How to Become a Handyman: What You Need to Know
If you always find yourself trying to repair things at home, you might want to look at becoming a handyman so you can help other people out there get their faulty items fixed.
Who is a Handyman?
Being a handyman means you have the skills needed to repair things when they get spoiled.
Handymen are skilled to carry out a variety of repair work bothering around the house. These skills include knowledge of repairs and maintenance (interior and exterior).
The handyman’s tasks are usually referred to as “odd jobs” or “side work” like plumbing, changing electrical fixtures, painting, remodeling works, household carpentry, assembling furniture, and unclogging the gutter.
Generally, the job of a handyman is a low level, semi-skilled job, but he/she is a technician with multiple skills and a wide range of knowledge (see detail of handyman job description here).
The Association of Certified handyman Professionals (ACHP) highlights a number of jobs which the handyman can gain knowledge about, and these include areas such as air conditioning, appliances, carpentry, and dry wall.
Others include electrical works, flooring, heating and cooling; kitchen, bath remodeling, painting, plumbing, pressure washing, roofing, windows and door repairs.
Educational Requirements and Training
There are no formal education needed for most handyman jobs, but a high school diploma will be appropriate as the ability to read and write and basic math skills will be essential on the job.
Various online and vocational institutions and trade schools provide training in certain area a handyman may find important.
You may also be required to after formal training to spend an additional five years as a journeyman or apprentice before you set out on your own.
Volunteering to assist a local contractor or organization concerned with skills in the area you want to be exposed to can also help provide hands-on training and experience.
Institutions and schools that offer such trainings include Everest Institute Dearborn, Detroit; North-western Technological institute, Southfield; Dorsley Schools, Michigan; and York College, New York.
Various courses and skills can be learnt in these institutions. Students here are trained to build confidence in handling basic tools and exposure to the technicalities of the skills or courses to be learnt.
Preferably, the things to put into consideration when desiring to be a handyman may be to:
- List the skills you may want to learn: This is quite important as there are various job opportunities on the field for you to pick from. Identifying those that are needed more often than others will prove useful to you in the end.
- Do Some Research: It is not enough to want to be a plumber, you should know a little about it and be sure that you have the tenacity to pull through when confronted with challenges on the job.
- Never stop learning: New ideas and tools are always being made available, getting updated with the latest trend in your skills will also help boost your credibility before customers.
In most cases, a certification may not be needed, but different states may require that the handyman be licensed in specific skills like carpentry and plumbing. Licensing is required to enable clients trust your competency. Institutions and trade schools may also offer certificates as proof of knowledge.
Unions also exist for the handyman; the Association of Certified Handyman Professional (ACHP) is one of such unions, where you can meet with fellow handymen, network, and market, and promote your business.
Acquiring handyman skills isn’t that difficult. There are lots of skills which will be invaluable to any handyman in the course of his/her work, but attention will be paid to the following:
Plumbing skills: This is one of the most sort-after handymen skills. It involves knowing about water sourcing and distribution facilities, and changing faucets.
- Woodworking: Also known as carpentry, this is probably the second most valuable skills of a handyman, especially if you can create certain furniture from scratch.
- Landscaping and gardening: The lawns and gardens at homes will always need regular attention. This skill is one that will generate a steady income especially if you have clients who may not always have the time to handle it themselves. With the basic handyman skills, there is no need to hire expensive landscape artists or gardeners.
- Painting skills is probably the next on the list in terms of value to a handyman, since a routine coating will always be needed as often as possible by a lot of people.
- Locksmith: Doors can be annoying, especially whenever they decide to get spoilt or jammed. Knowing where to fix and what to remove will be an important way of impressing clients.
Handyman Career Opportunities
Handymen work for home owners and various kinds of businesses as either independent contractors or as members of a maintenance unit.
Salary Expectations for Handymen
The Bureau for Labor Statistics groups the handyman under the category of “general maintenance and repair works” with a median salary of $34,000 per year, but licensed plumbers and electricians may be expected to aim more.