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Hardware stores are the go-to place for anyone who does home improvement. Whether you are a professional contractor or a home owner that enjoys do-it-yourself projects, this is a commonplace for many people to get what they need for all the improvements that they might be doing in a house. It is also an increasingly popular place to purchase outdoor needs for your home, like landscaping supplies.

Similar to other retail jobs, hardware stores offer flexible hours which is attractive to people who might be students working around a school schedule or someone who is interested in part-time work in addition to their day job. Also like retail, seasonal positions open up during busy times of the year. These times are year are usually around Christmastime and in the summer.

For most positions, no special degree is required nor is there experience that is required to obtain employment here. General skills that are required involve being excellent with the customers. It is a great idea to be familiar with their products and the layout of the building to be the best at your job.

With the increasing need and desire for people to tackle home improvement projects themselves, hardware stores are an ever popular source of information and products that can best help the average person or the advanced professional.

Job Opportunities

Here are some employment opportunities available in a hardware store:

Customer Service: As a customer service representative in a hardware store, you might be a cashier or work at the customer service desk. A cashier is responsible for receiving payments from the patrons for purchasing their products. Someone who works at the customer service desk deals mostly with returns and exchanges for the store. Whichever position you are in, having excellent skills dealing with their store’s patrons is the most important ability for this job. They are also required for knowing the facility’s policies for returns and exchanges, as well as for payments. They often have to deal with unhappy people, so knowing how to handle such situations is very beneficial here. On the job training is the only education required to gain employment like this. In this field, you can expect to make about $9-$10 per hour.

Sales associate: If you are in this position, you are generally out on the store floor. The sales associate walks around the area, usually in various departments of specialty, to assist people walking around who need help. They will need to be great with people in this job, but having knowledge of the products in their departments is just as important. Customers can be overwhelmed with their choices in the stores, or even where to find that they are looking for. It is up to the associate to assist in making the customer happy. Not only do they help the customer with choosing the best items to meet their needs, they might assist in carrying the item to the cash register or to the patron’s car as well. Other duties might include ensuring the department they work in is clean and organized and working in specialty departments like types of installations. If working in a specialty department, one will need to know all about the information on that specialty. There is no need for a specific degree in this field, but it does involve some on the job training. A sales person can make about $9-$10 per hour.

Loss Prevention: There are many responsibilities within this title. Someone in loss prevention deals with preventing a loss of profits for the company. To do this, they must ensure policies to prevent shoplifting and help establish a proper budget for the store. They will also keep track of inventory and what sells. They must be diligent to ensure they order enough to keep a good stock without over ordering. When too much of a product is ordered, the company will be forced to sell the excess at either cost or at a deficit to them. They might also be put in charge of ensuring the safety of people in the facility. They might also work with the security to help with surveillance to help prevent and catch shoplifters.  The average pay for a position like this is about $12-$14 per hour.

Store Manager: A manager can have a lot of different fields that they are responsible within the store. They will hire and fire employees as needed, and train any of the new hires. They are tasked with scheduling the employees. Managers will have to solve customer issues if customer service is unable to do so in a manner that satisfies the company’s patron. They might also be responsible for ensuring the cash registers are properly cashed out, human resource issues, and help fill in when they are short staffed. To be a manager, you do not necessarily need any education though it is often preferred to have a high school diploma. Most managers in hardware stores move up the ranks by working in various departments and proving their excellence. A manager can make around $16 per hour.

Job Outlook

The job growth in this field is estimated to be at around 11%, which is right with the national average. This industry often has a high turnover rate as most of the entry level hires go on to different careers after gaining the necessary experience here. There is also a growth in the industry as the need for the products provided increases.

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