Ever decide that you didn’t want to fix that rotted board on your deck or deal with installing that overhead fan? What did you do? If you’re like a lot of people, you called a handyman to do it for you.
After seeing the handyman at work, maybe you thought that you wouldn’t mind doing that as a sideline or even a full-time job. Of course, that begs the question: What is a handyman?
Before you decide that you’ll make the leap into a handyman career, let’s take a look at what a handyman is and why you might want to make a career as one.
What Is a Handyman?
The first thing you should know is that handyman is not a general contractor. General contractors must get and maintain a state license that demonstrates their knowledge of a wide range of construction skills and theory.
A handyman specializes in the kind of projects that typically prove too small for general contractors or their subcontractors. A few common tasks a handyman might perform include:
- Basic appliance repairs
- Basic appliance installations
- Minor cosmetic repair in or around the home
- Minor plumbing repairs
- Gutter cleaning
- Cabinet installation
These tasks don’t require specialized training or, usually, permits from your town or city.
A handyman functions as a maintenance person or a general repair person. The typical handyman salary hovers around $40,000 a year. Of course, some handymen make more than this based on their customer service quality, overall skill level, and location.
A handyman in rural Pennsylvania will make less than one who works in Miami.
Wondering how to become a handyman? There are no specific handyman training courses. Most handymen operate from a general working knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and painting.
You can, of course, expand your abilities by reading up in specific knowledge areas and working under licensed professionals. You can also look for a handyman who wants an assistant and learn from them.
Setting Up a Handyman Business
If you answer yes to the question of should I become a handyman, your next step is setting up your handyman business. You’ll need some basic hand tools and power tools. You’ll also likely want a truck for going out on jobs.
Check and see if your city requires business licenses for handymen. Most locales also limit what you can do as a handyman, so brush up on the local statutes.
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What is a handyman? A handyman handles small jobs that general contractors don’t within the local legal limits. When you first start out, start small.
A handyman business will grow based largely on word-of-mouth. That means you must spend a lot of time waiting in the early days while people learn about you and offer very small jobs. Once you prove yourself, though, business should pick up.
Looking for ways you can run your new business better? Check out some of our tips articles in the business section.