Best List Of Handwork To Learn in Nigeria

List Of Handwork To Learn In Nigeria

The handwork culture remains very active in Nigeria, as a significant section of the population strives to acquire at least one vocational skill before completing their formal education.


Anyone with a sufficient understanding of the general state of affairs in Nigeria would recommend learning a handwork. For one, they don’t take nearly as much time as schooling; you can learn and become proficient in most handwork in under a year.

Also, most handwork doesn’t require you to have an employer after graduation, unlike a college degree. Once you become proficient and independent, you can start rendering your services without having an employer or a boss.


However, one of the biggest roadblocks to learning handwork in Nigeria is deciding what to learn. Sure, there’s a huge list of handwork to learn in Nigeria, but many of them are gradually becoming irrelevant by the day, and learning them will only result in a massive waste of time.

To avoid wasting unavailable time, this article will show you a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria. Before that, however, let’s look at what handworks mean and how learning handwork could help you in Nigeria.

What’s a Handwork?

The term “handwork” literally means “work done with the hands,” but in the context of an average Nigerian society, that definition doesn’t paint a complete picture. While most handworks require challenging hands-on work, that’s not the only requirement to qualify as a ‘handwork.’

Rather, handwork refers to any trade or vocation that people learn as a primary or secondary means of employment to generate income. It typically doesn’t require formal education, and people become self-employed in their chosen field immediately after graduation.


People usually learn handworks from established professionals as apprentices, who, in turn, learned it successfully, became proficient, and set up an independent practice. Apprentices compensate their masters with free labor and material items upon graduation.

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List Of Handwork To Learn In Nigeria

Benefits of Learning a Handwork in Nigeria

It’s impractical for the average Nigerian to attempt setting up an independent practice after obtaining a university degree for a couple of reasons. One crucial reason is that most college degrees train students to fit into larger organizations that require their specific skillset. To create the organization itself, they’ll need years of experience and dedicated training—not to mention the budget.  

For example, a mass communication graduate cannot realistically start a TV station or newspaper immediately after graduation. However, Nigeria has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and the jobs tertiary institutions are training Nigerians to do are unavailable.

The Nigerian handwork culture solves this problem to a significant degree. Rather than train you to fit into a firm, the average Nigerian handwork trains you to become self-employed and render your services independently. That way, you get inducted into the labor market immediately after graduation, an unfeasible feat for college degrees and white-collar jobs.

Also, having a handwork can facilitate your push for a college degree when you have no sponsors. If you learn a relevant vocation, you can offer it to your coursemates and people around you to generate money to pay your tuition and afford the other expenses associated with schooling in the average Nigerian tertiary institution.

Finally, handwork can serve as your career and primary source of income, and it’s a Nigerian’s best alternative to a college degree. While handwork typically doesn’t pay as much as professional college degrees, many Nigerians rely on their vocations to earn an income and feed their family.

List of Handwork to Learn in Nigeria

There’s almost an endless list of handwork to learn in Nigeria, but as hinted above, not all of them are worth your time, effort, and money. Here is a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria for the best balance of relevance, profits, and ease.

1. Auto Mechanic

While Nigeria doesn’t have the highest people-to-car ratio, it can boast a massive population, directly translating to numerous cars. It’s only natural that learning how to repair automobiles is so high up on the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

Historically, being an auto mechanic is seen as a ‘dirty’ job in Nigeria, but the job outlook is changing rapidly. Today, Nigeria has a new generation of mechanics that specialize in modern vehicles, use top-of-the-line auto repair equipment, and make a killing compared to their old-fashioned counterparts.

To become a mechanic, you must be willing to put in more time than for the average handwork in Nigeria, but that’s why it’s so high on the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

2. Phone Repair

With phones getting increasingly fragile but ubiquitous, there’s never a better time to learn how to repair them. The skill is easy to learn, and doesn’t require much to start practicing; with a few inexpensive tools and your skills, you can start a phone repair business in Nigeria. On a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria for students, phone repair should take the top spot.

3. Plumbing

Plumbing is one of the best handworks to learn in Nigeria for people interested in fixing up a home. It involves installing pipes, valves, tanks, and other fixtures for water management within houses, offices, and other livable buildings.

Anyone with intermediate experience in plumbing can make enough income to make it a primary source of revenue for themselves, but it’s not a very attractive side hustle. If you’re planning to learn something to practice alongside schooling or another job, plumbing should probably not be on your list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

4. Catering

Nigerians love cooking and eating; anyone who has attended an old-fashioned party can attest to that. However, the culture of coming together to cook during parties is gradually dying, as people are relegating it in favor of hiring professional caterers to serve at a party.

This shift opens up a new opportunity in the catering industry, putting it on the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria. It’s not only about cooking; the trade is generally about food management at events and social gatherings, and it’s pretty profitable for proficient and exposed pro caterers.

5. Fashion design (tailoring)

There’s a category of clothes in Nigeria dubbed “native wear,” and it makes up a significant percentage of the clothes people wear. However, native wear typically doesn’t come premade; you buy the material, take it to a tailor or fashion designer, and have them make it to your standards, explaining Nigeria’s huge fashion design market.

Tailoring is one of the most saturated industries in the Nigerian handwork market, but that doesn’t disqualify it from a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria. With sufficient exposure and skills, fashion designing is easily one of the best trades to learn in the country.

6. Welding

Welding, like plumbing, requires full-time dedication, but if you’re after something to make your main hustle, it’s solidly on the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria. It involves metalwork and joinery, and the average Nigerian welder works with iron doors, chairs and tables, and anything metal.

Your potential income as a welder in Nigeria will depend on the hours you put in and your level of exposure to real estate developers and building contractors, but with time and experience, anyone can earn enough to sustain themselves and their family in Nigeria being a welder.

7. Electrical works and wiring

Scores of years after independence, Nigeria unfortunately still have to contend with an epileptic power supply. Anyone with intermediate proficiency in working with electricity can make a living fixing issues with the connections in homes and small communities for monetary compensation.

Newly-completed homes also need wiring to access electricity, and that’s typically the function of an interior wiring professional, which falls under the broader category of electrical work. With approximately one year of training in this handwork, you can acquire a skill that’s easily among the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

8. Photography

Despite the massive uptick in smartphone users in Nigeria, photography remains a lucrative handwork for individuals with a knack for creative work. Practicing photography in Nigeria requires learning to take and edit adorable portraits of mostly humans and events.

Many Nigerians patronize photographers during memorable events like birthdays, graduation parties, and naming ceremonies to take astounding photographs to commemorate the day. Depending on your experience, exposure, and bargaining skills, you can make tons of money being a professional photographer in Nigeria.

9. Hairdressing or barbing

Haircare is a hot industry anywhere in the world, and in Nigeria, you only need a year of training (or less) to practice professionally. Typically, males train to become ‘barbers’ while females train to become hairdressers. In a typical Nigerian society, the former cuts and cares for male hair, while the latter specializes in female hair. Thankfully, both trades are good enough to make a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

The competition in the Nigerian haircare industry is understandably fierce, but the market is also huge. In a country with over 200 million people, someone will always need their hair done, justifying the inclusion of hairdressing or barbing among the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

10. Laptop repair

Somehow, laptops are gradually becoming very common in Nigeria, opening up the opportunity for another creative handwork. If you enjoy fixing things, you may want to consider learning how to repair laptops and desktop computers to make extra income or even as a primary source of income.

Interestingly, most of the ‘fixes’ Nigerians make to their laptops are easy to learn, like upgrading the RAM or hard drive, changing the battery, or reinstalling an operating system. Learning how to effect such low-difficulty fixes will only take a couple of months at most, putting this skill on the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.

What’s the most profitable skill to learn in Nigeria?

There’s no one-size-fits-all trade for all Nigerians to learn; the best skill for you will depend on your passion, how much time you have to dedicate to the profession, and the peculiarities of your environment. With that said, cutting down your options to the list of handwork to learn in Nigeria above will make your choice easier.

What’s the best handwork to learn for a lady?

There’s this social divide in Nigeria that excludes ladies from many handworks, probably due to the physical exertion involved. However, you don’t have to limit your opportunities; you can go for any trade you deem worthy. If you’re after something feminine, however, catering and hairdressing are solid entrants on a list of handwork to learn in Nigeria.


Choosing any trade on our list of handwork to learn in Nigeria should offer you a solid skill that could serve as your primary source of income or a side hustle. If you’re after a side hustle, something like phone repair or photography works, but welding, tailoring, and auto repair work better as full-time jobs.

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