Builders’ merchant

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Builders’ merchants sell building and do-it-yourself products and materials to the building trade and the public.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £30,000

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How to become a builders’ merchant

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a trade supplier intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

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Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a builders’ merchant. You may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths and English. Experience in construction, warehousing or retail could be helpful.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a builders’ merchant from Building Materials Careers and the Builders Merchants Federation.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • have forklift truck driver training for some jobs

For some jobs you’ll need to have a C1 licence to drive trucks up to 7.5 tonnes.

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • giving product information to customers
  • loading and unloading deliveries by hand or with a forklift truck
  • processing orders and handling payments
  • moving goods to storage areas
  • putting orders together and organising deliveries
  • advising customers about which materials to use

Working environment

You could work at a builder’s yard or at a store.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.