How Do I Become a Handyman?

A handyman is a multi-skilled craftsman who can perform a wide variety of small household repairs using common hand tools. In order to become a handyman, you must possess basic skills such as carpentry, electrical, and plumbing, as well as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. These skills can usually be acquired through a trade school, an apprenticeship, or a do-it-yourself clinic offered by a home improvement store. You will also need a variety of hand tools such as a ladder, a hammer, and a drill along with a measuring tape, saw, and paintbrush. After you become a handyman, you may want to advertise your services to the general public.

You will need to have a variety of different skills to become a handyman. These craftsmen must have basic carpentry skills to repair walls, doors, and cabinets. A handyman is also called upon to troubleshoot and repair common electrical problems such as faulty circuit breakers, light switches, and receptacles. You must also have the necessary plumbing skills to repair water leaks and malfunctioning toilets. A basic knowledge of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning will be required to diagnose and repair minor problems with these systems.


The skills required to become a handyman can usually be acquired from a variety of sources. Many technical schools and community colleges offer relatively short courses in basic trades such as carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. You may also be able to gain on-the-job training through an apprenticeship with a home construction contractor. Home-improvement stores often offer free instructional clinics on a number of different remodeling and repair projects. There are also many how-to books available at bookstores and libraries.

Several different hand tools are also needed to become a handyman. You should have a basic tool kit that contains screwdrivers, wire cutters, and wrenches, as well as pliers and a hammer. Painting supplies such as brushes, rollers, a drop cloth, and sandpaper will be needed as well. Your supply of hand tools must also include a circular power saw, jig saw, and hand saw. In addition to these tools, a corded and cordless drill, along with a step ladder and an extension ladder will probably be needed.

After you have acquired the skills and tools necessary for this occupation, you may want to offer your services to the general public. Homeowners often hire a handyman for repairs that are too small for a contractor or specialized tradesman. You can usually find work by newspaper advertising or posting your business card at hardware and home-improvement stores. Special repairs that are beyond your capabilities can sometimes be subcontracted to a skilled professional. You should check with your regional government for licensing and insurance requirements before advertising your services.



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