Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Orla Gallagher from Failte Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Orla Gallagher

Spa Manager

Failte Ireland

Read more

  Orla Gallagher
If considering a job in this field I think its best to have a therapy background or a caring background. Be prepared to work hard, it takes alot of effort to help create the perfect environment for others to relax in. Work well with others and help your collegues it makes for a friendly workplace and you never know when you will need their assistance. An interest in sales and marketing would also be avantageous, as you must be competitive with other spa's offerings.
Close

Enterprising?
Enterprising 
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Builders' Merchant

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Sells trade goods in bulk to the construction industry, and retail goods to the general public.


The Work header image

Builders' merchants supply building craftspeople such as plumbers, builders, electricians etc, with the items that they need to do their jobs. They also sell these products to members of the public.  
 
Builders' merchants differ from the large superstores that cater for do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts in the range of their stock and the expertise of their staff. Most builders' merchants specialise in particular types of supplies such as timber, electrical or bathrooms. They would have members of staff who would be qualified to talk about their designated area.  
 
The trade is divided into two areas. The 'heavy side' covers sand, cement, bricks, ballast etc, and the 'light side' provides plumbing, sanitary ware, decorating equipment etc.  
 
Work as a builders' merchant involves all the tasks done in general distribution. One major aspect of the work is ordering stock, both in bulk and for individual customers. In large organisations, this is computerised and goods are automatically reordered when they fall below a certain level. In smaller firms, stock has to be counted manually and the related paperwork is also done by hand. In either case, there is a great deal of clerical work and dealing with office equipment and office procedures. Also, there are often long discussions with suppliers about the right type and amount of stock needed. This side of the job may also mean doing some work in the warehouse, checking in items, storing and distributing them. They need to store their stock in such a way that it can be easily be inspected by prospective customers.  
 
Builders' merchants have a lot of contact with customers, both from telephone enquiries and assisting people face-to-face. Much of this involves giving advice, not only on which goods to buy (such as the best type of tap to install or the correct kind of wood for a particular purpose) but also on which tools and fittings to use.  
 
Having advised the customer, builders' merchants then have to complete the selling process. This can vary from taking a few pence for a couple of nails, to handling cheques and credit cards for thousands of pounds. Apart from operating a till, it entails completing detailed receipts and invoices and often calculating value added tax (VAT) as well.  
 
In addition to these duties, staff may occasionally help out in the yard, making up orders and loading/unloading products. They must have an accounts office so that someone can keep track of big orders and big customers who may have accounts open.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service.

bullet

Oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs.

bullet

Plan and direct staffing, training, and performance evaluations to develop and control sales and service programs.

bullet

Determine price schedules and discount rates.

bullet

Review operational records and reports to project sales and determine profitability.

bullet

Monitor customer preferences to determine focus of sales efforts.

bullet

Prepare budgets and approve budget expenditures.

bullet

Confer or consult with department heads to plan advertising services and to secure information on equipment and customer specifications.

bullet

Direct and coordinate activities involving sales of manufactured products, services, commodities, real estate or other subjects of sale.

bullet

Confer with potential customers regarding equipment needs and advise customers on types of equipment to purchase.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Selling or Influencing Others:  Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

bullet

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

bullet

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

bullet

Coaching and Developing Others:  Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

bullet

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

bullet

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

bullet

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates:  Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

bullet

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others:  Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Sales and Marketing:  Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

bullet

Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

bullet

Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

bullet

English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

bullet

Personnel and Human Resources:  Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Management of Personnel Resources:   Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

bullet

Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

bullet

Persuasion:   Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

bullet

Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

bullet

Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

bullet

Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

bullet

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a builders' merchant, you'll need to be fit and healthy as you'll spend much of your time on your feet, and you may have to help with moving and lifting heavy goods and materials. Depending on the sort of products being sold, the work may not be suitable if you have allergies to dust or have chest complaints.  
 
It is important to be able to learn quickly, and to build up product knowledge. You also need to be confident when dealing with suppliers and customers, the majority of whom are experienced trades people seeking expert assistance. You should have a certain level of expertise in the items or products you are trying to sell.  
 
A good standard of numeracy is vital since you'll have to make calculations, estimate both cost and quantity of goods and cope with large amounts of money. The office duties involved require a good standard of written and spoken English. A working knowledge of computers is essential.  
 
Communication and people skills are important.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Builders' Merchant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: National Employment Rights Authority
  Address: Information Services, Government Buildings, O'Brien Road, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 8990 Locall: 1890 80 80 90
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

Job Search


Industry Expert


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Building, Construction & Property
Business Organisation & Business Management

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 30


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 97


Business & Marketing
Rathmines College of Further Education
Business & Administration
O'Connell Centre
Business Management Studies
Kerry College of Further Education
Auctioneering, Estate Agency & Valuation
Ballsbridge College of Further Education
Business with Marketing 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
eBusiness - Entrepreneurship
Galway Technical Institute
Business Studies
Duiske College
Business Studies with Law
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Business Studies with IT Focus
St. Louis Community School
Business Studies
St. Cuan's College
Auctioneering & Estate Agency
Blackrock Further Education Institute
Business Practice, Marketing & Human Resources
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Business - Finance
Rathmines College of Further Education
Business - Advanced
Sligo College of Further Education
Business & Computer Applications
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Business & Legal
Rathmines College of Further Education
Business - HND
Ballyfermot College of Further Education
Business Technology with Marketing
St. Tiernan's College of Further Studies
Business & IT Studies
Rathmines College of Further Education
Business
Jesus & Mary Secondary School
eBusiness
Confey College
Business & Computers
St. John Bosco Community College
Business & Computer Studies
Ramsgrange Community School
Business Practice
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Business - HND
Inchicore College of Further Education
Business Communications with English as a Second language - ESL
Limerick College of Further Education
Business Management & Marketing
Crumlin College of Further Education
Business Studies with Software Applications
Castlebar College of Further Education
Business & Information Technology - Returning to Education
Inchicore College of Further Education
Business Enterprise & Management - Advanced
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Business - Enterprise, Marketing & Management - Advanced
Limerick College of Further Education
Business - Advanced
Rathmines College of Further Education
Business - Advanced Certificate
Waterford College of Further Education
Business Management - Advanced
Mullingar Community College
Business - Advanced
Mallow College of Further Education
Business Management & Information Systems - Advanced
Galway Technical Institute
Management - Advanced
Bray Institute of Further Education
Management - Advanced
Plunket College
Business Management - Advanced
Abbeyleix Further Education Centre
Business
North Connaught College
Business Management - Advanced
Pearse College of Further Education
Business
Mary Immaculate Lisdoonvarna
Business
Kinsale College of Further Education
Business Management
Ormonde College of Further Education
Business - Advanced
Rossa College
Business Management with IT
Portlaoise College
Business Management
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Business Enterprise
Cabra Community College
Horsemanship - Equine Studies & Business Management
Cavan Institute
Business
Duiske College
Business & Administration
Portlaoise College
Business Management
Galway Community College
Business - Advanced
Roscommon Community College
Business Studies - Advanced
Cork College of Commerce
Business Studies
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Business Studies
Killester College of Further Education
Start Your Own Business
McEgan College
Office Administration
Arklow Community College
Office Administration
Colaiste an Chraoibhin
Business Management
Greenhills College
Entrepreneurial Studies
Listowel Community College
Business Management
Banagher College - Colaiste na Sionna
eBusiness & Entrepreneurial Studies
Castlebar College of Further Education
Business & Administration with Human Resource & Finance
Portlaoise College
Business - Advanced
St. Conleth's Community College
Business - Advanced
Templemore College of Further Education
Economics with Business
Limerick College of Further Education
Business - Advanced
Lough Allen College
Business Studies 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Business Administration
Limerick College of Further Education
Business Studies 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Business - Advanced
Ennis Community College
Business Studies - College
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Auctioneering, Estate Agency & Valuation
North Connaught College
Start Your Own Business
Ballsbridge College of Further Education
e-Business with Marketing
Abbeyleix Further Education Centre
Business Administration
Cavan Institute
Business Studies
Cavan Institute
Business and Administration - Advanced
Portlaoise College
Retail Practice
Grange Community College
Social Media and Digital Marketing
College of Further Education Dundrum
Business Studies
College of Further Education Dundrum
Outdoor Leadership
Kinsale College of Further Education
Health Services Supervisory Management
Kinsale College of Further Education
Business Studies
Kilmallock College of Further Education
Business - Advanced
Kilmallock College of Further Education
Health Services Supervisory Management Skills
Sligo College of Further Education
E-Business
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Marketing for Fashion and Retail
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Business Administration
Templemichael College
Health Services Supervisory Management
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Digital Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Galway Technical Institute
eBusiness
Collinstown Park Community College
Project Management
Kerry College of Further Education
Executive Personal Assistant
Cavan Institute
Business Studies
Monaghan Institute
Salon Management
Limerick College of Further Education