Do you have a passion for working with your hands and doing manual work? Then a career as a handyman or handyperson could be perfect for you. A handyman performs various repairs and maintenance tasks, including plumbing, appliance installation and carpentry. You can work for a construction company fixing various issues in clients' office buildings and residential homes.

handyman roles

what is a handyman?

A handyman is skilled in performing general repair and maintenance work that electricians, plumbers and similar professionals do not cover. Even though you may not have the training and education necessary to complete work in a specific area, you provide the versatility that other tradespeople don't have. For instance, when someone works as a plumber, they generally do not perform work that doesn't directly relate to plumbing systems.

Most handymen complete repairs and maintenance in commercial and residential settings. However, you can specialise in one or the other. Standard tasks include simple fixes on heating systems and fixture installations. If a home appliance is acting up, you should be able to diagnose the problem and provide basic repairs. When the work is more intricate, a handyman should recommend a plumber or a professional electrician to provide specialist work.

As a handyman, you may end up working in different industries and environments. For instance, you could be employed by a service company or for a construction firm offering repair and maintenance services to clients.

Would becoming a handyman suit your passion for working with your hands? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in the role.

handyman jobs

how much does a handyman earn?

When starting a career, it is important to understand your pay expectations at different levels. According to the Office for National Statistics, a typical handyman job salary is between £19,000 and £42,000 per year depending on their experience level, specialism and location.

For instance, if you can handle electrical appliance repairs and plumbing issues, your salary is around £32,000 annually. The lowest-paid specialisation for handymen tends to be for window fitting and fabrication, where your pay is likely to be around £23,000 per year.

Your experience and skill level also affect your handyman job salary. In the initial stages of your career, it could be between £19,000 and £24,000 per year. When you have a few years of experience and the highest educational qualifications, your wage could rise to over £35,000 annually.

how to increase your salary as a handyman

You can boost your pay by gaining specialised electrical repairs and plumbing skills. Having these skills can increase your hourly rates and set you up for promotion. You should also enhance your experience level through internships and apprenticeship programmes to boost your credibility as a repairperson.

what are the different types of handymen?

Some handymen work in commercial properties, such as schools, offices and hospitals. Others work in domestic properties - taking care of basic repair and maintenance jobs on behalf of landlords and letting agents. A typical handyman's job description will require them to carry out a wide variety of tasks but some choose to specialise in certain areas, such as:

  • carpentry
  • roofing
  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • decorating
  • window fitting
  • landscaping
  • You can find more detail below on the common tasks associated with those specific areas of work.

what does a handyman do?

A handyman's usual job description involves completing maintenance and repair tasks in various settings. Read on to find out about those specific jobs and work environments.

handyman job description

You will be expected to be versatile, with multiple duties and responsibilities, including:

  • carpentry: installing cabinets, doors, countertops and flooring including tiles, carpets or other hardwood and laminate coverings.
  • roofing: identifying and repairing the source of leaks, removing dirt and debris from guttering, replacing shingles and improving insulation to prevent heat loss.
  • plumbing: while you don't have the expertise to fix complex issues, you can resolve basic problems such as installing new taps, sinks and toilets, and repairing leaks.
  • electrical: replacing bulbs, rewiring sockets, installing alarms, doorbells, security cameras and thermostats.
  • decorating: painting walls and ceilings, touching up skirting boards and door frames, sanding floors and other wooden surfaces.
  • window fitting: cleaning up broken glass, installing new windows and replacing damaged window frames.
  • landscaping: mowing lawns, trimming hedges, bushes and trees, weeding, watering flower beds and repairing border walls and fences.

where does a handyman work?

The workplace of a handyman is dependent on the job requirements. If you are employed by a service company, you may have to travel to different locations across numerous commercial and residential settings. Other handymen choose to work for a single facility, which could be anything from an office building to a large campus.

At a residential property, you may need to work outside - for example, in the garden or to assess some faulty guttering. Alternatively, you may be required indoors to do any decorating or electrical tasks. It's also possible that you'll need to work in basements or at a height - such as up a ladder - to complete the job.

who does a handyman work with?

You may work for a construction firm or service company where your colleagues include electricianslabourers and general labourersmaintenance supervisors and security systems installers. You may also work with carpentersplumbers, building systems engineers and locksmiths.

In terms of the sort of person into whom you would report, that will depend on the nature of your employer. For example, you might be employed by an estate agent, in which case you are likely to have a lot of direct contact with the property manager from the local branch or the landlord. In commercial settings, you are more likely to report into an office or facilities manager.

what is a handyman's typical work schedule?

You will usually be required to work solely on weekdays with standard hours of 9am to 5pm, or something similar. However, if you progress to the stage at which you manage your own company, you could offer emergency hours, which would require you to make yourself available in the evenings and at weekends. Some employers offer part-time opportunities but most handyman job descriptions require full-time hours. Due to the hands-on nature of the job, you will not find remote working opportunities.

what are the career opportunities for a handyman?

A handyman usually starts as an apprentice to more experienced workers. When you improve your skills and expertise, you can become a leader or supervisor for other tradespeople. After gaining extensive experience in various specialisms, you can become self-employed.

Other handymen prefer to specialise in different fields and grow their skills. For instance, you could take courses in plumbing or electrical repairs and pursue a career in those areas.

advantages of finding a handyman job through Randstad

Finding your handyman job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:

Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as a handyman is often a stepping stone to a full-time position. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through us!

how to become a certified handyman

You don't require post-secondary education to become a handyman, but you will improve your employment prospects with an apprenticeship. You can find intermediate property maintenance apprenticeships or advanced apprenticeships in construction trades like carpentry or plumbing. You need at least five GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 for the advanced apprenticeship programmes. The programmes allow you to learn the trade and combine it with coursework. Some handymen take up short courses in DIY skills like electrical repairs or plumbing. And there are different qualifications you can gain to prepare yourself such as City & Guilds, BTECs and NVQs.

Most employers have on-the-job training to help you to learn specific skills and techniques for the role. Your training also includes shadowing a handyman until you can complete the tasks alone. Handymen may also need licences to perform some repairs. For instance, you need a licence to perform certified work on HVAC systems, electrical repairs and plumbing.

what skills and competencies does a handyman need?

Any handyman's job description will require you to possess certain practical abilities, such as:

  • construction skills: knowledge and experience of using power tools, operating machinery and reading blueprints for a range of repairs and maintenance tasks.
  • mechanical aptitude: an understanding of mechanical diagrams and how machines work, enabling you to develop solutions for problems.
  • Aside from those practical elements, there are several other skills that will prove useful to you. These include:
  • problem-solving
  • the ability to work well with others
  • being resourceful and self-motivated
  • physical strength; for example, when working with machinery or moving heavy equipment
  • flexibility to adapt your schedule accordingly
  • excellent communication

FAQs about working as a handyman

what does 'handyman' mean?

A handyman is a person who completes repairs and simple renovations. This word comes from the idea of being "handy" or good with your hands. The work that a handyman does is less complex when compared to the tasks performed by a licenced plumber or electrician. 

how much do handymen charge per hour?

The average wages of a handyman depend on the skill level and experience. For instance, a junior handyman earns an hourly rate of between £9 and £10, while someone with greater experience may earn something in the region of £15 to £20 per hour.

how much does a handyman job cost?

The cost of a handyman job depends on the service provided and its complexity. For instance, those who complete plumbing repairs charge different rates from those who do electrical works or flooring.

why choose us to find your handyman job

We firmly believe that we can help you to find the handyman role that suits your skillset. Here are just some of the reasons why you can count on us:

  • We have a long, illustrious history spanning more than 60 years, so you can rest assured that we know what it takes to place the right people in the right roles.
  • One of our core business principles is built around taking the time to get to know you and getting an understanding of exactly for what you're looking.
  • Over the years, we've adapted our services in line with the rapid rate of technological development. You can read more in our brand story.
  • We have a number of strong partnerships, including with mental health charity Mind.
  • Through our social responsibility and sustainability pledge, we are targeting a 10% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030.

apply for a handyman vacancy with Randstad today

Applying for a handyman job is easy. All you have to do is create a Randstad profile and search our vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!