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Game of tools – Technology in the trades survey

August 11, 2015 featured image

Technology survey results

There is often a great deal of competitiveness amongst the trades as to who works hardest, who’s job is the most technical or how many jobs a day can be completed. 

Stereotypes get tossed around on a day to day basis and it got us thinking, what’s the truth? Are Sparky’s all geeks? Do plumbers prefer the old ways to the new ways? Are gas engineers more likely to Tweet you than oil engineers?

We decided to ask you, trades people, to represent your trade and tell us a bit more about the way you work, run your business and spend time.

Our first survey: Which trade is the Techiest? Scroll down to see the results with further analysis below the infographic.

To see % stats, hover your mouse over the graphics and they will appear…

Analysing the results

The results of the survey are revealing. Nearly everyone that took the survey owns a smart phone or tablet (90%) and 98% of the people that own a mobile device, use it at work.

This is an incredible statistic when you consider that the first generation iPhone is around 8 years young.

Mobile devices in the workplace

  • Electricians, Gas Engineers and Oil engineers all said they make use of their mobile devices in at work.
  • 11% of plumbers asked said that they owned a mobile device but didn’t make use of it at work.
  • None of the plumbers that took the survey used a tablet.


It is clear that the trades are beginning to accept the use of applications to help with day to day tasks. 70% of all respondents use apps to help with calculations or measurements.

Breaking that down even more, 30% of everyone asked said that applications were crucial to their job and were used every day.

  • Electricians lead the way with 83% of you using applications
  • Gas engineers came second with 72% of respondents using applications.

In the head to head between Gas and Electric, 50% of Electricians occasionally used applications for various tasks compared to 28% of Gas engineers using apps for the same reason.

However more Gas engineers considered applications a more important tool for their day to day work (44% compared to 34% of electricians).

On the net

With just over half of respondents having a website, it’s good to see tradesmen embracing the web.

  • Only one third of plumbers asked said they had a website.
  • More Gas engineers asked in the survey have websites than Electricians (56% compared with 50%)
  • Electricians lead the way with better quality, mobile friendly sites, meaning they won’t have incurred Google penalties.

There are big similarities from respondents when it comes to business gained from the net. Both Gas and Electric respondents say they drum up business from the net with only a slight majority (56%) of plumbers saying that they did not get any business from the internet.

Social Media

It is clear that when it comes to business, the building services industry is still lagging behind on social media. The vast majority of electricians and plumbers still don’t have a Facebook page for their business.

Gas engineers however seem slightly more social media savvy with nearly half using a Facebook page and nearly a third on Twitter.


An interesting and competitive survey has shown that Gas engineers and Electricians are actually very similar. Electricians seem to embrace the use of mobile devices in a more casual fashion, using applications and devices with ease and staying up to date with their websites.

Gas engineers seem to be more active on social media than other trades and place more importance on applications that provide a unique and crucial service.

Plumbers, according to the survey, prefer a more hands-on, “old fashioned” approach.

If you don’t do social media, maybe you should give it a go, or perhaps improve your website? Some of the trends that appear on the infographic above is that having an online presence will result in a new revenue stream. Take advantage of it if you can!

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