Are thinking about starting a handyman business in your area and don’t know where to begin? Not sure how to become a handyman?

Regardless of your expertise, experience, or area, starting a successful handyman business should always consist of the following five easy steps.

How to Become a Licensed Handyman

 1. Evaluate Your Handyman Skills

The first and most important step to becoming a licensed handyman is evaluating your current handyman skills and deciding on the services that you are going to provide.

You are probably thinking that a handyman should be able to do everything. But that’s not entirely true. In fact, you can have a very profitable handyman business with only a limited range of services.

Apart from HVAC, electrical, and plumbing work, you can also offer other handyman-like services such as masonry, home security installations, TV cable installations, locksmith, lawn care, and garage door repair.

As a handyman, you need to handle a much broader range of home repair and care services that will span several trades. Nonetheless, you can get started by offering what you know best and learning different skills each and every day.

2. Learn the Handyman State Laws

After making a list of the services you’ll start with, its time you start researching on the contract laws in your particular state (they vary from one state to another). You need to find out which handyman services you can offer with a license.

For example, in North Carolina, you’ll need a handyman license for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical handyman work. Also, you can’t do a job of over $1,000 without a contractor’s license. So before starting a business in NC, check with the relevant authorities.

Your state’s contractor board website can be a great source of information.

3. Define Your Customer Base

Starting a handyman business can never be successful without identifying your ideal customer base. Targeting the right customers will have a tremendous effect on the profitability of your business.

If your customers enjoy and are satisfied with your services, you are likely to get more referrals and grow your business.

If you work for the wrong people, you will probably lower your prices as well as the quality of your work, and this can be quite frustrating. Find a target customer base that will appreciate your work.

Take some time off to thoroughly evaluate who your ideal customers are and focus on attracting more of them.

4. Have a Favorable Pricing

Just like any other business, having a proper grasp on the financial aspect of your handyman business is crucial.

In fact, this can be considered the most challenging part of a business because there are so many critical variables to consider. Your professionalism, reputation, ability to sell, efficiency of work, and experience level should come to play here.

Instead of randomly picking a number as your hourly rate (which most people do), you can base your rates on the cost needed to complete a particular task. Cost-based pricing models are always recommended for startup service businesses.

5. Develop an Effective Marketing Plan

Next, you need to figure out how to reach your target customers and how you’ll convince them to buy into your services.

The best part about a handyman business is that clients will always be looking for you. However, there are so many other handymen who are offering the same services as you.

But you shouldn’t worry; with a good marketing strategy, you can easily get ahead of the pack. An effective marketing plan has a high ROI.

To come up with a competitive marketing strategy, you need to study your clients’ and competitors’ behavior, their desires and frustrations. Advertising your handyman business online and creating a website is a great way to stay ahead of the competition.

Obtaining a Handyman License

To offer some handyman services, you’ll need a license. Here are some of the essential steps you have to follow to obtain one:

  • Check the contracting and licensing requirements in your area: Agencies such as the State Board of Contractors should provide you with credible information.
  • Find a reputable handyman association in your state: These associations are great resources in explaining what type of licenses are needed in your state.
  • Get adequate training: For you to be licensed, you’ll need to go through technical training from an accredited institution in your area.
  • Sign up for an exam: In many states, you are required to take and pass an exam before getting your handyman license.
  • Apply for a license: Once you’ve successfully passed your exams, you need to apply for a license. The period of obtaining your licenses may vary from one state to another.

Additional Tips & Tricks: How to Become a Handyman

If you still aren’t sure on all the right steps to take on how to become a handyman, here are some additional tips and tricks to get you going.

Attend vocational school or community college

Many smaller schools and online courses offer trainings on multiple different trades, such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.

This can be an effective way to start out in the handyman business, as you will learn how to do a specific trade extremely well and will get licensed in it. Once you do that, you can broaden your trainings to other services, as well.

Additionally, if you live in a state where licenses are required to perform these services, then taking these courses are essential for you.


A great way to start out in the handyman business is to volunteer for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity. This will gain you hands-on experience. Basically, this is free education in your first step on how to become a handyman.

Additionally, you could find a local contractor and volunteer to assist them. It’s a win-win: they get free labor and you get free education and training.

Practice on your own home

This is probably the easiest way to gain experience in the handyman industry. Do home improvements and maintenance in your own home whenever you get the chance: install windows, paint, do molding and trim, lay tile, build fixtures, and more.

For each project that you take on, do your research, even if that’s a simply YouTube search.

Of course, you’ll probably make mistakes, but that comes with the learning process. If you want to learn how to become a handyman, it’s better to make mistakes in your own home than in someone else’s, first. The key is learning from your mistakes.

Use the internet

Obviously you already know how to do this, or you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. However, this is another extremely simple way to learn how to become a handyman.

There are numerous websites that provide tools to help you figure out how to perform various tasks of a handyman.

Find a mentor

Find someone you know that works in construction or owns their own handyman business, and learn from them. They are most likely more than willing to help you out.

This is great because you’ll probably establish a relationship with them. When you’re just starting out, this is essential, as you’ll be able to ask them questions about any problems that arise.

Getting Started: What Skills Should a Handyman Have?

You may be wondering what exact skills you need to work on in order to become a handyman. Well, it’s more than just painting and plumbing. Obviously, you don’t need all of these skills, but it’s important to pick and choose a few to specialize in.

It also is a good idea to at least familiarize yourself with all of these, especially in case one of these issues arises when you’re already working on a home. The more skills you have, the more money you’ll make!

  • Anchor a bookcase to the wall
  • Finding studs
  • Fixing loose tiles
  • Spackling holes
  • Fixing a leaky faucet
  • Caulking a shower or tub
  • Unclogging a drain
  • Snaking a drain
  • Changing a shower head
  • Sealing a pavement crack
  • Replacing a toilet seat
  • Cleaning the gutters
  • Using anchor screws to hang heavy objects
  • Tightening a loose door hinge
  • Changing a furnace filter
  • Changing a doorknob
  • Painting
  • Replacing a screen window
  • Changing a light switch
  • Stopping an overflowing toilet

Start Your Handyman Business Today 

With these five steps, you will have a solid understanding of how you can start your business with a bang! Of course, you can’t have everything done in one sitting. So take your time and don’t rush over things!

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