Electrician sparks debate among Aussies after ‘cheeky’ tip request

One Aussie was left stumped after his electrician asked him for a tip but some argue this is not such a bad idea.

The great tip debate has been bubbling away in Australia for some time as the culture from the US continues to take hold in our service industries. But there is one area where tipping has not yet made its mark, with one Aussie theorising this could soon change — among tradies.

The debate began on Reddit after a stunned Aussie shared that their electrician recently asked them for a tip, leaving them stumped.

"Just had the most charismatic electrician over," they began. "He fixes the issue in no time, then he hits me with, 'How about a tip for that quick fix, mate?'" The poster said they laughed it off, but the incident then got them thinking — since when do tradies ask for a tip?

Adrian from Fix Electrical Contractors (left). Tradie on a residential building site in a high-vis shirt (right).
As a service-based industry, should Aussies tip tradies after a job well done? Adrian from Fix Electrical Contractors (left) thinks it might not be a bad thing. Source: Supplied / Getty

Sydney Electrician and business owner, Adrian Faull, told Yahoo News Australia that tradies asking for a tip is "not the norm" but that doesn't mean it isn't something that could start happening.

"We’ve been given beer and some customers ask if we would like a coke or cup of tea," he said. "I've never thought about it before but maybe tips are a creative way of evolving the service industry for tradesmen?"

If any of Faull's staff were to get a tip in the future, he said they would definitely be the ones to keep it all because they've been given it for the great work they did.

The debate rages on as Aussies argue 'we don't tip here'

Reactions were divided, with many not understanding how electrician's wages are paid in the first place.

"Sparkies have drop sheets made of $50 notes. What a cheeky bugger," said one person, to which another corrected. "I wish. Usually, the employees don't make that much. My old boss charged $110 an hour, the staff made about $38 an hour and he made 5 bucks an hour off each person after business expenses insurance etc came out".

Others furiously said tipping is not the Australian way. "We don't tip here. If he wants one, tell him to move to the States," commented one person.

But, many also thought it was no big deal. "I'm sure almost every profession could ask for tips I'd they did a good job. This guy obviously has the balls for it. So no biggie if people say no and a win if someone [says] yes," another said.

Aussie's backlash over gratuity requests not new

Louve Collection, a mobile phone accessory store, received backlash recently after encouraging customers to show "support for the team" by adding a 5, 10 or 15 per cent gratuity before completing a purchase.

"Yeah nah... YOU support the team by paying living wages. There is no way the grateful staff are seeing any of that," one user commented after seeing a screenshot of the request online, while another vented, "Leave that crap in America. Don't buy from any site that asks for tips. Abandoned baskets send a clear message, and the practice should die out."

The average wage for sparkies

Under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2020, for an apprentice over 21 in their first year, the minimum rate is $23.05 per hour — not including overtime, penalty rates or travel time.

According to Seek, the average annual salary for Electrician jobs in Australia ranges from $85,000 to $105,000, which is the same as the average annual salary for all Aussie Tradesperson jobs in general.

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