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.
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.
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.
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 title||Number of jobs||Predicted number of jobs by 2031||Predicted employment increase by 2031|
|Medical and health services manager||480,700||616,900||28.3%|
|Health and personal care aide||3,636,900||4,560,900||25.4%|
|Mental health counselor||351,000||428,500||22.1%|
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.
|Lawyer||Undergraduate bachelor’s degree, Juris Doctor degree (JD), and passing the state bar exam|
|Teacher||Undergraduate bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from your state|
|Server||Formal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred|
|Customer support representative||Formal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred|
|Nurse practitioner||Qualified associate’s degree or undergraduate bachelor’s degree and license from your state|
|Bartender||Formal education is not required, but industry experience is usually preferred|
|Animal caretaker||High school diploma is usually required and industry or volunteer experience is usually preferred|
|Real estate agent||Real estate license|
|Marketing professional||High school diploma is sometimes required and industry experience is usually preferred|
|Petroleum production engineer||Undergraduate bachelor’s degree and experience in oil and gas production is usually required|
Pay for your next degree
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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.
- 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.
View Article Sources
- Service-Providing Industries — Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Civilian labor force by age, gender, race, and ethnicity, 1994, 2004, 2014, and projected 2024 — Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary — Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Gross Domestic Product (Third Estimate), Corporate Profits, and GDP by Industry, Fourth Quarter and Year 2021 — Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Occupations with the most job growth — Bureau of Labor Statistics
- How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods? — SuperMoney
- How Many Jobs Are Available in Industrial Machinery/Components? — SuperMoney
- How Many Jobs Are Available in Oil & Gas Production — SuperMoney
- What Companies Are In The Consumer Services Field? — SuperMoney
- How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts? — SuperMoney