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Working as a Handyman

Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider


Do you like working with your hands? Do you enjoy the challenge and variety of taking on a different type of job every day? If so, consider a career working as a handyman. In comparison with others, it is a relatively easy career to enter into and once you have established your reputation as a skilled and honest worker, can be a lucrative full or part time job.

What Does a Handyman Do?


As the name implies, a handyman is someone who is "handy" or able to take on a variety of jobs, often on short notice. These are usually, but not always, smaller jobs that a homeowner or business cannot do themselves. Just a few of the kinds of things a handyman may be asked to do include:
  • Picture or mirror hanging.

  • Curtain and blind installation.

  • Repairing or replacing skirting boards, window and door trims and other small carpentry jobs.

  • Painting.

  • Stopping leaks, installing sinks and other minor plumbing jobs that do not require a plumber's license.

  • Appliance installation.

  • Grouting or regrouting tiles.

  • Sanding and refinishing decks, pergolas and other outdoor timber structures.

  • Garden maintenance.
About the only jobs a handyman is not called on to do are those that require the services of a licensed tradesperson, such as major plumbing and electrical installations and repairs.

Does a Handyman Need to be Licensed?


You don't need to complete any formal training or obtain a special trades certificate or license to become a handyman, but in order to become a successful handyman, you need to have experience in a wide range of related skills. Because you will be working in and around your clients' premises, you will need to have a variety of insurances for your protection as well as theirs. At the very least, you should have these types of insurance:
  • Personal injury

  • Third party

  • Property damage
In addition, you will need to acquire an Australian Business Number (ABN) if you are going to be a self-employed handyman.

How Do You Get Started?


Many handymen just fall into the job after being asked to do a job for a neighbour and then gradually build up referrals. Others solicit local businesses, real estate agencies, apartment complexes and office building managers. Still other handymen get on the roster of a local franchise and are called upon when needed for work in their specialised field
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