Handyman licensing requirements: State-by-state

Homeowners are spending more money to improve and repair their homes. So, they want to hire a handyman to help. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the industry is expected to grow nearly 8% in the next decade, adding 112,500 new jobs. 

Handyman skills & training you need to become a pro

Are you thinking about changing your career? Do you enjoy fixing leaky faucets or assembling furniture? Becoming a handyman may be your next career move.

Let’s examine the general maintenance and repair worker industry, career expectations, average earning potential, and the steps to secure your next handyman job.

The handyman industry overview

It’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities involved with the industry. Handymen and general maintenance workers’ responsibilities include:

Fixing and building furniture

A handyman builds and repairs various large home furniture. These tasks might include polishing and restoring antique furniture.

Gutter cleaning

Handymen clean and maintain a homeowner’s gutters. They have the proper tools and knowledge to effectively complete the task.


Painting is a common task for a handyman. The job also includes patching cracked walls.

Floor repair

Whether it’s a hardwood, vinyl, or a carpet flooring, homeowners will need floor maintenance. A handyman is trained to help repair and reinstall flooring.

Door installation/repair/restoration

A handyman knows how to install a door. Installation includes locks, peep holes, runners, seals and handles. A well-trained handyman also can restore vintage doors to retain their historical value.

Power washing

A handyman can reverse weather damage through power washing. Whether it’s the balcony, patio, pool, or driveway, a handyman can help a homeowner return their property to like-new condition.

Other home service tasks

  • Minor plumbing
  • Basic electrical work
  • General air conditioning and heating systems
  • Concrete work
  • Framing
  • Home security work
  • Stain removal
  • Shelving
  • Window Cleaning
  • Tile repair

Expected salary for a handyman

The expected salary for a handyman depends on various factors, including: work location, experience level, amount of scheduled work, and certifications.

The BLS notes that the average salary for a general maintenance worker in 2018 was $38,300 ($18.42 per hour). The top 10% within the industry earn more than $62,000.

How to become a licensed handyman

Becoming a handyman does not require any formal education beyond a high school diploma (or equivalent). Handymen and repair workers often learn their practical skills on the job under the supervision of more skilled maintenance workers. 

1. General maintenance worker education requirements

A high school diploma (or equivalent) is the only formal education required. A handyman also should have an understanding of maintenance and repair knowledge, including:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning systems
  • Painting
  • Roofing

Many aspiring handymen and repair workers can learn basic skills in high school shop, technical education classes, vocational schools, postsecondary trade school, or community colleges.

2. Obtaining a Handyman license

Many states require a formal license to operate and conduct business as a handyman. This requirement is due to the nature of the job, the safety precautions, and the general contractual agreements associated with the work involved. Consult the National Contractors License Service to identify the requirements for your state.

3. Getting adequate on-the-job training

Many resources exist in the general maintenance and repair industry to encourage new handymen and aid them in securing their first job. 

  • Your local trade school or community college may offer on-the-job training programs.
  • Training also may be offered by your state or local handyman association. 
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How to get a certified handyman job

Over 100,000 handyman jobs will be available in the next decade. The opportunity is ripe to secure your next handyman job. Here are a few paths you can take:

Job postings

Internet job boards allow employers to share open positions with a large pool of applicants.


  • Find hundreds (if not thousands) of available handyman jobs with a simple web search.


  • Due to the high influx of job applicants, it might be difficult to get your application noticed by employers.

Handyman professional training program/vocational school

To get hands-on training, you may need to attend a vocational school or community college. Schools offer a vast network of professionals seeking to hire new handyman professionals. 


  • Schools have network connections to many general maintenance and repair worker companies.


  • If you don’t perform well in the school program, teachers may not recommend you to potential employers.

Your personal network

Your personal network might be the key to securing your handyman job. You may have connections from a previous job or know someone who you’ve hired.


  • Your network comes with a level of trust. You can connect with people you already know for possible employment opportunities.


  • If you don’t have a solid network, you’ll have difficulty finding a handyman job.

Handyman insurance requirement

Due to the nature of the industry, many states require insurance. Insurance coverage varies by state. Shop around before purchasing limited liability insurance policies.

Ongoing handyman education 

Once you get a handyman job, your education within the industry doesn’t stop. Trade shows will help you level up your skills and introduce you to the new tools within the industry. Trade shows also can help you expand and build your professional network.

Furthering your handyman career

Many of the highest paid maintenance and repair professionals spend a few years working under an experienced professional. Then, they open their own home service professional business. With today’s modern technologies, you can automate many logistical responsibilities to save your business time, money, and manpower.

So, why wait? Start your career as a handyman today!

Learn from the pros


There are a lot of options out there, and it can be tough to know which one is right for your business. That’s why we’ve put together this list of articles and expert advice on the subject.

What the Pros say

Don’t just take our word for it— see what our Pros love about working as a handyman.

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