The retail building material industry is booming, with a growth rate of 5.5%. It’s also projected that the economy will grow by at least 5% in 2018, if not more. This means that demand for qualified sales representatives and distributors to sell roofing products, siding materials, windows, and door systems is high. However, competition is tough — you have to have certain qualifications to become a successful employee or contractor (and this includes occupational health and safety). Before you jump into a career in retail building materials, do your research and make the right decision based on facts and data.
Approximately 1.2 Million Jobs for Workers In The Retail Building Materials
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there were approximately 1.2 million jobs for workers in the retail building materials industry as of March 2016. This figure includes both self-employed and wage and salary workers.
The BLS defines retail building materials as “those items used to build or renovate houses, apartments, commercial buildings and other structures.” These items include windows, doors, roofing materials, paint, plumbing fixtures and hardware. The BLS also tracks these products by category: lumber and other building materials; hardware; paint and wallpaper; electrical supplies; plumbing fixtures; flooring materials; roofing materials; siding materials; insulation products; windows, doors and skylights; mobile homes.
According to the BLS’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, entry-level positions are available for those with little or no experience. However, these positions often require long hours due to the high demand for these products during certain times of year such as spring home improvement projects or fall hurricane preparation sales.
The Sector Is Expected to Grow by Nearly 9 Percent
The retail building materials industry includes companies that sell building materials and supplies to contractors and homeowners. These businesses range from large national chains to small, independent retailers. In 2014, there were more than 1 million retail establishments in the U.S., including hardware stores, lumberyards, garden centers, paint stores, and other similar businesses.
According to IBIS World data on the U.S. construction industry, total sales generated by the retail building materials sector were an estimated $215 billion in 2015 (the latest year for which data is available). That represented a 1 percent decrease from 2014 levels but still represented the second-highest level of sales among all subsectors within construction. A significant portion of those sales came from building material suppliers that sell supplies such as bricks, shingles, insulation and wallpaper exclusively online rather than in brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
The sector is expected to grow by nearly 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, creating about 113,400 new jobs during that period. The largest number of new jobs will be created in California (8 percent), followed by Texas (7 percent), Florida (5 percent) and New York (4 percent).
Being Sales Oriented and Knowing How to Close Deals
A big part of the job is being sales oriented and knowing how to close deals. A lot of people think that this is an easy job because all you have to do is sell products, but it isn’t. You have to know what types of products are available and then be able to sell them effectively.
You also need to be able to listen carefully to what your customers want, so that you can help them find exactly what they need. It’s important not only for them, but for you as well, because if you can’t satisfy your customer’s needs, then you won’t make any money.
The only way you’re going to earn enough money from working at home is if you put in a lot of effort into your work and make sure that your customer is happy with their purchase every time they walk out of your store door.
A Requirement for A Minimum Amount Of Time
Many times, there is a requirement for a minimum amount of time with a current employer before you would be considered for promotion. This can make it difficult to move up in the retail industry if you are new to the business. However, if you have been working in this industry for some time and have proven yourself as an employee who can handle more responsibility, it is possible to get promoted at your current job.
Once you have been promoted to a managerial position within your store, it is important to continue following all of the steps discussed above and continue developing your skills until you are ready for another promotion within the company.
The retail building materials industry offers many opportunities for career advancement within small businesses that rely on salespeople who know their products well and can provide excellent customer service. Many times, there is a requirement for a minimum amount of time with a current employer before you would be considered for promotion.
While workers can expect to stay with these companies for an extended period of time, they also will see their income rise based on experience.
Average salaries for the top 10 retail building materials jobs are:
- Sales associate $47,000
- Customer service representative $39,000
- Cashier $32,000
- Helper/laborer $32,000
- Retail stock clerk $32,000
Like Most Areas, The Number of Jobs in This Industry Varies Annually
Like most areas, the number of jobs in this industry varies annually. But on average, there are about 1,000 jobs available in retail building materials nationwide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the job market for brickmasons and blockmasons is expected to grow by 11% over the next decade. This growth rate is much faster than the average across all occupations. The BLS predicts that there will be approximately 10,000 new jobs for brickmasons and blockmasons by 2024.
The Unemployment Rate Is Low, So There Are More People Working Than Not
In addition to the number of jobs available, you need to consider how well-paid those jobs are.
Our research shows that the average salary of a Retail Building Materials Manager is $49,000. You can see from our salary tables that this falls short of what most Americans would expect to make in a year.
The median household income in the U.S. is $59,039 annually, according to the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). This is up from $57,617 in 2016 and $56,516 in 2015.
The ACS defines “median” income as the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups: half having income above that amount and half having income below that amount. The simplest way to understand medians is that the median is the midpoint or halfway point between the lowest and highest figures in a group (e.g., salaries).