Builders' merchant

DIY store worker yard manager DIY sales assistant
Construction and building

Career outlook for builders' merchant

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would sell and hire out products for use in DIY and professional building.

You would deal with products such as:

  • Timber
  • Bricks
  • Decorating materials
  • Plumbing supplies
  • Tools
  • Gardening equipment

You would:

  • Advise customers about products
  • Load and unload deliveries by hand or with a forklift truck
  • Process orders and handle payments
  • Move goods to storage areas
  • Put orders together and organise deliveries

If you work in a large DIY store you may also assist with general sales.

With experience, you could work as a team leader or yard manager. You would have more responsibilities, such as training staff, ordering stock and enforcing health and safety rules.

Working conditions


You would work between 35 and 40 hours a week. Large DIY outlets usually have extended opening hours over evenings and weekends. You may have to work shifts, and part-time hours are often available. In smaller stores your hours may be more regular.


You would divide your time between the store and the yard. Most of your time would be spent on your feet and the job could involve some lifting and carrying of heavy materials. Your employer would usually provide you with a uniform and safety footwear.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources
  • Time management
  • Reliable
  • Taking responsibility

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You do not need any formal qualifications but employers will look for a good general standard of education.

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • ICT
  • Administrative and business subjects

Helpful to have

You may be able to get into this career through a Modern Apprenticeship with a building supplies firm or DIY store and work towards Scottish Vocational Qualification in Warehousing & Storage (SVQ level 2).

Previous experience in construction, warehousing or retail could be helpful although not essential.

A driving licence may be preferred.