How to Become a Handyman? (A Complete Guide)

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📝Key Takeaways:

  • Acknowledge a step-by-step approach to how to be a handyman.
  • Identify the specific skill set required to become a handyman professional.
  • Consider investing in training/certifications to develop field expertise.
  • Understand the earning potential and perks of starting your own handyman business.
  • Leverage practical tools such as checklists and templates to jumpstart your journey into the handyman industry.
  • Get access to a well-rounded toolkit with essential handyman tools and equipment for efficient job completion.

Unlike plumbers, electricians, or carpenters who specialize in one area, a handyman is a versatile individual possessing proficiency in multiple trades. 

Beyond its multi-faceted efficiency, the handyman as a professional is flexible and financially rewarding. With the leverage to pick projects that suit their skills and passions, handyman professional can maximize their earnings while finding gratification in their work.

Irrespective of whether you’re considering a career change or you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast this comprehensive guide on how to be a handyman will assist you with the knowledge, resources, and actionable steps to kickstart your handyman journey. 

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and explore the rewarding path to becoming a skilled and successful handyman.

What Does a Handyman Do?

A handyman is a skilled professional who specializes in a wide range of repair, maintenance, and home improvement tasks. These professionals don’t specialize in one area but rather have a broad knowledge base that allows them to handle a variety of jobs. 

Some common handyman tasks include:

  • Common household fixes: Leaky faucets, repairing broken appliances, and addressing other general repairs.
  • Routine maintenance:: Gutter cleaning, HVAC filter replacement, and testing smoke detectors for maintenance purposes.
  • Carpentry jobs: Constructing, repairing, or installing various wooden structures like shelves, cabinets, decks, and furniture.
  • Electrical work: Handling minor electrical repairs such as light fixture replacements, installing ceiling fans, and troubleshooting wiring issues.
  • Plumbing services: Addressing minor plumbing issues like clogged drains, installing faucets, and repairing toilet mechanisms.
  • Painting and decorating: Painting walls, touch-up work, and assisting with interior decorating projects.
  • Exterior maintenance: Delivering outdoor upkeep tasks such as lawn care, fence repair, pressure washing, and deck maintenance.
  • Remodeling projects: Assisting with small-scale renovation projects such as kitchen or bathroom updates, flooring installation, or basement finishing.

A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Be a Handyman

To become an expert handyman professional right from acquiring the necessary skill set to attending training programs, from obtaining licenses or certifications to practically gaining hands-on experience, each stage is crucial. 

Let’s explore these 7 simple stages to get you assisted in becoming a profound handyman professional.

1. Educate yourself with the required handyman skills

Find out different online courses, vocational schools, community colleges, and programs that can train you with a specific skill set to handle different handyman jobs related to electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling), plumbing, floor work, appliance installations, and other industries.

Get Yourself Educated with Handyman Skills

You should focus on learning from different platforms and channels that can help you get a wider perspective on managing and handling handyman jobs. You can also provide valuable insights to your handyman professional team while managing your business.

Once you complete a program or a course, get the required certifications or handyman license that can help you showcase your credibility in the industry.

Here are a few skills that you should focus on acquiring while educating yourself:

  • Decorating and painting 
  • Installation of doors and windows 
  • Learn how to construct or build things
  • Moving or lifting bulky items like upholstery or furniture
  • Installing or changing electrical fixtures or installing decorative lights
  • Cleaning or maintaining rooms, gardens, and office spaces.
  • Fixing taps, or clogged drains
  • Repairing, handling, and maintaining equipment and tools like garden mowing machines, drilling machines, etc. 

These skills can help you master top handyman jobs that can increase your earnings and help you deliver the best results to your clients.

2. Apply for a handyman internship or apprenticeship programs

Once you acquire the skills, you can also try to get an internship or apprenticeship that can help you hone handyman skills and work in real-world scenarios.

You’ll gain great experience that can assist you in becoming an industry to work as an independent contractor or kickstart your handyman business. If you get a paid internship, it can help you cover a few necessities of managing your handyman service operations.

Taking apprenticeships for your handyman skills can help you get the apprentice certification to prove your expertise in a particular handyman job. 

You can also try to get a professional degree like a master’s or bachelor’s if you want to dive deep into handyman job skills that can help you boost your knowledge and expertise in the industry.

Also, you can try different things to your portfolio, like volunteering for DIY jobs for charity or just providing free handyman services. These activities can help you improve your skills and training to handle different kinds of odd jobs within your expertise.


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3. Get an entry-level position with construction or repair companies

Becoming an independent handyman contractor or starting your own handyman business requires you to be available for any job request that comes your way. But you should have expertise in a few specific areas where you can stand out from the rest and deliver the best service experience in the industry.

Become a specialist in desired handyman service

You can showcase your expertise to clients that can help you fulfill their requirements and exceed their expectations.

Focus on polishing your handyman training and mastering a few skills that can help you build a successful handyman business or operate as an independent contractor.

4. Review licensing and certification requirements

A few handyman services demand a designated license which you need to acquire to become a licensed handyman and deliver quality results for your clients.

Many states just focus on allowing the handymen to work and promote themselves or their business using their experience and don’t require a mandatory license, but some states can ask for your license.

Follow the listed important steps to complete the licensing requirements.

  • Provide proof of insurance.
  • Pass a licensing examination
  • Show working experience.
  • Register with the labor department.

You can gain work experience by working as an assistant with some handyman or taking up a few entry-level jobs at a construction site or other areas that can help you attain a work experience certification.

You can utilize your handyman training provided by the vocational school by working at your own home performing DIY projects. It can be the first place for you to start practicing skills on how to become a handyman

There’s no better place to gain some experience than repairing your home, right?

Talking about better places, you should decide which industry you want to serve as a handyman based on your skills.

5. Filter the industry you want to target

After setting the foundation strongly, focus on selecting between domestic and commercial handyman operations. Both industries require different skill sets and industrial experience.

Based on your expertise and experience in the industry, choose a specific target area where you can showcase your skills and establish a strong presence.

Choosing a household handyman job is less intense and requires less effort than commercial handyman jobs. But because of the less effort and limited opportunities available, you get a lesser payout than commercial handyman jobs.

If you want to work on the commercial front, you need to set up a successful handyman business and hire a team to ensure that you can handle the requirements with finesse.

You also need to become a licensed contractor to ensure that you can take up different handyman projects. 

You don’t limit yourself with your skills in commercial project management; you need a team that hires people with various handyman service skills. A professional team can help you run a profitable handyman business to help you stand out from other handyman businesses.

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

Apart from a team, you also need handyman tools and equipment to complete the required project and achieve the desired outcomes with finesse.

You can rent the big equipment and purchase the smaller common ones to handle the task. You should get insurance for your tools from any damage or theft scenarios to help minimize the damages to your handyman contractor business.

Some basic tools that almost every handyman requires to complete the general maintenance: 

  • Ladder
  • Circular saw
  • Drilling machine
  • Tape measure 
  • Spirit level
  • Vehicle for transportation
  • Toolbox with a screwdriver, pliers, wrenches, bolts, nuts, hammers, and nails

6. Set your service price or salary

Depending on your handyman’s experience in the field, your services, and your employment type, you can price your handyman service. Location can significantly influence your salary or service cost in a few states.

A handyman’s average pay for starting work is around $10 to $15 per hour. Expertise in the field can help you increase the service charge per hour.

Being a self-employed individual, you can charge more directly from the clients as you need to manage a wider horizon of operations without having assistance. 

Include a price chart to help you price different handyman services and include different details that can avoid future misunderstandings and miscommunications. 

Choose different pricing methods if you are starting a handyman business and joining an established handyman service firm, then clear the salary questions that can help you bypass different issues.

7. Start a new handyman business

Starting a handyman business is not a mandatory step for all the individual skilled handyman professionals, but it’s for those who want to increase profits.

You need ample experience as an individual handyman to become a business owner and take on bigger projects for more revenue.

You need a blend of business skills and handyman training to handle the responsible administrative roles. You can hire professionals to promote your handyman business operations that can scale your operations and ensure you achieve your desired outcomes.

Being a handyman business owner, here are the job skills that you need:

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

Apart from these, check out a few pointers that you need to know about being a licensed handyman and a businessman:

  • Procure business license
  • Avail business insurance
  • Get a financial software to manage your finances 
  • Learn networking for acquiring new clients
  • Analyze the market before making new decisions.

Once completing these steps, you can achieve your desired results to work in the handyman industry and serve your clients.

There are a few basic roles and responsibilities that you must understand before starting a handyman job.

Essential Tools Every Handyman Should Have

  • Toolbox and tool belt
  • Hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrenches (various sizes)
  • Tape measure, utility knife, level
  • Corded or cordless drill and drill bit set
  • Saw (hand saw, jigsaw, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and/or power saw)
  • Plunger, plumber’s snake, plumbing wrenches
  • Ladder, step stool
  • Paintbrushes, rollers, paint trays, knee pads
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles, masks)
  • Flashlight, voltage tester, circuit tester
  • Combination square
  • Chalk line
  • Stud finder
  • Caulking gun

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What is the Salary of a Handyman Professional?

The average handyman’s pay in the United States is $44,648. The salary range of these professionals typically ranges between $32,000 and $61,000 yearly. The average hourly rate for handymen is $21.47 per hour.

The job growth between the years 2022 and 2032 is predicted to rise by 4%, as per the reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One thing to consider is that the salary growth in handyman jobs is directly linked to the experience and skills you possess.

Why Should You Start a Handyman Business?

Starting a handyman business can turn out to be a fruitful option. Here are a few benefits listed that compel you to start your own:

1. Be your own boss: Set your schedule, choose your clients, and cultivate a business that reflects your expertise.

2. Multiple financial opportunities: Capitalize on the diverse range of skills you possess and earn a competitive income by setting your rates, ensuring you’re compensated fairly for your expertise in multiple trades.

3. Master your skills: Access lifelong learning as a handyman, by continuously refining and expanding your skillset. This lets you become an invaluable asset to clients with their home improvement needs.

4. Embrace flexibility: Enjoy the flexibility to choose between full-time or part-time work, or fit handyman jobs around existing commitments for a balanced lifestyle.

5. Sense of accomplishment: Experience the satisfaction of witnessing the tangible results of your labor, taking pride in completing projects that leave clients delighted and their homes improved.

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Checklists for Starting a Handyman Business

Before you plunge to become a professional handyman here are a few checkpoints to consider that will ensure that you are prepared to tackle every handyman’s role and responsibilities with confidence.

Research and Business Planning:

Identify the target market and niche

Conduct market research on competitors and demand

Create a business plan outlining goals, services, and financial projections

Legal and Administrative:

Register business name

Comply with local licensing and permit requirements

Obtain necessary insurance policies (general liability, worker’s comp, etc.)

Set up accounting and invoicing systems

Required Equipment and Tools:

Get essential tools and equipment for various tasks

Ensure tools are properly maintained and in good working condition

Consider purchasing a reliable vehicle for transportation of equipment and materials

Marketing and Branding:

Develop a strong branding strategy and marketing plan

Develop a professional logo and branding materials

Set up a professional website and social online presence

Develop marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, and brochures

Customer Service and Operations Checklist:

Establish clear communication channels with clients and provide excellent customer service

Set pricing structure and policies for estimates, invoicing, and payment terms

Implement systems for scheduling appointments, tracking projects, and managing client inquiries

Save Time, Energy, and Resources: Free Handyman Estimating & Invoicing Templates

Juggling project estimates, quotes, and invoices can be a time-consuming headache for busy handymen. That’s where free handyman estimating and invoicing templates come in – your secret weapon for efficient business management.

These readymade templates offer a convenient solution to:

  • Use pre-designed estimate templates to create professional bids that outline project scope, labor costs, material costs, and expected timelines. 
  • Clear and professional invoices can be generated while detailing services rendered, labor hours, material costs, and payment terms.
  • Ensure all your estimates and invoices adhere to a professional format, building trust and credibility with your clients.
  • Free up valuable time you would have spent creating estimates and invoices from scratch, allowing you to focus on client projects and business growth.
  • Templates often include pre-populated fields and formulas, minimizing the risk of errors in calculations or missing information.

These user-friendly templates are readily available online and can be customized with your business logo and contact details for a personalized touch.


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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is the handyman service business profitable?

    Yes, the handyman service business is profitable because of the rise in residential and commercial buildings globally. You should choose a specific niche you want to target and improve your in-house handyman service business management to help you deliver an excellent industry experience and earn decent profits.

  2. What’s the average hourly rate for a Handyman?

    A small business can pay you an average hourly rate of $20 per hour for completing common handyman tasks. But once you gain experience and join a commercial-focused handyman business, you can scale your average per hour earnings and become one of the highest-paid handyman professionals in the country.

  3. How do I acquire experience as a handyman?

    Every experienced handyman starts with entry-level jobs after acquiring the relevant skills from a community college or other programs to complete a specific task. You should focus on working for a few years in the industry and the niche you want to specialize in to acquire the relevant skills of the industry.

  4. Does a handyman require a license in different US states?

    Yes, some states in the United States allow only licensed handymen to operate in the industry and deliver the service results. You can acquire a license following a few ways that can help you become a specialty contractor or a licensed plumber

  5. What is the duty of a handyman?

    A handyman must have basic skills to handle home repairs, plumbing work, light fixtures, home improvements, and other handymen tasks. The handyman should have formal training and general contractor business ideas to deliver excellent results for the clients and businesses. Once the handyman gains experience, the roles and responsibilities can increase with the rise in the rank.

Manage Your Handyman Service Business Finances With InvoiceOwl

Getting assisted by automated software solutions like Invoiceowl is not just a desire but a necessity in this competitive business landscape. Be it estimates, invoices, reporting, or bookkeeping, InvoiceOwl has everything for you. 

Here is why using InvoiceOwl can streamline your handyman business finances:

1. Create tailored estimates and invoices in seconds.

2. Be it estimates, invoices, credit memos, or purchase orders, access to free tools can free you from purchasing paid plans.

3. Detailed insights on operational performances because of the instant summary or detailed reports generation.

4. Leverage to digitally sign the crucial documents of your business.

5. Add up to 5 companies in your one InvoiceOwl account and centralize all of your business operations in one place.

6. Automate and simplify your bookkeeping by syncing your InvoiceOwl account with QuickBooks Online.

Avail the FREE trial and get hands-on experience to transform your handyman service business.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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