In Summary - Builders' Yard Assistant
The Work - Builders' Yard Assistant
Builders' yards are attached to the premises of builders' merchants and supply building craftspeople such as plumbers, electricians and builders with the items they need to do their jobs.
An assistant's duties may vary slightly according to the type of goods that the builders' merchant sells. The 'heavy side' of the industry deals with bricks, cement, timber etc, for the construction trade. The 'light side' covers painting and decorating, bathroom fittings etc.
Yard assistants mainly work outside, helping to check in goods, move, display and load them, and keep the yard clean and safe.
When they open up the yard each morning, assistants usually have to display the products and materials outside so that the customers have a chance to see what they are buying. They move goods in and out of store, sometimes using trolleys, ladders, forklift trucks and other aids. They also have to handle and store goods in the right way such as stacking wood so that it stays dry and does not warp.
Meeting customers is another part of yard assistants' work. They show the customer which goods are available and may also have to measure, weigh or cut articles to the size or quantity that the customer wants. After this, they may help package the order and load it onto a van, a lorry or the customers' own transport. They must also make sure that the health and safety of all customers is assured. They must dispose of dangerous or toxic materials in the approved way.
Builders' yard assistants are also responsible for making sure that the area is regularly swept, cleaned and, if necessary, washed.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Answer customers' questions about merchandise and advise customers on merchandise selection.
- Itemize and total customer merchandise selection at checkout counter, using cash register, and accept cash or charge card for purchases.
- Take inventory or examine merchandise to identify items to be reordered or replenished.
- Pack customer purchases in bags or cartons.
- Stock shelves, racks, cases, bins, and tables with new or transferred merchandise.
- Receive, open, unpack and issue sales floor merchandise.
- Clean display cases, shelves, and aisles.
- Compare merchandise invoices to items actually received to ensure that shipments are correct.
- Requisition merchandise from supplier based on available space, merchandise on hand, customer demand, or advertised specials.
- Transport packages to customers' vehicles.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interests - Builders' Yard Assistant
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
You must be fit and strong as the work involves a lot of standing and heavy lifting. Some yards can be dusty and may not be suitable if you have asthma or chest complaints.
Taking orders and working under supervision is a vital part of the job and you should be prepared to do this. You must also be prepared to do some repetitive, dirty tasks. Certain knowledge of the products and services available will be needed.
A builder's yard can sometimes be a dangerous place, so you must use common sense and be sensible about safety precautions, especially when moving heavy loads or using equipment. Basic English and legible handwriting are needed to make out receipts and invoices or assist with stock control. A reasonable standard of arithmetic is also needed for these tasks and for estimating and calculating sizes and weights.
Customer contact means that you'll need to talk to people in a polite and helpful way.