Is consumer services a good career path? In recent years, there have been numerous job-related inquiries. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether a career in consumer services is promising.
This question is tricky because consumer services is not a single career path. It covers a wide range of fields and job profiles that many people would be interested in pursuing.
To provide a more specific response, we must explain the various types of consumer services, the number of jobs currently available in the country, the largest employers, current market trends, and the benefits and drawbacks of working in the consumer service industry. Let’s start with the fundamentals.
What Is Consumer Service, Exactly?
Is consumer services a good career path? Consumer services are those that are acquired for personal, household, or domestic use or consumption. Intangible elements such as an experience, process, or outcome contribute significantly to the value of these services.
Consumer services, unlike consumer goods (which are tangible elements), cannot be seen, touched, or smelled. Consumer services include, for example, computer software, consulting, accounting, education, health care, insurance, and investment banking.
It should not be confused with customer service, which entails providing services to customers before, during, and after they make a purchase. Customers purchase the product, but consumers are the ones who use it. Consumer service entails directly providing services to users.
Thousands of consumer services firms are currently developing solutions for emerging global markets. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, consumption growth is driven by developing countries and demographic shifts.
Between 2020 and 2030, the elderly population in developed countries and the working-age population in North America and China will account for roughly half of the global urban consumption growth.
The consumer services industry in the United States alone has over 450,000 businesses with a combined profit margin of more than 12%.
Consumer Services vs Industrial Services
Is consumer services a good career path? While consumer services cater to individuals, industrial services cater to corporations and businesses of any size. Employee training and marketing software services are examples of industrial services; online bill payments and personal legal advice are examples of consumer services.
Examples of Consumer Services
Is consumer services a good career path? Consumer services entail assisting people with a variety of product or service-related issues. While the majority of consumer services representatives are employed in retail and hospitality, some work in other industries.
Businesses in the retail industry sell goods or services to individual consumers for personal use. There are over 3.8 million retail establishments in the United States, ranging from stores and restaurants to auto mechanics and gas stations. Retail employs approximately 44 million people, making it the largest private sector employer in the country.
Because customer expectations rise yearly, retailers are constantly improving their business models to stay ahead of the competition. To improve customer experience, large retailers use technological advances (such as AI chatbots or algorithmic machine learning for product recommendations).
Preventative, rehabilitative, emergency, home care, and long-term treatment options are all covered by health services. Medical professionals, corporations, and health care professionals provide these services to those in need.
The healthcare industry has undergone a massive paradigm shift in the last decade. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have been adopted by hospitals worldwide, making it easier to obtain a medical history and treat patients.
Healthcare accounts for more than 10% of most developed countries GDP. Health spending in the United States is expected to grow at a 5.4% CAGR from 2019 to 2028. It is expected to surpass $6.2 trillion by 2028.
The education industry encompasses a wide range of organizations that strive to provide lifelong learning opportunities. Schools, colleges, and universities, as well as corporations that concentrate on training and skill development programs, are examples of these organizations.
Education is now delivered using traditional and modern methods such as storytelling, online training, discussion, and directed research.
Overall, the education sector is in charge of preparing individuals of different ages to learn new skills, find valuable work, and contribute to economic growth. According to Zion Market Research, the education market in the United States will be worth $2.3 trillion by 2028.
Hospitality accounts for a sizable portion of the service industry and is primarily made up of:
- Food trucks, bars, and restaurants are examples of food and beverage establishments.
- Travel and tourism encompass a wide range of travel and transportation agencies.
- Lodging includes various lodging options ranging from hostels to hotel resorts.
- Sports, entertainment, and wellness are examples of recreational activities.
All of these fields are interconnected in some way, and the majority are rapidly evolving due to new technologies and high customer expectations.
Banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, accounting firms, credit unions, investment funds, stock brokerages, and consumer finance companies are all part of the financial services industry.
These companies are the primary engines of a country’s economy. They facilitate the free flow of capital in the market. When the finance industry functions properly, the economy grows, and corporations are better able to manage risk.
- Information Technology
There are three major industry groups in the IT sector: technology hardware and equipment, semiconductors and semiconductor equipment, and software and services.
Giant tech companies are now heavily investing in R&D and taking on riskier projects with high future potential. Most funds go toward artificial intelligence, machine learning models, and quantum computing.
Jobs in the IT sector are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% from 2020 to 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Companies have spent decades focusing on selling their products in one-time transactions. However, things are gradually changing — many producers and manufacturers are progressively adapting the business model that will allow them to generate revenue consistently.
One such model is Product as a Service. It is a combination of products and services. Users pay recurring fees to subscribe to the product or service. This makes it easier for businesses to get customers, create a more predictable revenue stream, develop deep customer relationships, and make changes quickly based on customer feedback.
- Professional Services
Individuals or businesses offer professional services to assist clients in managing or improving specific aspects of their businesses. A consultant is a sole proprietor, partner, or corporation who provides the service.
This industry includes lawyers, teachers, doctors, physicians, engineers, architects, accountants, financial planners, and management consultants.
All products, services, and equipment relating to energy, water, sewerage, and telecommunications are utility services. It includes the installation and upkeep of cables, pipes, wires, utility poles, structures, and other infrastructure related to such services.
Number of Consumer Services Jobs Available
Is consumer services a good career path? Consumer services are considered one of the world’s largest industries. Consumer services account for nearly half of all jobs in the United States. However, because there are so many different jobs available in this category (from dry cleaners to brain surgeons), determining the exact number of open positions is difficult.
Jobs in education, for example, range from teaching primary school students to Ph.D. students, college counseling services, and student loan refinancing. Another significant industry is retail and wholesale, which includes jobs such as accountants, salespeople, and logistics specialists.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the two most common occupations in consumer services are retail salespeople and customer service representatives. They account for over 6.9 million jobs.
Office clerks, receptionists, customer service managers, technical support engineers, and marketing research analysts are common occupations in this field.
Highest Paying Jobs | Is consumer services a good career path?
Is consumer services a good career path? In the United States, average salaries in different customer services fields range from $28,000 to $650,000, relying on education, certification, additional skills, location, and years of experience.
Finance and medicine are the two highest paying fields.
Accountants, fund managers, stockbrokers, loan officers, auditors, economists, financial analysts, and other positions in financial consumer services are available. Financial analysts, for example, make an average of $72,469 annually. Financial managers make an average of $124,129 per year, while loan officers make an average of $186,237 per year. The average total compensation for managers of hedge funds with 20+ years of experience is $325,000.
Pediatricians, oncologists, cardiologists, and neurosurgeons are among the highest-paying medical jobs.
They earn an average of $177,130, $321,549, $448,374, and $642,301 per year, respectively.
In a Nutshell: Is consumer services a good career path?
Is consumer services a good career path? If you enjoy assisting others and meeting new people, a career in consumer services may be a great fit for you. However, because it comprises various industries, you must select a specific field based on your qualifications and skills.
If you are already knowledgeable in the field, make it a point to learn everything you can about all the big corporations in that field. Discover their product development process, performance, competitors, target markets, and plans.
One intriguing aspect of consumer services is that they will always be in demand as long as humans exist on the planet. People will continue to purchase services that make their lives easier, regardless of how customer expectations change or what technological advances occur in the future.