Find out if jobs in retail building materials are a good fit for you

When you’re trying to picture retail building materials, think about all the items that people or companies would need in order to set up retail stores of any size, be it a convenience store or a large grocery store. Retail stores can be found in almost any business district, and jobs in retail building materials can be very lucrative for you if you know what to look for. Here are some of the current top jobs in this industry:

What Are the Best Retail Building Materials Jobs?

Sales Representative

As a sales representative for retail building materials, your job will be client-facing and customer-oriented, assisting potential clients–mainly wholesale and retail establishments–in finding the right products for their retail building needs. You will also have to acquire up-to-date knowledge of market conditions, your company’s products and services, and your competitor’s goods and services. Part of the job is also visiting clients and retail outlets to establish selling opportunities and arranging deliveries.

Becoming a sales representative does not require a college degree, but a bachelor’s degree in marketing can give you an advantage. There are also vocational education and training courses on business or business sales, carpentry, or plumbing that you can look at. A prior experience in sales, especially in the retail industry, can also give you an edge when applying to jobs like this.

There are certifications that can help you level up your career, such as a Certified Sales Professional certification, a Sales Management certification, and a Certified Management Accountant certification.

Store Manager

A store manager of retail building supplies has similar responsibilities to other store managers: organizing store operations and assigning responsibilities to store personnel, supervising the store for maximum profits and performance, preparing and controlling the store’s overall budget, and implementing company programs. The store manager is also responsible for inspecting areas in the store that need repair or replacement, overseeing in-store promotions and displays, and ensuring that the store meets health and safety requirements.

To get a job as a store manager of retail building supplies, it is important to have significant and similar job experience in selling the same products. Although it is not required, a bachelor’s degree in business management or business administration can also give you an edge. The following certifications can also be helpful in securing this job:

  • Certified Manager Certification
  • Sales Management
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Certified Sales Professional

Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are in charge of developing, processing, combining, and testing materials that are used in production. With their expertise in different substances and knowledge about the quality of materials, they help develop new technologies and products, including retail building materials. They are responsible for working with production teams to study the materials specifications needed for products or supplies, recommending materials based on ideal specifications or qualities, and testing the performance of products and supplies.

To become a materials engineer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, materials science, or chemical engineering. Some years of experience working as a materials engineer for retail building materials would also be advantageous. There are also certifications that can help you get this job:

  • Engineering Management Certification Fundamentals
  • Certified Chemical Engineer
  • Six Sigma Green Belt

Inventory Manager

If you love organizing and tracking, becoming an inventory manager might be suitable for you. Inventory managers oversee the inventory of all retail building products. They normally lead staff in recording or receiving new stock that is being delivered or shipped out, analyze suppliers best suitable for deliveries or shipments, keep track of daily deliveries, and evaluate new shipments. As inventory manager, you will be in charge of coming up with efficient ways of managing inventories, inspecting business supplies and identifying shortages, and ensuring that product stock is adequate depending on consumer needs.

To become an inventory manager, a significant experience in the same type of job would be very helpful. Employers would usually look for a bachelor’s degree in business administration or logistics, and a working knowledge of inventory management software such as ERP. You can also look at getting some relevant certifications such as:

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional
  • Certified in Planning and Inventory Management
  • Certified Purchasing Manager

Tool Maker

For businesses or companies that sell retail building materials, tool makers are essential manpower. They are in charge of creating the tools that contractors and construction workers use to set up the retail building materials that they buy. This also involves fixing these tools and assisting customers with using them.

To become a tool maker, you would typically need an experience in a similar job or in related fields such as machinist, tool and die maker, or computer numerical controller machinist. It is not necessary to have a relevant bachelor’s degree, but there are some certifications that would give you an edge, like Certified Machine Tool Sales Engineer. Math skills, computer application experience, manual dexterity, and analytical skills would also give you an edge.

Why Choose Retail Building Materials as a Career?

There are a lot of opportunities for you if you’re looking for a job in retail building materials. Businesses in this industry continuously grow and will always be in need of skilled professionals. Below are some of the things you need to know before you decide to get a job in this industry:

What Are the Opportunities in Retail Building Materials?

Businesses handling retail building materials adapt well to the changing needs of retail businesses and business trends. More and more retail building materials companies are embracing e-commerce and online sales, which widens opportunities for job seekers even further. There is also a growing demand for more sustainable and environment-friendly materials and construction practices, making skilled workers irreplaceable resources.

What Is the Salary for Working in Retail Building Materials?

Salaries for each position would vary depending on many different factors like location, company size, and years of experience, but here are the estimated salary ranges, as of writing this article:

  • Outside Sales Representative – USD 27,000 – 56,000
  • Inside Sales Representative – USD 34,000 – 69,000
  • Store Manager – USD 50,000 – 69,000
  • Materials Engineer – USD 63,000 – 120,000
  • Inventory Manager – USD 40,000 – 86,000
  • Tool Maker – USD 41,000 – 77,000

Before applying to any of these jobs, make sure to find out the actual salaries offered in your area or in the company you want to apply to, as well as the different benefits available.

Is There a Future in Retail Building Materials?

A few factors are worth looking at to see if a future in the retail building materials industry is the perfect fit for you. As with any type of company or business, evolving consumer needs heavily influence the growth of an industry. Emerging trends such as sustainable designs and energy-efficient products are some of the results of changing consumer preferences. Embracing sustainable practices in this industry can also spell the difference between growth and stagnation, not just because it reduces environmental impact, but also because it means companies are keeping up with emerging trends and are keeping abreast with market innovations.

Customers, including retail store owners, are also increasingly seeking more customized product recommendations, design consultations, and specialized services, and companies that can adapt to this need can expect more growth in the future. There is also a lot of space in the retail building materials industry for collaboration with companies or sectors in the supply chain. Building stronger partnerships with contractors, retailers, and suppliers is a crucial factor when it comes to ensuring a better future in this industry.

The skills that you will learn can be highly transferable, given the diverse set of soft skills, management skills, and technical expertise that you will be able to practice. Just make sure to follow industry trends, learn about emerging tools and systems, and keep widening your professional network.

Retail Building Materials Could be Right for You

Do you now see yourself working in this industry? What do you find interesting, challenging, or unique about it? Aside from researching more about the jobs we discussed here, you can also try reaching out to those who are already working in the industry. Don’t hesitate to ask what they love about their jobs, and how they think you can fit into the industry.