Handyman salary guide: how much can you earn as a handyperson?

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There are many attractive reasons for choosing to become a handyman – you answer to no one, you can set your own hours, and choose what jobs you want to do. Before you consider pursuing this gig, you need to know what a handyman’s salary is like to have an idea of potential earnings.

So how much does a handyman make in a year? What’s the average handyman’s salary? In this guide, you can get a clearer picture of how much you can earn as a handyperson!

How much does a handyman make?

A professional handyperson in Australia earns an average of $33.47 an hour or $69,615 a year. There are a variety of factors that influence exactly how much you can earn. Below are some of the factors that can impact your handyperson salary. 

Factors that affect a handyman’s salary

1. Handyman income varies by state

Handyman fees are influenced by your location. In Australia, the demand for general-maintenance handypersons surpasses the demand for certified plumbers and electricians. While the demand for general-purpose handypersons is applicable to almost every state, Tasmania stands out – chimney sweeps top the list of handyman services wanted there.

handyman assembling furniture

Locations that have a lot of handypersons could mean stiff competition and less demand for their services, so you may want to avoid those locations or move to a different nearby state if possible, if you want to earn more.


2. Certified handypersons earn more

For you to command a higher rate, you’ll have to develop the necessary skills. If you only do jobs that most handypersons can do, your income can only go so high. But if you invest some time and money in learning new skills and getting the appropriate certifications, you can take on more complex, higher-paying jobs. 

In Melbourne, for example, here’s what certain types of handymen and handyman specialties can earn there:


Occupation Job description Annual median salary (2021)

General maintenance and repair workers

Fix items or fixtures in a property

$71,566

Masonry workers

Build structures with brick, mortar, concrete, and similar materials

$73,886

Insulation installers

Install or replace insulation

$74,174

Carpenters 

Construct, repair or install building framework

$75,698

Plumbers

Install, repair, or maintain pipes and plumbing fixtures

$92,303

Electricians

Install, repair, maintain electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems

$93,174

Construction/Building Inspectors

Ensures that construction meets safety standards, zoning ordinances, building codes, and specifications

$102,723



As you can see, a handyperson with a general knowledge of fixing, installing, or maintaining fixtures earns less than a handyperson who is also a certified plumber or electrician. Through upskilling, you can also earn more by doing supervisory work as a building inspector. 


3. Urban or rural areas impact income

The salary of a handyman is higher in cities where the cost of living is also high. The demand for a handyman can also vary according to the local populace – there will be more houses, apartments, condo units, and commercial buildings – which means more items that need to be serviced.

handyman fixing the sink

Rural areas with fewer residents and a lower cost of living may not need a handyman’s services as often. In some cases, you may be able to charge more for specialized jobs in these areas, but that’s because you’ll have to cover travel time and fuel expenses.

 

4. The seasons provide high earning potential

Part of your earnings as a handyman can come from the weather disturbances and seasons in your area or state. Note that you can check which handyman jobs are in-demand online. Here are some high-paying handyman services you can offer: 


Seasonal Job

Certification/skills required

Average Price

Clean or maintain swimming pools in the summer

None

$50-$350

Pruning tree branches before cyclone season

Tree trimming license, basic training

$75-$1,200 or more, depending on tree height

Replacing a home’s electrical wiring after a flood

Electrician’s license and certification

$3,500 to $8,000 depending on the home’s floor area

Cleaning a chimney in the spring 

None

$80-$300

Spring cleaning for homes

None 

$30-$50 per hour per hired cleaner


Note that some services can be in high demand and cost more after an unusual damaging weather event like a cyclone or flood. You can do your local community some good by providing these much-needed services while giving your earnings a boost. 

Employed vs self-employed handyman

Depending on your level of skill, experience, and your preference, you have at least 3 options for your handyman career: 

  1. Work as an independent handyman 

  2. Work as part of a team in a service provider 

  3. A mixture of both, where you work solo and occasionally work on construction projects under a contractor 

So which route makes you more money? The easy answer is that working as a solo contractor can make you more money than working for anyone else. Although a self-employed handyman’s salary will surely be more lucrative, it’s not as easy to get. You’ll need to make an effort to promote your business, buy and maintain your equipment, and do your taxes.

handyman checking clients they booked online

Being an independent worker also means looking for job opportunities by yourself. This is where hunting for work on online job boards like Airtasker can be helpful to you! By becoming a Tasker, you can set up your profile and begin bidding on handyman tasks that are within your skill set, building your credibility in the marketplace.

Become a capable handyman, sign up on Airtasker

You can earn a high handyman salary as long as you consistently deliver quality service and price your services right. Be sure to learn more skills, and get training and certification to handle more complex, high-paying jobs. Take on jobs that pay well and don’t incur many expenses and you should operate at a profit.

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the most common and in-demand handyman services can include plasterboard repair or installation, room painting, floor tile installation, gutter cleaning, gutter repair, light fixture installation, and deck installation. That’s only a partial list, as there are many other odd jobs that homeowners need that you can offer!

Yes, but this could mean that your business must offer this service exclusively – the requirements can vary from state to state. You may likely have to register your business as a pressure-washing service and get the necessary permits from your local licensing office. Some states require that you have a few years of experience in the job and know proper water usage, wastewater handling, and use only legally-allowed equipment.

No, it’s not safe, and some states decree that it’s illegal for anyone without the necessary skills, training, and licences to work on the electrical or plumbing systems of any property. To offer plumbing or electrical services, you have to get the requisite training and pass a licensure exam to become a licensed plumber or electrician beforehand. Most states also require that you also have an apprenticeship of 2 to 4 years, but again this can vary.

Some of the most common and in-demand handyman services can include plasterboard repair or installation, room painting, floor tile installation, gutter cleaning, gutter repair, light fixture installation, and deck installation. That’s only a partial list, as there are many other odd jobs that homeowners need that you can offer!

No, it’s not safe, and some states decree that it’s illegal for anyone without the necessary skills, training, and licences to work on the electrical or plumbing systems of any property. To offer plumbing or electrical services, you have to get the requisite training and pass a licensure exam to become a licensed plumber or electrician beforehand. Most states also require that you also have an apprenticeship of 2 to 4 years, but again this can vary.

Yes, but this could mean that your business must offer this service exclusively – the requirements can vary from state to state. You may likely have to register your business as a pressure-washing service and get the necessary permits from your local licensing office. Some states require that you have a few years of experience in the job and know proper water usage, wastewater handling, and use only legally-allowed equipment.