What is this career about?
Hardware store jobs are more than just stocking shelves and showing people where the right sized screws are located. A hardware store clerk needs to be able to anticipate what their customers’ needs are, give them tips on how to better complete their tasks, and recommend the proper tools and parts to help make their projects come out better than expected as easily as possible. Store managers should also keep up with trends and seasonal demands so that the store is always properly stocked with exactly what customers will need.
What growth is likely?
Because of the introduction of new tools and electronics relevant to the hardware store field, there will always be a demand for stores to keep growing and there will always be a reason for customers to keep shopping here. Many of these stores are becoming chains, and that’s not a bad thing as it increases your chances of a growing career in this field.
According to statistics, there are about 500,000 hardware store employees in the United States right now. Over the coming next couple years, experts believe that there will be around 5 percent growth in this field, too, which creates a lot of opportunity at all levels. There are many part time positions available in hardware stores, but most places prefer full time employees as this makes scheduling easier for smaller stores.
Depending upon where your store is located, and whether or not it is a private shop or a larger chain store, pay will vary. Some places will see minimum wage for entry level positions, while others can pay around $12.25 an hour. This is above the median wage in the retail industry as a whole (which stands at just over $10 an hour), and that means that this industry pays a lot better than other retail jobs. Supervisors should expect to see about $20 an hour, and managers can make up to $100,000 a year, depending on their experience and the location of their store. Having a high profit making ability is also a key part of how well your job pays, so managers and supervisors should have a lot of incentive to make sales.
One of the best parts about a career in a hardware store is the fact that it is a highly specialized industry and this means that if you have the experience in home repairs and construction, and you are passionate about this area, this is a career where you can not only make a good deal of money, but do something that you love.
How to succeed?
You don’t need a college degree to have a great career in a hardware store, but it could help if you would like to be a manager quickly. Business experience is helpful, and having the right mental tools to manage inventory, employees, and keep profits moving forward is a must.
For store clerks, you will be most successful if you have previous knowledge of how to use tools and repair things. Construction, plumbing, electrical, and painting experience is not necessary, but they are all very helpful when it comes to success. The important thing is that you have an interest and you are willing to learn more so that you can help your customers find what they need. Pointing out tips on how to accomplish their tasks more completely and timely is also a big plus, and this is something that if you do already know the basics of, it will help you to find success faster.
You also should have great communication skills, be passionate about what you’re doing, and be able to share your expertise in a polite and professional way.
Filling out an application for employment is obviously your first step, though. If you have the experience mentioned above, or anything else that might be applicable, be sure to include it within your resume or on the application itself. If you have the skills, let them speak for your qualifications for the job. This will show a hiring manager that you are quite capable to perform the expected tasks without a ton of retraining, and thus make you more likely to get a job offer.
Who should apply?
There’s no real consensus on which age is the minimum for starting a career in a hardware store. Chains prefer their employees to be at least 18 years of age, but individual stores may go as low as 16 years for part time employees. You don’t need any sort of formal schooling to get a job in this sector, but having a high school diploma or a GED can be helpful. However, more important than this is the fact that this is a hands on job, and the more experience that you have with home repairs and using tools, the more useful you will be to your manager. Having retail experience is also helpful, as knowing how to maintain a store and help customers is a vital component of this career.
A hardware store does not have the same diversity of career paths as a large department store might, but this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, having that specialty knowledge is a great thing because it allows you to impress customers and bring them back as repeat customers. Being able to not only direct customers in the right direction, but also to give them advice and guidance on their home projects is a skill that will help your store to retain and grow their business into the future. This is a great trait for you if you have experience with repairs and building things on your own already. Even if this experience is not professional, these are great skills to have and growing them further in a professional capacity can be a great thing to add to your resume.
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