How to become a pro handyman in Australia

Aussies love a jack of all trades, so why wouldn’t you want to become a pro handyman in Australia? From home improvement services to yard work, being a handyman offers great versatility and freedom to move around. Since you’ll be your own boss, your job will be as diverse as you want it to be and you’ll get that feeling of satisfaction that comes with helping people.

But it’s not as simple as rocking up to the job and getting it done. What tools will you use? What duties will you perform? Do you have handyman insurance in place just in case something goes wrong?

These are all legitimate questions that you will need to consider first. From setting up your business to marketing tips, this small business guide will give you some tips you need to become a handyman.

Setting things up

One of the first things you will need to do when setting up your small handyman business is to get the boring admin tasks out of the way early on. Three things to think about include:

Get an Australian Business Number (ABN) – Your ABN is an 11-digit unique number that will identify your business to the government. Many business tasks will require your ABN number, including the following steps – so consider doing this first.

Registering your business name – This can be done through the ASIC website and it’s generally a straightforward process. After following the prompts, you will receive a record of registration and you can begin trading under that name.

Registering your trademark – Your logo or trademark will be one of the main ways your audience will identify your business. It also gives you exclusive rights so you can only use or sell that particular symbol. Jump online and follow the prompts to sort out this essential step.

Recommended reading: Guide to Understanding Trade Marks for Small Businesses

After you’ve done these steps, you’ve made it official, and you can now technically call yourself a small business owner. These suggestions are also best supported by a qualified financial professional to ensure you are meeting your requirements from the start.

Sorting out your handyman insurance

Given the variety of jobs you might do as a handyman, you may encounter a variety of risks throughout your day-to-day business activities. A claim made against you could be extremely expensive and spell disaster for your small handyman business. This is especially important if you are considered a sole trader, as you are personally and financially responsible for the operations of your business.

Handyman insurance is designed to protect you from these situations so you can keep a handle on your business risk. Here are two types of handyman insurance that you might consider before getting on with the job.

Public Liability insurance

The odd jobs you do can have major consequences if things don’t go to plan. From someone tripping over a poorly placed toolbox to knocking over an antique vase in your customer’s house, there is a lot that can go wrong.

And if a client gets injured or you damage their property, you might be faced with a claim that can run into the thousands.

Luckily, Public Liability insurance is there to cover legal fees and compensation costs if a third party claims against you for injury or damage to their property due to your alleged negligent business activities.

Business Insurance package

A handyman often relies on their tools and equipment to get the job done, so how would you cope if they were damaged or stolen?

Luckily, you can protect your stuff through a Business Insurance package*, which is designed to provide cover for your business contents, tools, stock, and commercial premises when an insured event occurs, such as a fire, storm, theft, or even accidental damage.

It can also cover your portable equipment, glass, and for loss of revenue as a result of business interruption in some circumstances.

Getting qualified

A common question for people new to the handyman game is whether they need a specific qualification or pass a handyman course to work as a handyman in Australia. The good news is for most small jobs, handymen will not be required to have any specific qualifications.

But once the job exceeds a certain amount, handymen will generally be required to get a contractor’s licence. Each state or territory has its own threshold for this licencing requirement, so it’s best to check your local guidelines.

Recommended reading: How to get a NSW trade licence
Recommended reading: How to get an electrical licence in NSW
Recommended reading: How to get a handyman licence in NSW

Handymen who perform specialised tasks such as plumbing or electrical work may need additional certifications.

Tools you may need

Since being a handyman is a diverse profession, the tools you need may vary from job to job. However, there are some that are always good to have on hand just incase you need it.

Firstly, getting a durable and portable toolbox is a necessity for any good handyman. From plastic and aluminum to the sturdiness of steel, there are many different types you can get – each having their pros and cons. Check out this toolbox buying guide to see what might suit your situation best.

Now to put some tools in your brand-new toolbox. You’d want all the necessities – just in case. So, get a good range of screwdrivers, screws and nails as well as a set of pliers, a hammer, tape measure, and a spirit level.

It’s also best practice to ensure you have appropriate safety equipment in order to safely carry out the job. This could include safety gloves, goggles, ear muffs, boots, and a face mask, which are always good to have on hand.

While are plenty of different tools and safety equipment you can go with, be sure to consider the weight of your toolbox before buying the whole tool aisle down at the local hardware shop.

Getting handyman jobs

Once you’ve got the appropriate handyman insurance and licences, it’s time to begin getting your first customers.

There are many different marketing tools at your disposal, here are three tried and trusted methods to getting your name out there in your community.

  • Distribute flyers and brochures across your neighborhood
  • Establish an online presence through developing a website sand utilizing social media channels
  • Sign up to Airtasker – an online odd-jobs service to directly connect with customers and bid on jobs

The bottom line

Starting a handyman business will likely bring you freedom and great satisfaction to your career. While it’s by no means exhaustive, the suggestions in this blog are designed to give you a general idea of establishing yourself as a handyman in Australia.

From sorting out your admin tasks and your handyman insurance to getting the right tools and safety gear for the job, there is plenty you can do to start off on the right track.

Handyman FAQs

How to get a handyman apprenticeship in Australia?

Due to the comprehensive nature of a handyman’s work, unlike other popular trade professions, there are no formal trade qualifications for becoming a handymen, and that includes apprenticeships. Because of that, there is no one clear path to becoming a handyman.

That said, there are many online resources that budding handymen and DIY enthusiasts can enrol in for some handyman training to learn and improve their handyman skills. And there are also certain TAFE courses and handyman classes provided by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

How to get a handyman licence in Australia?

In Australia there is no formal handyman licence or handyman contractor licence required to operate your own handyman business, meaning there is no formal criteria that needs to be met in order to operate as a handyman. However, succeeding with your own handyman small business will require that you are a prodigious practical problem solver with a can-do attitude.

What skills does a handyman need in Australia?

The core skills required to succeed with your handyman small business centre on basic knowledge of home maintenance, including carpentry, plumbing and electrical systems. This doesn’t mean that you need to know everything that, say, a licensed plumber or licensed electrician

It’s important to note that ‘basic’ is the key word here, because by law the more complex trade jobs may legally be required to be done qualified trade professional who have completed formal qualifications in their field.

What can a handyman do legally in Australia?

Generally speaking, a handyman in Australia will do the following types of jobs can perform any job that doesn’t require a formal trade qualification or licence. Some examples of typical handyman jobs include:

  • Home repairs: Fence repairs, wall repairs, door repairs, painting, and furniture assembly.
  • Home maintenance: Gutter maintenance, window inspections, door inspections, floor inspections.
  • Home installations: TV installations, curtain and blind installing, mirror hanging.
  • Carpentry: Window repairs, fitting door handles, replacing woodwork. Cabinet erection and shelf installation, floor restoration.

Is being a handyman in Australia a profitable career?

According to Seek, the average salary for a handyman or handywoman in Australia is between $60,000 and $75,000. Of course, as you grow your handyman business and your reputation for great work grows, you can expect your salary to increase.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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