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How much do drain cleaners earn?

If you’re thinking of starting a career in drain cleaning, you might be wondering – how much do drain cleaners earn? And we’re here to help. In this guide, we look at figures for the average drain cleaner salary in the UK, including the breakdown based on level of experience.

Whatever your level of drain cleaning experience, this guide is for you. Whether you’re just starting out as an apprentice drain cleaner, or you’re thinking of setting up your own drain cleaning company, keep reading to find out how much you could earn.

How much does a drain cleaner earn in the UK?

For drain cleaners in the UK, the starting salary for an apprentice is usually somewhere in the region of £11,060. At the other end of the scale, if you own a drain cleaning company you can earn up to about £59,000.

The exact salary you earn as a drain cleaner will depend on your qualifications, skills, experience, and where you’re based – as well as the size and complexity of the drain cleaning jobs you take on.

LevelPer hourPer dayPer yearBusiness Costs*Approximate Take Home Pay
Apprentice£6.30£50.40£11,060£0£10,720
Newly Qualified£10.00£80£17,560£0£15,340
Employed£14.00£112£29,120£0£23,300
Sole Trader£23.00£256£47,200£5,900£30,640
Business Owner (ltd company)£40.00£320£59,000£10,325£38,900
*includes estimated costs for business expenses such as vehicle, tools, insurance, fuel etc

How much do drain cleaners earn per year?

As a yearly figure, here’s the average drain cleaner salary based on level of experience:

  • Apprentice drain cleaner – £11,060 (£10,720 take home) per year
  • Newly qualified drain cleaner – £17,560 (£15,340 take home) per year
  • Employed drain cleaner – £29,120 (£23,300 take home) per year
  • Sole trader drain cleaner – £47,200 (£30,640 take home) per year
  • Drain cleaning company owner – £59,000 (£38,900 take home) per year

What do drain cleaners make per month?

Based on the above yearly figures for the average drain cleaner salary in the UK, here’s how much drain cleaners can make per month:

  • Apprentice – £1,090 per month
  • Newly qualified – £1,735 per month
  • Employed – £2,425 per month
  • Sole trader – £5,546 per month
  • Drain cleaning company owner – £6,930 per month

Drain cleaning technician salary per week

As a weekly figure, here’s how much you could earn based on the average drain cleaner salary in the UK:

  • Apprentice drain cleaner – £250 per week
  • Newly qualified drain cleaner – £400 per week
  • Employed drain cleaner – £560 per week
  • Sole trader drain cleaner – £1,280 per week
  • Drain cleaning company owner – £1,600 per week

Drain cleaner salary

Drain cleaner salary per day

If you’re wondering how much drain cleaners earn per day, here’s the average drain cleaner salary broken down into a day rate:

  • Apprentice – £50.40 per day
  • Newly qualified – £80 per day
  • Employed – £112 per day
  • Sole trader – £256 per day
  • Drain cleaning limited company owner – £320 per day

What do drain cleaners make per hour?

Many drain cleaners are paid by the hour, so it’s useful to see the average hourly rates for drain cleaners in the UK:

  • Apprentice – £6.30 per hour
  • Newly qualified – £10.00 per hour
  • Employed – £14.00 per hour
  • Sole trader – £23.00 per hour
  • Drain cleaning limited company owner – £40.00 per hour

How much does a self-employed drain cleaner earn in the UK?

If you’re looking at earning potential, you can be sure that starting your own drain cleaning business can massively boost how much money you can make.

Below are the average earnings for sole trader drain cleaners in the UK:

  • Hourly rate – £23.00 per hour
  • Day rate – £256 per day
  • Yearly salary – £47,200 per year
  • Annual take-home pay – £30,640 per year

Drain cleaning technician salary

Is drain cleaning profitable?

When it comes to running your own drain cleaning business, the amount of revenue and profit you generate will depend on a number of different factors – such as the size of your business, the amount of work do, and how profitable your drain cleaning jobs are.

To give you a rough idea of how much you could make, we’ve put together some estimates for drain cleaning business revenue and profit.

Drain cleaning business revenue

Here are some figures for the average drain cleaning business revenue in the UK:

  • Sole trader drain cleaner – £47,200 per year
  • Drain cleaning limited company – £59,000 per year

Drain cleaning business profit

To work out your profit as a drain cleaning business (either as a sole trader or a limited company), you’ll need to factor in the cost of running your business. Running costs include expenses like your work vehicle, fuel, materials, tools and insurance.

For a limited company, it’s important to factor in any staff wages as part of your business’s running costs.

After deducting your annual business costs, a self-employed drain cleaner can expect to generate a drain cleaning business profit (i.e. take-home salary) of somewhere in the region of £30,640 as a sole trader.

If you’re running a limited company, you’re looking at an average drain cleaning business profit of around £38,900.

Grow your drain cleaning business

Millions of customers search for trade services every year on Checkatrade. Make sure you're one of the businesses they find!

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Want tips to expand your drain cleaning business? Check out our guide on how to grow your business.

Add other services to your drain cleaning business

If you’re looking for ways to make your drain cleaning business more profitable, then it might be worth diversifying your services by adding gutter cleaning. For more information, check out our guide on how to start a gutter cleaning business or starting a gutter installation business, as well as information about how much gutter cleaners make.

How to make your drain cleaning business more profitable

As a drain cleaning business owner, it’s important to make sure that all your drain cleaning jobs are generating a profit. To do that you need to focus on the profitability of each drain cleaning job that you do.

To help, we’ve put together our top tips to make your drain cleaning business more profitable:

  • Make sure you’re charging enough to cover your outgoings (including tools, materials, insurance, marketing, wages, fuel etc).
  • Focus on the jobs that make you the most money and require you to spend the least (for tools, materials, etc).
  • Limit how far you travel to avoid vehicle and fuel costs eating into your profits.
  • Minimise your outgoings by trying to have no or as little debt as possible.
  • Shop around for the best deals (like our member partnerships) on tools, equipment, materials and workwear.
  • Get your business name out there through marketing (your website, customer reviews and SEO).
  • Provide the best customer experience to all your customers to build a strong reputation and win more work through word of mouth.
  • Join a trade directory like Checkatrade to build your reviews and online reputation.

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