There has been a shift in the job market in recent years especially due to the pandemic. Now, most people want to know ‘is consumer services a good career path?’
There is no specific answer to this question because consumer service is not just one single career path. It spans multiple fields and job profiles. It also encompasses questions like what are the best paying jobs in consumer services or what do consumer services jobs pay, how many jobs are available in consumer services, and what companies are in the consumer services field. So, let’s start from the basics.
Table of Contents
1. What is Consumer Service?
Before we jump into the question of ‘is consumer service a good career path?’ Let’s understand what consumer service is. Consumer service refers to any service for consumption whether personal, household-related, or domestic. These services get their value from elements like process, experience, and outcome.
Unlike consumer products, consumer services cannot be touched, seen, or smelled. Some types of consumer services are education, insurance, health care, consulting, and banking.
But, do not confuse consumer services with customer service. Customer service means providing a service to a customer before, during, or post-purchase. But consumer services involve offering the service directly to the consumer.
2. What are the Different Types of Consumer Services?
To understand is Consumer services a good career path or not, you need to know the different types of consumer services in the market:
i) Retail and Wholesale Services:
Any business that sells goods or services to the public individually or in bulk is called retail and wholesale services. Retail includes any business from big box stores to mom & pop shops to eCommerce. Whereas wholesales buy goods from manufacturers and sell to retailers in bulk.
ii) Health and Social Services:
Health and social services include any job in the healthcare system. These include hospitals, community health centers, and doctor’s offices.
iii) Leisure and Hospitality Services:
The leisure and hospitality sector provides a service to improve the quality of life. These include jobs involved in food, lodging, theme parks, event planning, and recreation. This sector is integral to the growth of local economies where tourism is the main form of income. Due to this reason, these services are seasonal and competition is fierce.
iv) Education Services:
These are services offered to students and include everything from elementary school to university. Students are now looking for counseling and tuition to better their future, making this sector fast-growing.
3) What is the Difference between Consumer goods and Consumer Services?
The basic difference is the tangibility of the product. Consumer goods are tangible products like food, clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, and electronics. These can be sold, repaired, duplicated, and replaced. Services on the other hand are intangible.
So, let’s take into consideration a simple example – you go to the mall and are looking for a pair of earrings to wear for a wedding. You go into the store where the saleswoman shows you some pairs. You choose a pair and go to the cashier who rings you up. Now, the pair of earrings are consumer goods (as they are tangible), while the services provided by the saleswoman and the cashier are consumer services (they are intangible).
Buying consumer goods is very much dependent on good consumer services. If you walk into a store and are ignored by the staff, or receive terrible hospitality, chances are you will not buy anything. So, when considering is a consumer service a good career path or not, you need to understand that the industry is based on consumers.
4) How many Jobs are Available in Consumer Services?
Considering the different sectors in consumer services, there are a million jobs available right now. More than half the jobs in the USA are in consumer services. Globally, consumer services are the largest sector of employment. Jobs in this category can run from brain surgeons to dry cleaners. Some examples of consumer services jobs are:
- A theme park, movie theatres, museum employees
- Media employees
- People working in IT, insurance, transportation, and leisure services like spas
Even people in the legal and education field are considered to be a part of consumer services.
5) What Companies are in the Consumer Services Field?
The field of consumer services is fast growing. To answer the question ‘what companies are in the consumer services field’ here are some of our top picks:
- Walt Disney Company
And any of their competitors.
6) What do Consumer Services jobs pay?
Considering the varied category of jobs and companies in consumer services, salaries can range accordingly. If you are on the higher end of the scale, (eg – surgeons, engineers, lawyers) then your salary can range from $90,000 to $200,000 per year. If you are on the lower end such as retail workers then your yearly salary ranges from $25000 to $40000. Salaries vary from state to state and are based on specialties as well. A doctor of internal medicine may make around $260,000 per year, while an anesthesiologist can make on average $409,000.
All these figures are based on the May 2021 estimates of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7) What are some of the Best-Paying Jobs in Consumer Services?
If you are wondering ‘is consumer services a good career path’ then you need to define the term ‘good’. For most people, it means a good pay scale.
If you want to consider the best paying jobs in consumer services, then two of the biggest industries to look at our medical and finance. The Financial field has some of the most sought-after jobs in the market such as loan officers, accounts, auditors, stockbrokers, economists, financial analysts, tax examiners, and auditors. People working as equity associates earn around $139,000 per year, whereas financial managers earn around $150,000 a year. If you work as a personal financial advisor you can get on average a salary of $119,000 a year, whereas loan officers earn around $78,000 a year.
If you look at retail, then you can earn between $60,000 to $80,000 a year if you are in a managerial position. Cashiers and customer support earn less.
In the medical field, nurses’ salaries are decided on a state-to-state basis. Doctors salaries are dependent on the field of practice (internal medicine – $260,000, anesthesiologist – $409,000).
So, is Consumer Services A Good Career Path to Consider?
If you are looking at consumer services as a whole, then you will find hundreds, if not thousands of job opportunities. But, there is no right or wrong answer here until you choose the category you want. If you want to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, then you are still a part of the consumer services industry and will be on a higher pay scale. But, for that, you need to study harder, and it will take you a minimum of 10-12 years to reach that level. If you go into retail or the entertainment industry, you will start at the lower levels but there is a bigger chance of growing.
So, in the end, you need to ask yourself, which category you fit into and then check if consumer service is a good career path to consider or not.