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How Many Jobs Are Available In Consumer Services?

Last updated 03/15/2024 by

Taylor Milam-Samuel

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Consumer services isn’t a new sector. It’s actually been around for hundreds of years and includes most jobs that provide a service to customers. This includes lawyers, real estate agents, customer service representatives, and restaurant servers. The job outlook for consumer services is strong and projected to remain stable throughout the next 10 years.
If you’ve ever chatted with call center representatives, consulted with a lawyer, or dined at a restaurant, you’ve engaged with workers in consumer services. Consumer services is a broad career sector that encompasses all jobs and industries that directly service consumers.
But how many jobs are in consumer services? Will there be more jobs in the future? Keep reading to learn more about the consumer services job sector, what jobs are under this sector, and how many of those positions are available.

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How many jobs are available in consumer services?

The consumer services field is responsible for about 70% of the total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 132 million jobs in consumer services at the end of 2022. Some of the job titles in this sector include customer service representatives, health insurance agents, restaurant servers, teachers, call center representatives, doctors, and lawyers.
There’s a wide range of jobs available, including many entry-level positions, mid-level positions, and senior-level positions, and each job has different education requirements. However, the consumer services field requires strong customer service skills as the positions are often people-facing roles.

Pro Tip

Consumer services professionals who are looking for a job might want to narrow down their options and choose a specific industry within the sector. Instead of searching for “consumer services” jobs, try searching for something more specific. For example, healthcare services fall within the umbrella of consumer services, so you might search for “physical therapist” or “nurse” jobs instead.

Careers in consumer services

These jobs are varied and include a wide range of employees working in the consumer services sector. As a general rule of thumb, if you work in an industry that directly serves customers, then you and your coworkers are probably consumer services professionals. This includes assisting customers in service positions like a call center representative would, but it’s not limited to those roles.
IMPORTANT! Consumer services positions are not always the same as customer service positions, though the terms sound similar and both are usually required to provide excellent customer service. However, consumer services is a sector, while customer service roles are specific jobs.

Sector vs. industry vs. field

Terms like “sector,” “industry,” and “field” can all blend together. Here’s a quick review of what each term means and why it matters.
  • Business sector. This is an area of the economy and usually includes different industries. For example, lawyers, teachers, and doctors are all consumer services professionals. Economists use this term as a way to group businesses together and track economic growth. The energy sector is an example of another common sector that economists track.
  • Industry. An industry is the general category for a specific job. For example, doctors and nurses work in the medical industry. Capital goods is another example of an industry with different types of jobs within it. There are many different companies within the capital goods industry and, as a result, there are many different job fields as well.
  • Job field. Job fields are specific jobs within an industry. For example, teaching is one job field within the industry of education. Engineering and computer programming are other examples of job fields within the industrial machinery/components industry.

Popular consumer services industry jobs

This isn’t a complete list, but the following jobs are some of the career options within consumer services, along with how much the job market is expected to increase by 2031. The average salary for jobs in this sector varies since the sector is so large, but it can range from minimum wage to the high six figures. Most consumer service jobs require strong communication skills as you might deal with customer complaints.
Job titleNumber of jobsPredicted number of jobs by 2031Predicted employment increase by 2031
Nurse practitioner246,700359,40045.7%
Restaurant cook1,255,6001,715,60036.6%
Animal caretaker290,700377,60029.9%
Medical and health services manager480,700616,90028.3%
Health and personal care aide3,636,9004,560,90025.4%
Mental health counselor351,000428,50022.1%
Preschool teacher483,100556,00015.1%
Restaurant server1,904,4002,101,40010.3%

Consumer services jobs growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 0.5% annual growth rate for consumer services, which is similar to the projected growth rate for previous years. In other words, the consumer service sector is projected to remain relatively stable.
According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, consumer services job postings and hiring have increased. Professional and business services had the highest number of job hirings with an increase of 212,000, while healthcare and social services had the most job openings with 74,000.
Even though the jobs with the most openings and hirings change each month, there are always jobs in the consumer services sector.

Will the consumer services sector keep growing?

It’s unlikely that the consumer services industry will shrink dramatically since there will likely always be a need for nurses, doctors, teachers, real estate agents, and other jobs within the sector. Many jobs are available in the sector including call center agent, customer service representative, and auto insurance agent. In fact, a lot of the professions within consumer services have been around for hundreds of years.
Because of that, it might be a good career path if you’re looking for stability, which is often the highest priority for job seekers. So it’s usually a good idea to check the outlook for the industry, job, and sector that you plan to work in.
It’s best to target industries and niches that are a good match for you. Exploring overlooked niches is a great idea, as there might ultimately be less competition for roles. But first make sure it’s a good fit for your experience, background, strengths, passions, and values.” — Katelyn Richards

How to get a consumer services job

Though there are multiple jobs available in this sector, it’s a good idea to figure out the specific industry you want to target before job searching. From there, you can determine what requirements you need to satisfy and which job openings to apply for. Some jobs in consumer service require degrees, but others don’t.
Whether you’re looking for entry-level positions as a consumer services professional or have been in your industry for decades, there are a variety of jobs available in consumer services.

Look toward the future

Katelyn Richards, owner of A Crafted Career and one of LinkedIn’s top job search experts of 2022, advises job hunters to start by considering what they’re looking for in a job. Richards says, “Think through where you see yourself in the long run and whether or not this new industry will allow for the growth projection you hope for moving forward.”
If you’re ready to find consumer services jobs, you might want to check online job boards, check company websites, reach out to local businesses, and research the local job market. You’ll also want to consider a healthy work-life balance and make sure to target jobs that work for your lifestyle.

Get the required degree

Here are a few of the most common jobs in the consumer service industry and the education requirements for each.
JobEducation requirements
LawyerUndergraduate bachelor’s degree, Juris Doctor degree (JD), and passing the state bar exam
TeacherUndergraduate bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from your state
ServerFormal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred
Customer support representativeFormal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred
Nurse practitionerQualified associate’s degree or undergraduate bachelor’s degree and license from your state
BartenderFormal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred
Animal caretakerHigh school diploma is usually required and industry or volunteer experience is usually preferred
Real estate agentReal estate license
Marketing professionalHigh school diploma is sometimes required and industry experience is usually preferred
Petroleum production engineerUndergraduate bachelor’s degree and experience in oil and gas production is usually required

Pay for your next degree

If you’re ready to go back to school to get the degree you need for your next job, you might need help paying for tuition. Use our tool to compare your options for student loans.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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What companies are in the consumer service sector?

There are private companies, not-for-profit companies, state agencies, and even federal government agencies that offer jobs within the consumer services sector. Most well-known companies have jobs within the consumer service sector and there are more added every day.
If you’re trying to figure out if a company has jobs within this sector, start with whether the company has roles that directly interact with or serve consumers. For example, most technology companies and many retail businesses have customer service representatives that handle customer inquiries. Those jobs would fall within consumer services.
According to Richards, “It’s best to target industries and niches that are a good match for you. Exploring overlooked niches is a great idea, as there might ultimately be less competition for roles. But first make sure it’s a good fit for your experience, background, strengths, passions, and values.”

Is the consumer services industry the same as customer service?

It’s easy to think that consumer service representatives are the same as customer service representatives. However, consumer services jobs aren’t the same as customer service jobs. Many customer service representatives have jobs that fall within consumer services, and there is some crossover because both roles are often left handling customer complaints. However, consumer services encompasses a wide array of jobs, and those jobs are not limited to customer service roles.

Can I get involved in consumer service without working in it?

There are a few different ways to get involved in consumer services without directly working in the sector. For example, if you’re interested in real estate but don’t want to become a real estate agent, then you might be interested in real estate investment trusts (REIT).
Real estate investment trusts allow everyday investors to invest in the real estate market without owning specific properties. Instead, investors invest in the REIT and own small portions of different investment portfolios. There are similar options for other industries as well.

Key Takeaways

  • Consumer services is not a specific job or even a specific industry. Instead, consumer services is a sector that includes jobs where employees work directly with consumers. This includes cashiers, doctors, lawyers, customer service representatives, and teachers.
  • The career outlook for consumer services is positive as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth will remain stable. Having said that, there might be some jobs within the sector that grow faster or slower than others.
  • If you’re interested in a job in consumer services, it’s a good idea to narrow down the industry and type of job you want before hitting job search engines. Because it’s such a large sector, it’s important to be specific about what you’re looking for.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Taylor Milam-Samuel

Taylor Milam-Samuel is a personal finance writer and credentialed educator who is passionate about helping people take control of their finances and create a life they love. When she's not researching financial terms and conditions, she can be found in the classroom teaching.

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