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Penn Foster High School

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Home Improvement and Repair

If you enjoy working with your hands and have a knack for fixing things around your house, a career in home improvement and repair may be right for you. Read on for more information about job duties and growth, earnings and training options for aspiring home improvement specialists.

Is Home Improvement and Repair for Me?

Career Overview

Home improvement workers can be found in many different construction-related industries. Some common home improvement and repair jobs include floor and tile installation, drywall installation, painting and appliance repair.

Skills in using hand and power tools and the ability to read blueprints are useful for home improvement workers. You should also be comfortable working with your hands and doing mathematical calculations. Most home repair employees work at least 40 hours a week. You may have to work irregular hours at some home improvement jobs, because appliances can break and leaks can happen at any time of day.

Employment and Salary Information

Overall, employment of construction helpers and laborers are projected to increase by 25% nationwide, or much faster than average, from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Opportunities for construction managers were expected to grow by 16%, or faster than average, during the same 10-year period.

Earnings for workers in the home improvement sector vary according to the job. For example, painters had a median annual income of $35,190 in May 2012, while drywall installers made $37,210. You can eventually become a supervisor or manager for a construction company or start your own business with enough experience. As of May 2012, construction managers earned a median annual salary of $82,790 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Home Improvement and Repair?

Overview of Education and Training

Although training requirements can vary among occupations, a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for obtaining a job in home improvement. On-the-job training is common, and some employers may provide instruction seminars for new employees. Specialized job skills can also be acquired thorough apprenticeship programs. Another way to achieve the training you'll need is through postsecondary courses and degree programs.

Certificate Programs

If you don't want to pursue a degree, you can still pursue training in home improvement and repair through a certificate program. As short-term courses of study, certificate programs usually include courses in blueprint reading, basic mathematics for construction and minor home repairs.

Undergraduate Programs

An associate degree in construction management technology may help you qualify for a position as a manager in the home improvement industry. Course topics include the study of woodworking, roof systems, construction regulations and interior finishing. A bachelor's degree in residential construction can lead to supervisory positions in home improvement and repair. Most bachelor's degree programs in construction management include additional courses in math and more advanced training in construction trades.

Professional Certifications and Licenses

Some jobs in the home improvement industry may require a construction license. As a construction manager, you can also pursue a voluntary certification through the American Institute of Constructors or the Construction Management Association of America.