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How Much Do Handymen Actually Make?

male and female handymen

Although money should not be the only thing that draws you towards a job, it certainly is a huge factor. After all, there is no way to live in this world without a good income to support you and your family. If you are thinking about becoming a handyman, then you are in luck.

Handymen make a pretty good income a year, meaning that you will easily be able to support yourself and your family if you become a handyman. With that being said, becoming a handyman isn’t easy, so expect to work hard for that income.

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Average Income of a Handyman

As of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that most handymen make an average of around $39,080 a year. Given that this is the average, that means that some handymen make more while others make less.

This average income is fairly high, especially considering that it does not require a college degree. That means that you can spend the money you make on things you need instead of paying off student debts and other loans.

Factors that Affect Income

Just like with any other job, multiple factors will affect the exact income you earn. If you are not yet a handyman, you can consider these factors to help you maximize your profitability. In contrast, you can try incorporating these factors into your daily services if you already work as a handyman.

1. Specialty

smiling plumber
Image Credit: Freepik

The term handyman is a pretty general term. For example, one handyman might be better at carpentry work, while the other may be better at general repair and maintenance. The exact area that you specialize in will affect your income.

Carpenters tend to make the most of handymen. Their average salary is $48,330 a year as of 2019. Maintenance workers, on the other hand, have an average pay of $41,960. These averages prove that your specialty matters a lot.

Obviously, you should specialize in the area you are most comfortable with and enjoy fixing. Just expect for your average income to differ depending on whatever your specialty maybe.

2. Education and Training

handyman working on light fixtures
Image Credit: Freepik

Although handymen do not need a college degree, education and training will affect your pay dramatically. Almost all handymen have a high school diploma and some training. You can get more education to boost your profitability.

To get more education, you might want to consider going to a Community College to take some classes that pertain to your area of interest. For example, electricians might want to take a class on electricity. This will make you more knowledgeable about the product and work. You don’t have to even get a degree from your Community College, just take some classes and get a good grade in them.

You can also get certification to boost your income. Some specialties require certification, but not all. If your specialty does not require any formal testing, then go the extra mile to take a test and become certified in some way.

3. Experience

Experience, experience, experience. If you do not have experience, no matter what job you are applying for, you are less likely to get hired, let alone receive a fair pay. The same goes for being a handyman. The more experience you have, the better your pay will be.

When you are applying for a job, most employers want a handyman with one or two years of experience. This ensures that you at least have working knowledge of repairs and handyman duties. When working for yourself, most residential clients will care about reviews, proving experience and fair prices.

Obviously, you cannot change your level of experience. However, you can start taking on free jobs or volunteer your service in order to get more experience for the future. Doing this may not show rewards immediately, but you’ll be glad you did it in a couple months’ time.

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How to Make More as a Handyman

If you are already working as a handyman or are looking to change careers soon, you may need to focus on things that you can do in the present to increase your income. Here are some simple ways to make more as a handyman today:

1. Be a Businessman First

This may be a weird tip, but be a businessman first. Too many professionals, including handymen, don’t think of themselves as businessmen. This leads them to focus on the fixing aspect of their job but neglect returning calls, marketing, and other aspects related to the business side of things. Remember, you won’t have anything to fix if you aren’t a businessman.

Really take the time to ramp up your business. Make sure that it is organized for efficiency and profitability. Even if you don’t work for yourself, still think of yourself as a businessman. Make sure that you are negotiating with your employer so that you get equal and fair pay.

2. Be Personable

client talking to the handyman
Image Credit: Freepik

Many handymen get recommendations and frequent clients based on their personality alone. Make sure you are personable and kind to all of your customers. You don’t have to be overly chatty or over the top, but a simple smile and making good eye contact can go a long way.

Since some people think of handymen as being untrustworthy, make it a point to show that those stereotypes are wrong. Just show that you are an overall nice, kind, and ethical person. That will get you customers that are loyal and willing to recommend you to their friends.

3. Set Up a Website and Request Reviews

handyman holding an ipad
Image Credit: Freepik

If you own your own business, you need to set up a website. This will cost a little bit of money, but not too much. Not to mention, it will bring in way more than it costs to set up in the first place. Even if you don’t have your own business, set up a professional Facebook page or LinkedIn account for yourself. This gives you something to send future employers.

In addition, ask happy customers to leave reviews on your new website or account. Though it might be a bit embarrassing to ask for reviews, just about everyone will understand. Simply explain that you are setting up a new website and would love reviews.

If you are worried that no one will respond, add incentive. For example, offer 20% off your next service if they leave a review on your website. Make sure that you follow through with this if you offer it. In addition to giving the discount, send a nice email or thank you note for their help.

4. Focus on Bookkeeping

Image Credit: Freepik

Similar to being a businessman first, you also need to focus on bookkeeping. Bookkeeping involves tracking your income and expenses. It is impossible to know how much you make if you don’t actually track where your money goes.

If you’re on a really tight budget, you can track all of your expenses on pen and paper. This will force you to sit down and see how you are spending your money. If you don’t want to track the money yourself, there are tons of software options and tools you can find online to track the money for you. This will make sure all the money is done correct and even provide trends over multiple months or years.

Once you keep up with the bookkeeping, make the most of that knowledge. If you see you are wasting money in some way, adjust your spending habits so that you lower your expenses and maximize your dollar.

5. Sign-Up for a Class

If you think you are lacking in education or experience, go ahead and sign up for a class. You can go to a training center or Community College near you to find options. Even if you haven’t finished the class yet, being able to tell potential customers and employers that you are in the process of taking class shows initiative, intelligence, and eagerness to improve.

6. Volunteer

handyman carrying wood
Image Credit: Freepik

One challenge that people starting out face is the issue of experience, and with a hands-on job, experience matters a lot.

If you are inexperienced, go ahead and volunteer your services at local centers in your community or at homes near you. Explain to them that you have experience and education, but you are looking to give back and gain even more experience in the process.

To many people, volunteering may be a waste of time, but that is not the case. More people are willing to give you working experience if they don’t have to pay you. Though it may seem annoying at first to work for free, those volunteer hours will quickly rack up, giving you more experience in the process. Not to mention, volunteering is a great way to give back to your community.

Just make sure that the organization you’re volunteering for understands that you are just starting out. Never lie or stretch the truth about your abilities. Still, if you are honest and have even a little bit of experience, most organizations won’t turn down some free work.

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All in all, handymen make on average $39,000 a year. With effort and perseverance, you can easily make more than that, though. Really focus on your education, business skills, and personality. Just by making a few changes to your business strategy, you can see a significant increase in your profitability almost overnight.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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