Requirements to Be a Handyman

by Lynda Moultry Belcher; Updated September 26, 2017

Handymen provide a wide range of services, from small, residential repairs to assisting with large-scale commercial projects. Tasks they are responsible for might include painting, plumbing, electrical repair or yard work. The jobs a handyman accepts depend on his experience. However, there are a few general requirements necessary to become a handyman.

Specialized Training/Education

While many handymen do a little of everything, if you plan to perform niche tasks, such as electrical work or plumbing, you need to at least have some formal training so you don't make the problem worse or hurt yourself in the process. Electrical work, in particular, requires specialized training -- typically at a technical school or community college -- to understand how to make electrical repairs without causing harm to life or property.

Licensing

If you perform any kind of general contracting work -- for example, plumbing or general construction -- your state may require a license. A license provides a certain level of credibility as a handyman. Credibility can, in turn, allow you to charge a higher rate per hour than an unlicensed handyman. Requirements to obtain a license vary depending on the state but generally require you to pay a fee and pass an extensive examination.

Experience

To be hired as a handyman, you must have some level of experience in the work that you plan to perform. A handyman is a jack-of-all-trades and should have enough experience to paint the interior or exterior of a home, fix a small leak, change fixtures in a residential structure and repair small fractures in tile or Sheetrock. The more hands-on experience you have with these types of repairs, the more attractive your skills look to a potential client.

Insurance

As a skilled-labor contractor, you should have liability insurance to provide coverage for yourself, anyone with whom you work and the jobs you perform. This insurance should provide for medical care should you get hurt on the job and pay for damages if something goes wrong during a repair. Chances are your state requires you to carry liability insurance to protect your customers.

About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.