Career Development

Handyman Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

Handymen are specialists who are responsible for carrying out small jobs that are too big for DIY enthusiasts but too small to warrant hiring a professional. They often work in residential settings, providing services to homeowners who want to do some repairs around the house or improve the quality of their home’s interior. But they also commonly provide services to other types of clients, including businesses, schools, churches, and other public spaces.

Handymen are specialists who are responsible for carrying out small jobs that are too big for DIY enthusiasts but too small to warrant hiring a professional. They often work in residential settings, providing services to homeowners who want to do some repairs around the house or improve the quality of their home’s interior. But they also commonly provide services to other types of clients, including businesses, schools, churches, and other public spaces.

A handyman’s job is about more than just repairing broken things or building new features into a property. It requires a great deal of problem-solving—they have to figure out how to tackle difficult situations that may not have an easy solution.

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a handyman and what it takes to become one yourself.

Handyman Job Duties

Handymen are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:

  • Providing customer service to homeowners and property management companies
  • Gathering information about a home or building to access existing damage and identify potential problems
  • Preparing work orders based on assessments of the property’s needs
  • Installing or repairing electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, or other systems in homes and buildings
  • Repairing or replacing broken floor boards, door locks, tiles, damaged walls, fences, paintwork, or appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Servicing boilers and furnaces to ensure efficient operation of heating systems
  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages that could lead to flooding inside a home or building
  • Fixing or installing ceiling fans and light fixtures
  • Installing new exterior doors with deadbolts for security purposes
  • Purchasing materials such as wood, glass, tile, paint, and caulking

Handyman Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for handymen is $53,189. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the construction industry, and the highest earners of the profession are making over $85,000 per year.

The employment of handymen is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade. As more people enter middle-class status, there will be greater demand for home repair and remodeling.

Handyman Job Requirements

To become a handyman, you’ll need a combination of the following:

Education: A high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement for this position. However, many companies prefer candidates who have completed some formal education. Many community colleges offer courses in construction, plumbing and electrical work. These programs usually require students to complete an internship or apprenticeship in a field related to their studies.

Training: Handymen should expect to receive on-the-job training throughout their first year of employment. This hands-on experience allows them to learn skills that will help them succeed in their role, like how to use tools and operate machinery. Some organizations offer additional training programs throughout the year that allow employees to improve their skills and earn certifications specific to their field.

Certifications: While certifications aren’t required to become a handyman, some employers seek out applicants who have completed relevant courses and achieved certification in various areas of construction.

Handyman Skills

To be a successful handyman, you need to have the following skills:

Patience: Being a handyman requires patience. Many tasks are small and tedious, but they must be done correctly or your work will not last.

Physical strength: Most handymen perform physical labor, so it is important that you are in good shape.

Interpersonal skills: Handymen must interact with clients, contractors, other employees, and subcontractors on a regular basis.

Time management skills: The jobs of a handyman often require multiple tasks and projects to be completed in a short amount of time. You must learn how to prioritize and organize your work effectively in order to meet deadlines.

Technical knowledge: A general understanding of electrical wiring, plumbing, and other building systems will help you complete tasks more quickly and accurately.

Safety awareness: When working with power tools and other equipment, safety is paramount. Handymen should always follow all safety procedures in order to avoid accidents on the job site.

Handyman Work Environment

Handymen may spend most of the day working in a shop or garage, using hand tools and power tools to repair appliances, furniture, light fixtures, and other items. They often have to move from place to place while on the job, carrying heavy loads from one room to another. 

It’s a physically demanding job that is not confined to one workspace. Handymen may need to climb ladders or scaffolding in order to work on roofs, ceilings, and other high places. As a result, they can be injured if they fall. The work is also dirty and unpleasant at times, particularly when they are forced to clean drains or toilets.

Handymen often have flexible schedules. Many decide when they want to take time off, and make appointments with customers as needed to suit them. Work schedules also vary depending on the season. For example, handymen might find more work during summer months, because that is prime home improvement time. During the winter months, however, business can slow down. 

Handyman Career Advancement

Your prospects for advancement will be greatly improved if you can expand your skillset. It’s definitely possible to specialize in one area of repair, but you’ll increase your income potential by learning how to repair everything from appliances to drywall to HVAC systems.

If you’re not interested in expanding your skills in this way, you can always start your own handyman business. If you want to do this, you’ll need to be sure you have liability insurance and are properly licensed to provide your services. You’ll also need to research your local laws to ensure you’re following any zoning ordinances, building codes, and other regulations. Find a profitable niche and work hard to be the best in that market. Consider creating a website with examples of your work and testimonials from customers.

Handyman Trends

Here are three trends influencing how Handymen work. Handymen will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Growing Importance of Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular as more people begin to rely on these resources for finding services like home repairs.

A study conducted by DIY Homeowner shows that 43% of homeowners say they will turn to an online marketplace for finding services in the future, suggesting that marketplaces may become an important resource for people looking to save money on home repairs.

Increasing Need for Energy Efficiency

As global temperatures rise, so does the demand for energy efficiency.

This trend is forcing more homeowners to consider energy-efficient upgrades to their homes—such as insulation, double-paned windows and smart appliances—which can require professional help.

High Demand for Electronic Systems

As more people look to modernize their homes with high-tech electronics, such as security systems and automation devices, the demand for handymen who can install these systems is increasing.

In fact, a recent study found that the number of customers seeking to hire someone to install a security system increased by 31% in 2017 alone. The ability to help customers with this important upgrade will make handymen an increasingly attractive option for customers looking to increase the safety of their homes. 

How to Become a Handyman

1. Planning Your Career Path

If you’re thinking about a career as a handyman, it’s important to have both practical and creative skills. Though these roles can overlap, the ideal candidate is someone who can think outside of the box when faced with unique challenges. If you enjoy fixing things, becoming a handyman may be the perfect career for you.

Becoming a handyman requires a strong set of hands and a willingness to learn new skills. You will likely be called upon to do many different tasks in the course of your workday, so having expertise in multiple areas is essential.

2. Writing a Resume

The best resumes for handymen emphasize their technical skills, ability to solve problems, and physical capabilities. You can demonstrate these skills using previous work experience descriptions. It’s important that you list job descriptions that demonstrate your skill set in the areas of carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, and other relevant skills. Be sure to highlight any special certifications that are relevant, as well as any training you have completed.

As you explain your work experience, it’s useful to provide brief context such as the industry of these businesses to provide depth to your experience. To emphasize your reliability, you can mention how long each past job lasted and your availability.

3. Applying for Jobs

One of the best ways to find a job as a handyman is to start off by establishing yourself as an expert in your local community. Start with small tasks and build your way up; offer free advice and even free work if you’re able to. If people like your work, they’ll be more likely to refer you to their friends or family, which can open up even more opportunities for you. As you get better known in your area, it will be easier to land larger jobs that can help establish your credibility in the field.

Once you’ve gotten enough experience under your belt, you can use it to create a professional portfolio site where potential employers can learn more about your work. Additionally, consider writing about your trade on relevant blogs or writing guest posts for similar publications. This can be a great way to get your name out there while getting your work in front of potential clients.

4. Ace the Interview

An interview for a handyman position will consist of questions about your practical experience, what tools are needed for the job, what you’ve accomplished in the past, and what your expectations are for the future.

To craft your answers, it will help if you share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences. This will show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses, so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.

As with any interview, if you’re seeking a role as a handyman, you’ll need to impress the interviewer. That means showing up professionally dressed. It’s also important to be engaged throughout the conversation and keep an eye on your body language. If the interview also includes a technical portion do feel free to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand the interviewer’s request or question. Better to ask than to work through the problem incorrectly. As you figure out your solution to technical problems, do not shy away from thinking aloud.

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