A career as a handyman can be fun and rewarding because it gives you the opportunity to make money by helping people and working with your hands. Before you choose this career path, however, you need to be aware of licensing requirements, which vary from state to state. This guide contains everything you need to know about becoming a handyman in Illinois, where there is no state license requirement but local restrictions depending upon your municipality.
Do You Need a License To Be a Handyman in Illinois?
A handyman performs odd jobs for other homeowners. They also sometimes complete tasks for business owners. These jobs vary widely from repairing broken railing to minor HVAC and electrical work, but you need a license to perform most types of specialized work such as plumbing.
Illinois does not issue handyman licenses at the state level. Licensing regulations are set by individual jurisdictions. Many localities, including Chicago, require you to hold a general contractor’s license. The certification is issued by the municipality in question, so if you plan to work as a handyman in Chicago, you must obtain licensure from the City of Chicago.
Remember that a general contractor’s license only certifies you to perform basic handyman jobs. If you wish to add specialized tasks in plumbing, HVAC, or electrical fields to your job offerings, you must secure the proper licensure. Check with the municipality you want to work in to verify licensing regulations.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Illinois?
Illinois does not have a specific handyman license. Certain localities require you to have a general contractor’s license to complete basic handyman jobs.
Illinois Handyman License Requirements
Most jurisdictions in Illinois have licensing regulations for handymen, but these requirements vary widely among municipalities. In general, you need a city-issued general contractor’s license to work as a handyman in any given locality. Additional requirements vary according to whether you work independently or manage a business. The size of the jobs you perform may also impact licensure requirements.
There is no state board to oversee licensure, so check with your municipality for licensing regulations in your city.
The state of Illinois does not require handymen to have insurance to perform odd jobs. The state does, however, require business owners with one or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. Some municipalities such as Aurora and Chicago also require you to have commercial liability insurance, so it is best to check local regulations to ensure you meet insurance requirements.
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Illinois State License and Registration Fees
There is no standard fee for a contractor’s license in Illinois. Each jurisdiction has its own registration fee, so you must contact your local board to see how much licensure costs. You may have to pay to take a contractor’s exam before you can apply for a license, so make sure you are aware of all local fees before obtaining a license to work as a handyman.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
Because there are no official handyman training programs, you do not need a formal education to work as a handyman. Some jurisdictions require you to have a few years of experience before applying for a contractor’s license, but there are no additional requirements regarding education. Because handymen face a wide variety of odd jobs, however, you may find it beneficial to complete a maintenance training program or earn certifications for EPA, appliance installation, or home inspection.
Specific certifications or memberships, such as obtaining a home inspector certificate or joining The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals, can lend credibility to your business. It is also essential to understand fundamental business principles, which you can gain through an online training program.
Illinois Handyman License Application
Handymen licensure is issued by individual cities in Illinois rather than the state. You must contact your local board to obtain an application. You can submit any required fees along with your application, and for some municipalities, you may also have to show proof of insurance or work experience.
Handyman License Illinois FAQ
What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
Failing to secure the proper licensure to perform handyman work in a certain jurisdiction with result in significant fines. You may also be banned from applying for a license in other municipalities.
How Long Is My Handyman License Valid?
Each jurisdiction has its own requirements regarding handyman license renewal. Contact your municipality to learn about renewal requirements and pay any necessary fees.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
There is no state board that oversees handyman licensure in Illinois. Check with your local board to make sure you meet the licensing requirements to perform odd jobs in that municipality.
If you want to become a handyman in Illinois, it’s important to understand license requirements in the state. Once you know the local requirements for handymen, you can start a successful career.