The Industry at a Glance

The Building Materials Industry is made up of Builders Merchants and Materials Suppliers. Builders Merchants supply products and materials to construction companies, tradespeople and the general public. They make up and deliver orders and also advise customers on which products to use for a particular jobs. The merchants are in turn supplied by their suppliers who manufacture and refine the raw materials and products that are sold by the merchants.

There are plenty of job opportunities and career variety within this industry.


The statistics below are based on figures from the National Careers Service and the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • 29,977Average Wage (Management)

    The UK average wage is £27,271, for this sector the average is £29,977

  • 21Building Materials Industry worth

    The Building Materials Industry is worth £21 Billion. While the the Construction Industry as a whole is worth £56 billion.

  • 29.7Combined Industry Sales (BMF Members)

    Our Merchant and Supplier members have combined sales worth £29.7 billion.

  • 20Women in the Industry (Percentage)

    The percentage has increased 5% since 2017


What is a builders merchant?

Builders Merchants sell building and do-it-yourself products to the trade and general public. Products include timber, bricks, decorating materials, plumbing supplies, tools and gardening equipment. 

There are various job roles within a builders merchants industry including, yard people, management, designers, drivers, trade experts to name a few. There is a job to suit everyone's interests and skills.


General Merchant

A general merchants sell building materials and goods in bulk to the construction industry and in smaller quantities to self-employed tradespeople such as plumbers and carpenters. This type of merchant holds a wide variety of stock including timber, plumbing equipment, electrical and decorative tools. Staff in this merchant won’t necessarily be specialised in a certain field but would need to know what all these items are used for and what advice to give to their customers.

Some general merchants include:

Timber Merchant

Offering an extensive range of wood and timer materials. These materials can also be found in larger homeware stores. Timber merchants will usually operate a sawmill for the cutting and preparation of timber, transforming logs in to poles, beams and planks. Decking, skirting boards and door frames are also sold in a timber merchants.

Some timber merchants include:

Plumbing & Heating Merchant

You will find thousands of bathroom, plumbing and heating products in a plumbing and heating merchant. Providing boilers and radiators to bathroom suites and pipes. These merchants will have specific knowledge about this area and will be able to offer advice on what is needed for a particular job.

Some plumbing and heating merchants include:

Roofing Merchant

Roofing Merchants offer materials to successfully complete pitched, flat and other roof projects. Product include ventilation, insulation, windows and a wide range of roofing tiles.

Some roofing merchants include:

Roofing Merchant

Anything that you would need to decorate a house or building can be found at decorative merchant. They can provide the paints, tiles, wallpaper and the tools that are needed. This type of merchant offer services such as colour matching and mixing to get a particular colour that is needed.

Some decorative merchants include:


What is a building materials supplier?

Suppliers provide and supply high quality products and services to the merchants and distributors. They can otherwise be known as manufacturers. Most items that you buy either online or in a shop will have been made by a manufacturer on a large scale and will involve a production line that will include many different workers.

If a supplier is to succeed it need to cover its cost and make a profit, meet the demands of consumers and make a product that people have interest in buying.

There are many diverse job roles within the sector of the industry click here to view potential careers.