What skills should a handyman have in their toolkit?
Residential and commercial property owners often need repairs done but not everyone has the time or skills to do them. As a handyman, it is your job to carry out those repairs so having a broad range of craftsmanship and practical skills will prove useful when carrying out repairs or general maintenance on buildings. The work can range from simple building maintenance to plumbing, painting, and gardening.
You don’t need any experience to become a handyman though basic numeracy and literacy skills are important as is an ability to read and understand instructions.
However, there are many different qualifications you can gain to prepare yourself better such as City & Guilds, BTECs, and NVQs. Courses in health and safety, plumbing, plastering, carpentry, and general maintenance are all very useful.
Depending on what role you take on – in domestic properties or in commercial settings as a caretaker or general maintenance worker – there are other skills that could prove useful to you:
- Ability to resolve problems and adhere to health and safety guidelines
- Ability to deal with other contractors or maintenance workers
- Being resourceful and self-motivated
- Physically strong – capable of working with machinery or moving heavy equipment
- Being flexible
- Able to resolve complaints quickly and efficiently
- Able to work as part of a team
- Good communication skills
Day in the life of a handyman
A handyman’s day-to-day job is extremely varied and could see you painting a wall one day and repairing a central heating system the next. It ultimately depends on where you are working but some of your regular duties could include:
- Changing light bulbs and ensuring other fixtures and fittings are in good working order
- Rewiring, changing fuses, junction boxes etc.
- Minor plumbing and carpentry
- Clearing or cleaning general areas
- Shifting furniture or equipment
- Assembling furniture or equipment
- Garden/landscape installation and maintenance
- Footpath maintenance
- Painting and decorating
- Clearing gutters
- Changing filters on air conditioning systems
- Maintaining property exterior through the different seasons
Career progression and salary
As a handyman, you can expect to earn between £8 and £15 per hour, depending on where you are based, on a contractual basis. If you opt for full-time employment your salary is likely to be around £17,000- £25,000 a year depending on location and organisation. Pay doesn’t change much as your experience increases.
The role of handyman will give you a broad experience of building maintenance and repair, which could allow you to take on more senior roles such as facilities manager. You could also consider starting your own maintenance business or specialising in an area that is of particular interest to you such as carpentry and gaining further qualifications.
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