How much do removalists make?

Here's what you could earn doing moving gigs

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It turns out that being a removalist can be just as high-paying as being a doctor. Data shows ‌that NSW removalists are in the top spot as the highest-paid trades with their charge-out rates of up to $100 an hour. If you have the knowledge and tools to become one, you can easily stack up some cash and be rewarded with extra pay.

But just how much can you earn from moving stuff? We’ve laid out everything you need to know to earn as a removalist.

How much can I earn as an individual removalist?

You can make money as a removalist and earn from $20 to $26 per hour for a full-service move. A day’s move can easily rack up to $200, excluding additional pay.

Additional pay, which includes cash bonuses, tips, commissions, and profit sharing, is estimated between $103 to $983. If you’re thinking you work better alone, freelance removalists charge as low as $60 per hour, while those who’re in teams can charge as low as $150 per hour. 

Factors affecting charge

Let’s break down how much you should charge for moving help. Charging per hour depends on: 

  • Distance - Where you’ll be moving to and from;

  • Amount of work - A full service includes packing, driving, unloading, and unpacking;

  • Items to move - Whether it’s furniture or moving the entire house.


1. Distance 

truck on a long distance drive

The longer the distance, the higher the charge. This depends on whether you’ll move interstate. Moving less than 20 kilometres can make $1,100, while interstate removalists make $3,600 on a full-service move.


2. Service

A full-service move includes packing, moving, and then unpacking. There are also cases where some customers already have their packages ready and just need you to move their belongings from one location to another. Here’s a breakdown of how much to charge for your moving services:


Service

Price

Packing & unpacking

$75 to $150

Fragile item removal

$62 to $214

Heavy lifting 

$50 to $140

Labour only

$170 to $220 per hour

Studio moving

$425 to $765 for 2-4 hours

Two-bedroom moving

$1200 for 4-6 hours

Three-bedroom moving

$2300 for 5-8 hours

Interstate move

$3600 


Every move is different, and the above figures are just an estimate. An out-of-state full-service move might take you 18 to 24 hours to finish, so it depends on the time and effort you’d like to spend on moving. Also, be mindful of traffic—it counts as travel time, so it’s best to avoid peak hour traffic.


Full Service

Time

Packing

2 to 3 hours

Travelling

14 to 18 hours

Unloading

1 hour

Unpacking

1 to 2 hours


3. Items

Most movers consider the weight that they (and truck) could carry. The different costs of moving the items are:


Item

Price

Mattress removal

$50 to $86

Bed removal

$50 to $150

Appliance removal

$80 to $180

Piano removal

$150 to $1,500

Shed removal

$100 to $300

Furniture removal

$75 to $200

Pool table removal 

$80 to $200

Fridge removal

$80 to $345

Hot tub removal

$200 to $600

Treadmill removal

$50 to $145

Rubbish removal

$40 to $500


4. Additional Costs

There are some things you can consider charging extra for the extra work that you’ll be doing. Since not all moving’s the same, here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Stairs and elevators: You can charge extra to carry up and down the stairs, even if the place has elevators. Because of this, you’ll have to triple your work of loading and unloading packages to and from the elevators instead of carrying them straight to the front door. 

  • Shuttle service: For places where parking is difficult, a shuttle service may be necessary since you can’t park your vehicle near the house

  • Long carry: Long carry is the unusually long distance from the front door to the back door of your vehicle. You can specify a distance limit and charge anything that goes beyond that.

two movers helping each other load boxes in a van

  • Packing: Charge for packing materials and the service itself (which you can charge per item or by the hour), if the client chooses this option.

  • Large and heavy items: If you have the stamina to carry and move large or heavy items, charge extra. This includes pianos, hot tubs, and treadmills. You also get to charge for using the equipment you used to move them. 

  • Fragile items: While it’s part of the job to safely and securely move items, some items are just harder to move because they’re fragile. You can charge extra or have them on insurance.

  • Moving insurance: While it’s required for you to provide basic insurance, give the client an option to buy full-value coverage for an extra fee.

What does a removalist do?

client signing a deal with a mover

As a removalist, your responsibilities include taking apart, securely packing, loading, unloading, and possibly unpacking items. Your job is to handle the packages with care as you move the items from one location to another, ensuring they are not damaged, lost, or broken during the process. 

For packing and unpacking services, you need to know how to take items apart, bubble wrap or stretch wrap, place loose items in boxes and sealed bags, and use straps and cardboard sheets when items are large. 

And for loading the items, you may need equipment such as a dolly or ramp to move and load objects from a customer's building to a moving truck and take an inventory by describing each package or item at the location before it is loaded.

Tips to become a good mover

person taping up boxes

Here are some tips that might help you become a good removalist:

  • Having a clean driving record and a commercial driver's licence may be required for large moving trucks. 

  • If you have a loading dock underneath your building, check that the clearance is at least 3.2 metres as this is the minimum clearance a Sydney removal truck will require. Larger trucks may require up to 3.7 metres of clearance.

  • Because of the physical nature of the work, you will need excellent stamina and the ability to lift heavy objects for a long time.

  • Be friendly and professional to clients in order to earn higher tips. 

  • Make sure the move is speedy and efficient without compromising safety. 

Earn more cash and become a removalist

When people employ removalists, it's usually because they lack the time and energy to do the move themselves—or even if they do, they may not be equipped or knowledgeable enough to do so. Why not become a removalist if you have the time and the means to do so? You'll put those skills to good use by assisting others in moving while earning money!

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