OneQrew, a leading software solutions provider for the skilled trades industry, has published the second edition of the Price Index for Skilled Crafts, comparing hourly rates across various trades. In the second half of 2022, the average hourly rate for master craftworkers reached €64, while journeyman hours cost customers €58.
Hourly rates for skilled trades in Germany continued to rise during the second half of 2022. By early 2023, the average hourly rate for master craftworkers reached €64, while journeyman hours were €58, reflecting percentage increases of five and nine percent, respectively, compared to the first half of 2022. General inflation during this period (April 2022 to February 2023) was 5.9 percent.
OneQrew compiled these findings in the Price Index for Skilled Crafts, surveying 670 German skilled crafts businesses. OneQrew, formed by the merger of TAIFUN, M•SOFT, PraKom, extragroup, DIGI, and other leading software specialists, utilized data from its extensive customer network for the study.
Price Increases Predominate
In the surveyed period, 71 percent of businesses raised their prices one or more times, while 29 percent maintained stable prices. The rise in customer prices is partially due to higher wage costs in a competitive labor market. Seventy percent of the surveyed craftworkers presently have one or more job vacancies, reflecting a three percent increase from the prior year and emphasizing the persistent influence of the skilled labor shortage on the industry. On average, companies report a deficit of 1.38 skilled workers.
Despite rising prices, the demand for skilled craftworkers in Germany continues to be strong. Seventy-three percent of surveyed businesses experience a high level of demand, while only six percent face a moderate demand and have the capacity for additional work. Exceptions include civil engineering and scaffolding, where only 41 percent of companies report a high demand for their services, and 27 percent indicate more moderate demand.
Persistent Regional Price Differences
Price distribution across regions remains similar to the previous year, with higher costs for master craftworkers and journeyman hours in metropolitan areas and wealthier and more prosperous states in the former West Germany. This year, Hamburg and Berlin have the highest rates, with €72 for a master craftworker’s hour. In Hamburg, the journeyman hour is also the most expensive at €63. The lowest-priced craftworker services are found in Saxony-Anhalt, where master and journeyman hours cost €52 and €43, respectively. On average, craftworker hours (master craftworker and journeyman) cost €54 in eastern Germany and €64 in western Germany, with eastern states’ hourly rates 15 percent lower than those in the western states.
Durchschnittliche Stundensätze verteilt nach Bundesland
Roofers and Carpenters Command Highest Prices
Craftworker costs vary significantly across trades. Roofers and carpenters have the highest average total cost at €65, followed by window specialists at €64 and HVAC technicians at €63. The middle price segment includes electrical engineering at €59. The lowest hourly rates are found in building construction and civil engineering at €53, with comparable rates for painters/plasterers and stucco workers at €54 and scaffolding workers at €55.
Dominik Hartmann, CEO of OneQrew, emphasizes the need for urgent measures to combat the shortage of skilled craftsmen, which could jeopardize major projects such as the energy transition. In the long term, efforts must be made to engage more young people in skilled trades, while in the short term, tradespeople should optimize their limited resources through digital solutions that simplify routine tasks and improve operational processes.
“There’s no end in sight for rising costs in the German skilled trades sector. This is a logical consequence of the market when high demand meets limited supply. Focusing on moderate price adjustments in favor of better-paid journeyman hours currently strikes the right balance – making entry into the skilled trades more appealing, attracting new skilled workers, and strengthening the competitiveness of the industry. Looking ahead, urgent measures are needed to address the shortage of skilled craftsmen. Otherwise, we risk not only escalating prices, but also a massive backlog of orders that could jeopardize major projects like the energy transition if there’s a lack of craftsmen to install heat pumps or insulate homes. In the long run, we need to inspire more young people to pursue careers in skilled trades. In the short term, tradespeople must allocate their scarce resources as efficiently as possible. We aim to help them with our digital solutions that simplify time-consuming routine tasks and optimize operational processes,” says Hartmann.
For the nationwide Skilled Crafts Price Index, OneQrew surveyed 670 German skilled crafts businesses, primarily from the trades of plumbing/heating/air conditioning, electrical engineering, roofing, carpentry, joinery, metal and scaffolding, and painting/plastering/stuccoing. Responses were obtained through an online survey conducted between February 13 and March 21, 2023.