Is there a name that collectively designates plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, locksmiths etc.?

In French, the colloquial term would be "artisans du bâtiment".

In English, I've seen "building tradesman" and "building craftsman" but it does not seem to be very popular or very colloquial.

  • 6
    tradesman is exactly the word I was going to suggest.
    – stangdon
    May 4, 2021 at 17:05
  • 3
    @Alexandred'Entraigues Yes, they do (at least in the US). Don't trust Wikipedia further than you can throw it. May 4, 2021 at 17:11
  • 3
    Tradesmen in my view are people that perform skilled labor to build or repair things. Masons, welders, and machinists, yes. Pilots and chefs, no. Construction workers are the unskilled laborers. I might understand “construction tradesmen” to include finish carpenters, electricians and the like.
    – ColleenV
    May 4, 2021 at 17:19
  • 2
    I have heard professionals in the building industry distinguish between inside trades and outside trades. Most of your examples would be inside trades except possibly masons. So they might say "We need to get the building water-tight before the inside trades can start."
    – mdewey
    May 4, 2021 at 17:25
  • 1
    In UK a tradesman is nearly always presumed to be in the building industry, so there is no need to say so. May 4, 2021 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


This category, artisan(e) du bâtiment, while readily understandable as a concept to British speakers, does not seem to have one single word in English that distinguishes practitioners from chefs, model makers, and pilots, and I would add that lately I have had very good painting & decorating, and carpentry, done by women, and neither of these would like me to call them 'tradesmen'. Tradespeople would work, I daresay.

From the Bristol Post:

Rules on having tradespeople in your home during lockdown. Can you get a plumber, electrician or builder in and if so how do you stay safe?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .