The most trusted trades in the UK: Gardeners remain firmly planted as the UK’s number one trade

Gardeners remain the most trusted trade in the UK, increasing the gap on the other trades, and especially so amongst women and older people. Meanwhile, Joiners, Pest Controllers, Builders and Tilers have seen their trust ratings fall.

These are the headlines from the latest poll conducted by Mustard to measure and track consumer trust across various sectors and industries.

This poll is a repeat of a similar study conducted in 2012. In summary:

  • Gardeners remain “most trusted”, with 26% of the overall vote (30% of women, 21% of men)
  • Window cleaners remain in second position – another trade whereby, in most instances, access to the house is not required (14%)
  • Carpenters / Joiners fall from third to sixth, with the percentage share of the vote falling from 13% to 8%
  • Electricians take third place in the ranking with 13% (although they are men’s second most trusted trade – 15% of the male vote compared with 12% of females)
  • Heating specialists also climb in the rankings (from sixth to fourth) with their share of vote increasing from 6% to 9%.
  • Scaffolders (2%) are a new entry into the top 10, replacing tilers, who drop from 10th to 14th with just 1% saying they are the most trusted trade.

Why do women trust gardeners more than men?

Could this a hangover from the “John the Gardener” affair with Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives? Is it perhaps a by-product of female affection for Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don? We kid you not.

Gardeners market research

Some notable differences by age

For two trades in our list – gardeners and electricians – it is notable that levels of trust increase significantly among older consumers. For example, 22% of those aged 18-34 say they trust gardeners the most, compared with 29% of those aged 55+. Similarly, 11% of those aged 18-34 say they trust electricians the most, compared with 16% of those aged 55+.

Painter and Decorator market research

Conversely, there is a pattern that shows trust decreasing with age for decorators, builders, scaffolders and tilers. Those aged 18-34 are more than twice as likely to say they trust builders and scaffolders the most – compared with those aged 55+. Why might that be so? Are these perceptions borne out of direct encounters with tradespeople? Are positive experiences with gardeners and electricians pushing down the ratings elsewhere, or are consumers losing trust through experience?

The most trusted trades in the UK:

1. Gardeners


2. Window cleaners


3. Electricians


4. Heating specialists


5. Decorators


6. Carpentry / Joiners


7. Plumbers


8. Pest controllers


9. Builders


10. Scaffolders


11. Plasterers


12. Bricklayers


13. Roofers


14. Tilers


This poll conducted among 2,346 members of the Toluna Research Panel between 21st and 24th  February 2014.