5 Ways to Increase Your Hourly Rate

5 Ways to Increase Your Hourly Rate

Nov 11, 2017

According to PayScale, the average construction worker here in the UK earns around £10.74 per hour, equating to an annual salary of £23,000.

While people who are at the start of their careers are likely to be earning 30% less, an experienced construction worker can expect to earn around 18% more while late-career workers will be on about 23% more than the national average, with a salary circa £27,000.

While more experience should, therefore, enable you to earn more money, not everyone wants to wait for time to pass before they can command a higher rate of pay.

Whether you are on the first rung of the career ladder, or have a few years’ experience under your belt, it’s good to know what steps you can take to increase your contracting hourly rate.

Esther Davies, Head of HR here at Crest Plus, shares her top five tips on earning more from your work as a construction industry contractor.

  • Tip #1: Improve your skills

Perhaps the simplest way to improve your hourly rate of pay is to improve the quality and quantity of skills you are able to offer your employer.

This may involve becoming more specialised in your chosen field of work, or it may involve diversifying your skills so your employer can ask you to undertake a wider range of tasks.

As well as improving your professional skills, you may need to focus on improving other skills which are important to employers, like effective communication, or being the sort of person an employer can trust to do a job to a high standard with minimal input from supervisors. You may need to ask for honest and objective feedback from peers or supervisors to find out which ‘soft skills’ you need to work on!

  • Tip #2: Become more highly qualified

Another way to improve your value to employers is to become more highly qualified. There may be additional qualifications you can undertake in your current field or work, or you may wish to improve the range of relevant qualifications you hold.

Vocational qualifications are particularly popular in the construction industry. A recent Achievers and Leavers report by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) showed that a vocational qualification can add up to 25% to a construction worker’s salary.

The report found that a Level 2 vocational qualification is worth more than £2,200 across five years in increased wages, moving up to Level 3 is worth a further £3,500, and gaining a Level 4 £12,600.

When compared with those without formal qualifications, someone with a Level 2 vocational qualification earned 13% more, Level 3 earned 16% more and Level 4 earned 25% more on average.

Another good reason to look at improving your qualifications is that the report also showed that three quarters of construction industry workers were promoted as a result of their vocational qualification.

  • Tip #3: Review your role

If you’ve been working for the same employer for a while, you may find that your role has changed and that you now have additional responsibilities.

It’s worth reviewing your original role specification to see how it compares with the work you actually undertake on a day-to-day basis.

If your role has changed significantly you may find that your employer is open to a discussion about increasing your rate of pay to reflect the additional responsibilities your role now entails.

  • Tip #4: Build and maintain good working relationships

While it’s a little less tangible, it pays to be a ‘good’ employee – someone who is diligent, reliable and able to show initiative. Even if you haven’t yet built the skills and experience you would like, these softer qualities will be much valued by everyone you work for. You may find that your employer is more willing to consider a higher rate of pay if you have a continuously good attitude.

  • Tip #5: Keep your options open

If you’re serious about improving your rate of pay and you’ve done all of the above but are still not earning the hourly rate you feel you deserve, then look around for a new role. It’s worth keeping your ‘ear to the ground’ about what other employers are paying so that you can apply for a new role if the opportunity arises. This gives you greater control over your own career and earnings potential.

If you would like further advice or support on any aspect of construction industry contracting, please visit our CIS Plus pages or get in touch with our team of specialist contractor accountants on 01244 684700.

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