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 don't 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.

what does a handyman do?

Most handymen complete repairs and maintenance in commercial and residential settings. However, a handyman can specialise in one or the other. Standard tasks for handymen are simple repairs 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 repair work is more intricate, a handyman should recommend a plumber or a professional electrician who would be able to provide speciality work.

As a handyman, you work in different industries and work environments. For instance, you can work for a service company or work in construction for a construction company offering repair and maintenance services to clients.

Would working as 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 a handyman role.

handyman jobs

handyman salary

When starting a career as a handyman, it is important to understand your salary expectations at different levels. According to ONS, a handyman earns 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 is window fitting and fabrication. Your compensation package may then be as low as £23,000 per year.

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

how to increase your salary as a handyman

You can boost your compensation package by gaining specialised electrical repairs and plumbing skills. Specialist skills improve 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. Urban centres have a high demand for handymen and higher hourly rates for tradespeople.

smiling people riding a bus
smiling people riding a bus

types of handymen

As a handyman, you are a repair and maintenance tradesperson with skills in various trades. You can specialise in the following sectors:

  • electrical appliance maintenance work: a handyman can fix small appliances and install smart home devices. As a handyman, you maintain simple problems in HVAC systems and install thermostats, sensors and doorbells.
  • window fitting: as a handyman, you handle window fitting or repairs. For instance, you can clean up broken glass and replace new ones. You also replace the window frames.
  • roofing repairs: as a handyman, you can specialise in removing dirt and debris from roofs, repainting them or repairing and replacing shingles. Fixture replacement involves repairing taps, cabinets and lighting systems.


working as a handyman

Working as a handyman involves completing maintenance and repair tasks in various settings. Read on to find out about handymen's specific tasks and work environments.


education and skills

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.

Most employers have on-the-job training to help you 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.

skills and competencies

Some of the skills of a handyman include:

  • construction skills: as a handyman, you need basic construction skills like knowledge in using tools for repairs and building structures. Sometimes, the job involves using power tools, operating machinery and reading blueprints. Construction skills help you complete projects safely and efficiently.
  • mechanical aptitude: as a handyman, you use mechanical aptitude to understand how machines work and develop solutions for problems. It also helps you understand mechanical diagrams in troubleshooting manuals to solve problems successfully.
  • problem-solving skills: as a handyman, you need expert troubleshooting skills to perform repairs and fixtures on various projects. Problem-solving skills help you come up with innovative ways to solve your problems.
two blue-collar workers sharing a light moment
two blue-collar workers sharing a light moment


FAQs about working as a handyman


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