The Service Industry: Jobs, Skills and Job Outlook
The Service sector encompasses a wide range of business activities that meet people’s needs.
It includes people who provide domestic or household services, such as housekeepers, home helps and babysitters, providers of personal care and beauty services, such as hairdressers and beauty therapists, as well as all those who carry out other useful services, such as cleaners, refuse collectors, wedding planners, ironers and dog-sitters.
Service industry professionals provide an extremely varied range of services, which people use to meet a need, as and when it arises. Accordingly, service providers may work on an occasional or ongoing basis, depending on customer requirements.
For example, a parks and gardens maintenance worker might be hired to look after a garden or park on a regular, ongoing basis, or else be called in to perform a one-off service, such as planting a tree. Equally, babysitters may be hired to look after children for a set period of time on a regular basis or be hired to help out the children’s parents on a specific occasion.
Service industry workers are often required to do some form of technical or professional training involving a blend of theory and practical on-the-job training.
What types of businesses operate in the Service industry?
Businesses of all kinds and sizes operate in the Service industry, including large companies with a substantial workforce, but also many smaller ones with more limited resources.
Some service sector professionals work on a self-employed or sole trader basis, serving their own pool of clients, while others may work for a business providing a specific type or types of service (such as professional cleaning or waste collection and disposal).
Service sector professionals provide their services in a number of different locations. For example, some work at people’s homes, such as housekeepers, home helps, cleaners, babysitters and dog-sitters, while others work from shops, centres or salons. Workers in the beauty and wellness sector, for example, are often employed in or run gyms, fitness centres, spas, hairdressing salons and beauty salons.
Companies hiring in the Service industry:
Service Industry - Job Outlook
Employment prospects in the Service sector are generally positive, especially in the market for home-based services, with people increasingly turning to qualified professional workers to provide a wide range of services in a household setting, including cleaning and personal care and assistance.
Assisting and caring for infants and young children, the elderly and household pets are among the areas seeing the most growth.
Employment prospects are also good in the beauty and wellness sector, with a growing number of people using the services of personal care and grooming professionals.
What skills are required in the Service industry?
There are a range of transversal soft skills that are required by all Service industry professionals:
Client relationship management skills
All service providers have direct contact with their customers in one way or another. For some, such as wedding planners, a key moment of contact with the client is when they agree the conditions of the service that will be provided. Others - such as beauty therapists, hairdressers and tattoo artists - experience direct physical contact with their clients, while others still - such as babysitters - perform their work in their customers’ homes. Whatever their specific activity, service sector workers need strong communication skills, tact and sensitivity to enable them to deal with customers in a professional but friendly and approachable way.
A lot of service sector professions are manual jobs that can be extremely tiring - particularly from a physical point of view. But whether it’s cleaning, washing, ironing, cutting grass, collecting waste, looking after an elderly person, babysitting children or providing the entertainment at a party - physical stamina is a must.
Attention to customers’ needs
The service industry is all about meeting a customer’s specific needs. In order to do so - and to deliver a quality, personalized service that leaves the customer totally satisfied - service sector professionals first need to understand exactly what those needs are.
Services - Job Descriptions
Interested in finding out more about jobs in the Service industry?
Take a look at the job descriptions we’ve prepared: