Many homeowners in Kansas rely on a handyman to help with home repairs and small remodeling jobs. A handyman must be skilled in a variety of general maintenance tasks. Read this guide to learn the licensing requirements and how to run a handyman business.
There is no Kansas handyman license requirements. However, depending on the types of work, you may need to get other licenses from your county, city, or state.
General contractor licenses are not issued by the state. Instead, you must go through your county or city to get a contractor’s license. For example, Johnson County provides a Class A general contractor license that you must secure before performing any remodeling or repair work. The Class A license will allow you and your employees to perform the following types of work in Johnson County:
Swimming pool construction
A general contractor's license from your county or city will not allow you to perform electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or fire protection work on homes or businesses. If you want to perform these types of services, you will need to secure additional licenses. In Johnson County, these other types of licenses include the following:
Class C contractor's license if you will only repair or remodel single-family homes or duplexes
Class B contractor's license if your work will only be on structures with three or less stories
Class DE license if you intend to perform electrical work
Class DF license if you intend to perform fire protection services
Class DM license if you want to perform HVAC services
Class DF license to perform plumbing work
Class DR license if you only intend to perform roofing services
Class DS license if you will install, repair, or construct swimming pools in the county
If you intend to work elsewhere other than Johnson County, you will need to check with your own county or city to find out what licenses you will need.
According to Payscale, a handyman earns an average of $20.72 per hour. A person who performs work as a licensed plumber can expect to earn a median salary of $22.44 per hour in Wichita. A licensed master electrician can expect to earn an average of $25 per hour. A general contractor in Wichita can expect to earn an average salary of $41,000.
The costs of getting the different types of licenses in Kansas will vary. To find out the specific costs, you will need to check with the county or city clerk for your area.
Some types of handyman work will not require any education. Others, such as plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work, will require you to attend a trade or vocational school. Electricians also may complete their training requirements by working as an apprentice. Community colleges and technical schools offer programs for electricians, HVAC, and plumbing. Check to make sure the school is accredited before you enroll.
Getting an education from a community college or technical college may take from 11 months to two years. The classes should cover all aspects of plumbing, HVAC, or electrical work. Financing is available through the school, and you may qualify for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA form.
The International Code Council offers multiple contractor/trade examinations. Some counties and cities in Kansas work with the ICC and require people to take the examination before they can secure licenses to perform handyman or contractor work.
To pass your examination, you will need to be familiar with the International Building Code and the International Residential Code. To prepare, buy the code manuals and review the exam's outline. Set aside time each day to review the materials before you sign up for the exam. You will need to score a 75% or higher on your exam to obtain a passing score.
Licensed contractors will find that it is much easier to get jobs than people who work without licenses. To search for a job, you can look at resources online such as Indeed.com, Monster, and LinkedIn.
You also can check job listings in your local paper. During an interview, you will be asked about your experience and technical knowledge.
Handyman Industry Trends
The Johnson County Home and Garden Show contains exhibits about construction and other home improvement fields. You can attend and talk to vendors about different projects. Take advantage of networking opportunities when you earn your Kansas handyman license.
Since the licenses are city- and county-specific, your license will be valid for that specific location. If you want to perform work in a different county, you will need to check with that county’s licensing requirements. If you change your name, misplace your card, or change your address, you also will need to get a new license from your county.
Most Kansas handyman licenses will need to be renewed each year. For example, Johnson County requires contractors to renew their licenses by December 31 of each year. The license costs $225 in Johnson County. To learn the costs in other counties, check with the county clerk.
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