. Let's explore the additional tasks and work environments of trade assistants.


education and skills

Since trade assistant is an entry-level position, formal qualifications are not necessary. Some of the qualifications required for the role include:

educational qualifications: you can join the profession through a short course in construction with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The course helps you receive a White Card, which is necessary for working in the construction industry.

relevant licences: besides having a White Card, some employers prefer candidates with additional licences and certificates like a forklift, truck or high-risk work licences. Some of the licences require completion of TAFE courses like Certificate II in construction or engineering.

skills and competencies

Besides technical knowledge and expertise, the following qualities help you excel as a trade assistant:

  • problem-solving skills: a successful trade assistant possesses exceptional problem-solving skills to help them identify and resolve problems swiftly. Problem-solving skills help you gather and analyse information before developing alternative solutions to fix a problem.
  • accuracy: a good trade assistant endeavours to maintain quality standards through the manufacturing process. This requires precision in calibrating machines and completing repairs to ensure they perform according to industry standards. Being thorough and attentive to details helps you improve performance and ensure the work meets the production requirements.
  • decision-making skills: as a trade assistant, you should be willing to make decisions. Decision-making skills help you make sound judgements during repairs and when performing complex tasks.
  • interpersonal skills: as a trade assistant, you work with a team of tradespeople. Your ability to work in a team is helpful, as good teamwork promotes job success. Interpersonal skills enable you to balance team and individual responsibilities and help to resolve conflicts, listen to others and take criticisms well.
  • dependability: tradespeople rely on your assistance to complete various tasks. You should be punctual and fulfil your obligations to maintain the workflow or respond to emergencies.

FAQs about working as a trade assistant

Here are the most asked questions about working as a trade assistant:

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