How to Become a Handyman: 6 Simple Steps to Follow

A handyman is a one-word designation for maintenance professionals. They work for both households and businesses to help them with removal, repair, installation, and replacement jobs. 

The average handyman’s salary is around $42,000/year and $20.49/hour. As a freshman, you canl make around $31,000/year for a start, which would gradually increase with experience. The highest pay as per experience can go up to $58,000/year, with hourly rates as high as $28/hour

Handymen are experts in floor installation, plumbing repairs, and several other minor and major handyman services, making them eligible for high-margin jobs. The average salary payouts are optimal for someone to pursue this profession as their career. 

Therefore, if you are keen on knowing how to become a handyman, here are a few steps to groom you in this pursuit. 

A Step-By-Step Guide to Become a Professional Handyman

The training you need to become a professional handyman will vary depending on your experience, service preferences, and location. It is up to the individuals to decide what handyman skills they want to go forward with.

If you have hands-on experience around the house in maintaining, fixing, or building stuff, then this passion can pay you for your living. 

Most home and office owners will not have sufficient time to attend to the odd jobs of the living or working space. They will hire professionals to get the job done in a short span of time. So, hopping onto this profession will get you a consistent workflow, irrespective of your location. 

If you are willing to be an independent handyman, you will have the liberty to decide your handyman prices, service offerings, and working hours. Starting a handyman business right away without individual experience might not go well for you.

You will need business skills as well to be able to run your own handyman business. The training necessities will increase, and that should not be your first point of concern at the start. The initial journey of pursuing a career as a handyman demands you to learn hands-on repair, maintenance, removal, and installation skills. 

Here are the evident steps for you to learn how to become a handyman. Follow them and attain your handyman license to start taking job requests from residences and offices:

Step 1: Train with handyman skills from community colleges or vocational school

You will find several online courses, vocational schools, and programs that can train you with specific skills such as electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling), plumbing, floor work, appliance installations, and others. 

It is an effective decision to learn more than one trade in the path of being a handyman. But every time you complete the course on one trade, ensure you get licensed to operate with it. You can broaden your service expertise by mastering other courses and getting a uniform or individual license. 

Apart from that, if you are taking any apprenticeships for your handyman skills, you will get the apprentice certification to prove your expertise in particular jobs. 

Some other things that you can add to your portfolio are volunteer DIY jobs for charity or just to extend a helping hand. All of this will help you get properly trained to handle all kinds of odd jobs within your expertise. 

Some of the basic skills that you must acquire through the courses, online programs, field training, and volunteer jobs are:

  • Understanding how to build and construct things 
  • Decorating and painting 
  • Lifting and moving bulky items such as furniture or upholstery.
  • Changing electrical fixtures or installing decorative lights 
  • Maintaining and cleaning gardens, rooms, and office spaces 
  • Handling, repairing and maintaining tools and equipment such as garden mowing machines, drilling machines, etc. 
  • Installation of doors and windows 
  • Fixing taps, clogged drains, and other such plumbing jobs 

Try acquiring skills for most of these handyman jobs, and you will always be occupied with many work requests. 

Step 2: Choose the desired handyman services

As a handyman, you need to be available for any job request that comes your way. But you have to be answerable to clients when they ask about your expertise in this field. You need to tell them about your best services in a way that should match their requirements and expectations. 

Therefore, it is better you focus on just a few common services at the start and learn more about them during your service years. Refer to the skills you learned by following the first step and making them your expert offerings. 

Step 3: Review the licensing needs

Not all states demand you to be a licensed handyman, but a few of them demand a designated license with certain conditions, apart from the experience portfolio. 

Most states permit handymen to work and promote themselves with just their experience and no mandatory license. Handymen often focus just on small odd jobs and not on some major renovation or remodeling jobs. 

But the states that demand licensing will demand you to complete a few steps in the process, which are as follows:

  • You need to provide them with proof of insurance. 
  • You will have to pass a licensing examination. 
  • Working experience is a must to have a license.
  • Registration will be done with the labor department. 

To get some work experience, you can work either as an assistant to some expert handyman or take an entry-level job as a home builder or at some construction site. 

You can work at your own home, even though it won’t give you any on-paper experience, but you will be utilizing your handyman training proficiently. It can be the first place for you to start practicing skills on how to become a handyman

Step 4: Decide whether you want to serve domestic, commercial, or both environments

The difference between a domestic and a commercial handyman is that a domestic professional works only in residential spaces while a commercial handyman will work on-site.

It is the confidence that you have in the skills that will help you decide on what front you are comfortable working in. Apart from confidence, you can measure the intensity of your skills to make this decision. 

The household jobs are less intense and don’t need much time and effort to complete. Therefore, the payouts for such jobs are also low compared to commercial handyman jobs. When you offer your services to a big office site, the workload will be higher, and so will the payout. 

But you need to evidently set up a successful handyman business and hire a team if you want to work on the commercial front. It is because you cannot do this task as an independent handyman and will need a team to speed up the job and take on other projects. 

You will eventually have to become a licensed contractor to take on commercial handyman projects. When you have a team, you can opt for hiring people with skills in various handyman services. You don’t have to limit yourself with your personal skills.

But that is again an individual choice, as managing a handyman business today needs a lot more than just the field job skills. 

Step 5: Buy the necessary tools and equipment

Being a self-employed handyman, you will need your tools and equipment to carry out projects. You can prefer to rent the big equipment when in need, but the smaller and common ones should be readily available to you for the smaller projects. 

Every tool worth a fortune should be insured for any damage or theft scenarios. You can categorize the tools and equipment depending on the services that you have chosen to offer. But here are some of the basic tools that you will need for almost all the handyman jobs:

  • A toolbox with essentials (screwdriver, plier, wrenches, bolts, nuts, hammers, and nails)
  • Painting essentials (brush, electronic brushes, color of client’s choice, thinners, and primers)
  • Ladder
  • Circular saw
  • Drilling machine
  • Tape measure and spirit level
  • Vehicle for transporting equipment

Apart from these tools, your specific service expertise might demand the use of many more equipment and tools. 

Step 6: Decide on the pricing of your services

The pricing you decide will depend on your experience in the field, your services, and your employment type (self-employed or under a job). In some cases, the location can also be a deciding factor for your rates. 

The average pay for a handyman as an entry-level professional should be around $10 to $15 per hour. If you hold some experience, then you can eventually increase your charges on an hourly basis. 

In the handyman industry, self-employed individuals charge more for their expert services as they know they are the best. You should have a price chart ready for all the services, including those that are not common in your projects. 

If you own a profitable handyman business, then you will be the one paying salaries to your hired team of handymen. You will be deciding the pay structure for your employees as per their experience, along with the pricing for your customers. 

Hence, this needs a different business skill set in hand, only if you are planning to start a handyman business. You can still earn limited-yet-good with just being an independent handyman. 

Step 7: Starting your own handyman business (optional)

It is not a mandatory step for all but is for the people who intend to increase profits by starting their handyman businesses. As stated earlier, you need ample experience as an individual handyman to become a business owner and take on bigger projects for more revenue. 

But apart from just the handyman training, you will also need business skills to handle the administrative jobs. You can hire professionals or pay a self-visit to some of the job sites to promote your handyman service. But without proper business management skills, your startup will fail. 

Here are a few of the skills that every handyman business owner should possess apart from the on-site job skills and knowledge:

  • Customer service
  • Email marketing
  • Budgeting
  • Teamwork
  • Hiring
  • Organizing operations
  • Technical skills
  • Job scheduling

Apart from that, some of the important pointers that a licensed handyman and a businessman should know are:

  1. Apply for the official business license 
  2. Get business insurance for your new startup
  3. Get scheduling software for managing administrative tasks
  4. Work on separating business and personal finance 
  5. Learn networking to look for new clients
  6. Do proper market research to look for growth opportunities 

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The average payout for a handyman is around $20 per hour, which is a good amount to get started. If you have experience in the field, then you can eventually make more out of your skills. So yes, being a handyman is profitable.

Moreover, if you are running a handyman business, the amount of profitability will multiply exponentially. So you can go ahead and learn how to become a handyman without hesitations on its earning potential.

You can either get into a small business that can offer you on-job training on specific handyman skills or go for an apprenticeship to obtain a certification. But before that, you need to complete vocational schools, online courses, or training programs to be eligible for getting work experience.

The job of a handyman is to conduct specific maintenance jobs at business spaces or homes. These maintenance jobs can vary across different projects, such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical works, and gardening. 

Different jobs require varying tools, equipment, and skills. And handymen are responsible for acquiring them all to complete the service requests they accept. You will learn the same when you follow the above steps on how to become a handyman.

Effectively Schedule Jobs and Increase Your Profitability Ratio with FieldCamp

Whether you decide to take on a handyman job individually or run a business with a combination of different skills, you will need proper scheduling and management of the jobs in hand. And that is possible with a proper handyman scheduling software

FieldCamp gives you the ability to digitize most of your administrative operations. It saves a lot of your time on job reporting and scheduling aspects. 

When running a business, you can keep track of all other handymen from your admin portal of FieldCamp. It will give you proper control over your team and work management.

We have embedded features such as generating invoices, giving price estimates, processing payments and storing customer details. It is to give you a leading edge for your business. 

Visit our website and book your with us today. Explore the features of FieldCamp to take your handyman earning opportunities to the next level.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.