If you’re adept at working with your hands and enjoy doing odd jobs around the house, you may want to consider a career as a handyman. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are currently 1,444,100 “general maintenance and repair workers” jobs waiting for someone like you to come along, and that number is projected to increase by 8% through 2030. The pay is good for handyman jobs, too; according to Glassdoor, most handymen make between $36,000 and $110,000 per year.
Handyman jobs vary wildly and include everything from hanging curtains to repairing a running toilet. You might build a wheelchair ramp for someone who’s recently become disabled or put together a crib for an overwhelmed single mother. Being a handyman can be a gratifying career as you help others and make a difference in people’s lives.
You may find yourself asking, “Should I become a handyman?” Pros such as minimal startup costs, low overhead, and having a recession-proof job are worth considering. Cons can include the time and expense it takes to build up a tool collection, having difficulty finding seasonal work, and dealing with all the red tape required to remain in compliance with state and local regulations.
Is It Worth Being a Handyman?
To answer the question, “is it worth becoming a handyman?” you have to carefully weigh the pros and cons. Here are six advantages of becoming a handyman.
- Low startup costs: If you already have a good supply of tools, all you need to do to get started is get your name out there. You can advertise for free on sites like Craigslist, post on your social media accounts, and tell friends and family about your new adventure.
- Start part-time: You can build your handyman business during evenings and weekends while staying at your current job. It takes time to grow a new business to the point that it provides enough income for you to leave your job. It may be challenging working evenings and weekends as a handyman until you’re ready to do so, but it’s worth it.
- Limited overhead: You won’t incur considerable costs as a handyman; you’ll just need to pay for the licensing and insurance listed above. You may want to invest in some tools you don’t already have or replace tools that are wearing out with better-quality versions.
- Low-cost marketing: As a handyman, you may not need to purchase any advertising, such as Facebook ads or flyers to hang around town. You need a few jobs to start with, and you can ask for referrals. Word of your talents may also spread by word of mouth.
- Benefits of self-employment: Being your own boss, choosing which hours you are available to work, hand picking which projects you want to accept, and deciding how much you want to be paid for your work. You will receive tax advantages and are entitled to deduct mileage as well as the cost of any tools you purchase. Deductions may also be available for your home office or garage and any marketing costs you incur.
- Recession-proof work: People are never going to stop needing handymen to work on projects around the house. Things break, homeowners decide to refresh rooms, and “honey-do” lists are never going out of style. As a handyman, you could be in high demand for as long as you desire.
There are just as many disadvantages to becoming a handyman. Here are six of them.
- Must be in good shape: If you want a long, productive career as a handyman, you should keep yourself in good physical condition. Strength, flexibility, and stamina are all key traits that successful handyman professionals must possess. Sometimes projects will require 10-12 hours a day for several days in a row, and you must be up to the task.
- Seasonal work: Some handyman work is seasonal. For example, if you specialize in painting houses, you may find a lack of work during the winter months. If you live in warmer climes such as southern Arizona, you may be limited to working during early mornings and late evenings to avoid heat-related illness during the summer.
- May be slow to build your business: When you’re first starting, you may struggle to find new clients. Word of mouth and referrals are wonderful, but they’re tough to get at the beginning of your career. You may have to advertise your business on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, or Angie’s List.
- Knowledge of all facets of home repair jobs: To have the best shot at getting all the work you need, you must know about all aspects of home repair work. For example, you should know how to repair drywall, replace light fixtures, unclog drains, and install closet organization systems.
- The right tools for the job: To be a successful handyman, you need to have the tools you need for every job you get. You can do jobs with just a hammer or screwdriver, but so many more will require pliers, Allen wrenches, pipe wrenches, vice grips, and power tools such as disc sanders, jigsaws, and drills. If you don’t have the right tools for the work, you won’t get paid because you can’t do the job.
- The red tape: Handymen don’t usually have to have a contractor’s license. However, many states will require you to have a business license. You should also have liability insurance to cover you in case of property damage or someone else’s injury and workers’ comp insurance to take care of yourself if you’re injured. Workers’ comp will also cover any employees you might have down the road.
Is Becoming a Handyman a Good Career for a Woman?
Women are entirely capable when it comes to performing handyman work. Zippia estimates that of the 91,120 handymen working in the U.S., 4.2% are women. There is plenty of room for more women to join the ranks in this profession, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t or couldn’t pursue a career in this field. A woman will need to be physically fit, have a solid understanding of handyman work, and possess a keen desire to help others.
To answer the question, “Should I become a handyman?” All you need to do is compare the pros and cons and consider which list holds more weight. The future holds plenty of opportunities, and the handyman industry is both lucrative and stable.