Finding the right career path can be difficult if you don’t have a specific passion you want to pursue.
If you’re looking for something versatile and high-paying with good progression potential, consumer non-durables could be right for you. Read on for more information about whether consumer non-durables is a good career path.
What are non-durable goods?
Put simply, non-durable goods are any goods consumed in one or a few uses or used in a short period of time, typically considered to be within three years (according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis).
In the long term, non-durable goods have to be purchased repeatedly.
For example, all food is a type of non-durable good. Food is purchased, even if it is canned, then eaten. It then has to be replaced by the consumers. Non-durable goods are essential to the economy because they require a constant influx of new cash for creation and consumption.
As opposed to durable goods that last for more than three years, such as cars, consumers can be expected to spend a consistent amount on non-durable goods.
Because of this, industries and companies that provide non-durable goods have a constant supply of new customers (provided that they offer high-quality goods and services, of course).
Examples of non-durables
You use many non-durable goods every day. Some of the most common non-durable goods include:
- Foodstuffs, as mentioned above.
- Dish soap and all other soaps and detergents.
- Light bulbs.
- Paper products, like paper towels or paper plates.
- Toys and games.
- Pet products.
- Many dishes.
Why are consumer non-durables important?
Consumer non-durable goods are essential because they positively impact consumer behavior. Namely, they inspire people to spend money in the economy, keeping the monetary wheels of the economy turning all the time.
More broadly, non-durable goods play an essential role in the economy at large for three key reasons:
- They comprise a significant portion of a country’s GDP or gross domestic product. The higher a country’s GDP, the more productive and profitable it tends to be.
- Non-durable goods are stable figures in economies because they are usually necessary goods, like groceries. Consumers must purchase non-durable goods no matter what as opposed to durable goods, which are often luxuries. Because of this, non-durable goods aren’t as subject to regular business cycles as durable goods.
- Non-durable goods aren’t considered economic indicators. Instead, due to their stability, minor increases or decreases in the prices or purchases of non-durable goods aren’t supposed to be indicators of financial health or prosperity. But they can still tell economists a little bit about the mindsets of most consumers.
Bottom line: non-durable consumer goods are essential, and getting into this industry as a career could be a wise choice.
Types of consumer non-durable careers
There are many types of careers within the consumer non-durable industry. You can get a job doing practically anything related to consumer non-durables depending on your focus and what your chosen company produces or provides.
Here are just a couple of examples:
- Food technologists.
- Shoe designers.
- Restaurant general managers and waitstaff.
- Grocery store employees.
- Delivery truck drivers.
- Clothes designers.
- Retail store sales staff members.
- Brewery staff members.
Any job that produces a good or product that must be consumed or used within three years is related to the consumer non-durables industry. This makes up a majority of service-level or entry-level jobs. But that doesn’t mean there’s no opportunity for career progression.
For example, a grocery store manager or restaurant owner works with consumer non-durables. But they have the potential to earn significantly higher than average salaries and enjoy other career benefits.
So, is consumer non-durables a good career path?
Depending on your personal ambitions or desires, consumer non-durables can be a good career path for many.
Many modern entrepreneurs or young professionals don’t have specific fields or industries they want to enter.
While some people, for example, no right from the get-go that they want to be artists, engineers or doctors, others simply want to make a good amount of money, enjoy career stability and have enough free time to pursue their hobbies.
For these individuals, the consumer non-durables industry could be an excellent career path or general trajectory.
In the consumer non-durables industry, you can pursue any of the above-mentioned jobs and work your way up the proverbial ladder, eventually attaining a position of stability, responsibility and high pay.
Furthermore, many jobs and services in the consumer non-durable industry do not require extensive education. For example, you can work at a restaurant and gradually become its general manager over several years without needing a college degree.
Similarly, you can be a delivery truck driver and earn $30,000-$60,000 or more with a short training program rather than going to college.
Because of this relatively low barrier to entry, many individuals who want to start earning money sooner rather than later could benefit from jumping into the consumer non-durables industry.
Related: Is Finance a Good Career Path?
Benefits of working with consumer non-durables
Of course, there are many benefits to working with consumer non-durables professionally. These benefits might convince you to give the consumer non-durable industry a try.
Tons of job opportunities
Working in the consumer non-durables industry exposes you to various job opportunities.
As demonstrated above, there’s something for everyone in this broad industry. Some of the most popular include food service, groceries, shipping, packing and product selling. Whether you want something manageable and low responsibility or something with more duties and higher pay, odds are you’ll be able to find something.
This plethora of job opportunities means you can start your job hunt with a minimum of prior training or extra credentials on your resume.
International career opportunities
You’ll also benefit from many international job opportunities in keeping with the above. If you rise high enough in the ranks of the non-durable consumer products company and lack a manufacturing or food service company, you could take positions in Europe, Asia or elsewhere, particularly if you become an executive.
The same is true if you build your own business and expand into international markets. The sky’s the limit.
Culturally diverse products
Next, working with consumer non-durables means you expose yourself to a vast range of culturally diverse products. For many people, nothing is more fun than going out shopping and finding something new to bring home, eat or otherwise enjoy.
When you work with consumer non-durables, you’ll be exposed to many new products, mainly if you work at a store, restaurant or another place that gets a regular influx of new stuff.
If you seek out novelty in your day-to-day life and your job, the consumer non-durables industry could be an excellent fit for this.
Products are always in demand
Job security is a crucial concern for many working Americans, and for good reason. Fortunately, if you work in consumer non-durables, you’ll likely enjoy excellent job stability because consumable products are always in demand.
Since consumable, non-durable products are, by definition, “not durable,” people have to repurchase them all the time.
For the same reason that there will likely always need to be mechanics to repair people’s vehicles, there’ll also always need to be people running grocery stores or serving as waitstaff at restaurants.
Starting a non-durable goods business or store can provide excellent economic stability and security. Provide the right products, and people will likely always come to purchase more of them.
Easier to understand the products
For many, the non-durable consumer products industry is an excellent fit for their professional prospects because the products are easy to understand, use and sell to end-users or consumers.
In contrast with durable products like specific software, non-durable consumer products are relatively straightforward. You can make or sell them and explain to consumers exactly what they do, why they are excellent or not and why they should purchase them.
This is why non-durable consumer products are perfect for those who like to sell. Salespeople often work more in the non-durable products arena than the durable products arena simply because there’s more to sell, and each product is easier to understand or explain.
Products are physical and tangible (in most cases)
Lastly, you may appreciate the consumable non-durable products industry for your career because the products are concrete and physical. Many people don’t like dealing with or selling things on computers simply because they can’t feel them with their hands.
In contrast, everyone can taste food, just like everyone can feel clothing or other products made in the non-durables industries.
If feeling like your work has a tangible, concrete impact on the world is essential to you, you might want to work in the consumer non-durables arena.
Is consumer non-durables right for you?
Consumer non-durables could be the perfect career path for you, particularly if you want many job options in the U.S. and internationally.
Consider researching and pursuing a job in consumer non-durables or starting your own business in the consumer non-durables industry.
Check out Entrepreneur’s other guides and articles for more information on this topic.