If you’re interested in working in a warehouse, there are plenty of opportunities to break into this business. The warehouse and storage industry employs over half a million stockers, material handlers, and general laborers. The industry also has more than a quarter-million more advanced workers and nearly 14,000 manager positions.
If you want to break into this growing industry, you need to bolster your resume with relevant skills, certifications, and experiences. There are few qualifications for entry-level positions, but higher-paying jobs have many specific requirements.
Hand Laborers and Stockers
The entry-level positions in a warehouse are hand laborers, material movers, and stockers. They fulfill work orders by moving materials from storage to staging areas. These positions make an average of $14 an hour. Full-time and part-time work is available for warehouse workers.
The qualifications for an entry-level warehouse operative are minimal. There are no formal education requirements, and related work experience is favorable but not mandatory. The jobs require attention to detail and manual labor, so ensure you highlight relevant experiences in your application.
Material Moving Machine Operators
Warehouse machine operators work with forklifts and other equipment to move materials. Machine operators need to coordinate with others, quickly respond to a dynamic warehouse environment, and have general maintenance knowledge. Their average pay is $18.01 an hour, and they usually work full-time, sometimes including night shifts.
Machine operators need a high school degree but no college degree. This position requires material moving machine certifications. OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Standard 29 CFR 1910.178(l) dictates that employers ensure all machine operators are certified before operating machines.
Beyond machine certificates, machine operators need stress tolerance and time management. Your application materials should focus on these skills and any others listed in the job description.
Shipping, Receiving, and Inventory Clerks
Warehouse clerks verify and record incoming and outgoing shipments. They also arrange the transportation of products. They work closely with warehouse managers, machine operators, and hand laborers. Clerks earn $17 an hour on average.
To become a warehouse clerk, you’ll need a high school diploma. Work experience as a stocker or machine operator usually precedes advancement into this position. Each warehouse’s work environment is unique, so clerks train under their superiors for up to a year. Qualified applicants should be able to document information accurately and have strong communication skills.
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
Warehouse managers coordinate transportation, storage, and distribution activities per the company’s goals and government regulations. They are responsible for implementing safety programs and ensuring the integrity of storage structures and machines. On average, warehouse managers are paid $46.34 an hour.
The majority of warehouse manager positions require a bachelor’s degree. Multiple years of relevant work experience is also necessary to get a manager position. Warehouse managers act as liaisons between corporate managers and warehouse employees. They need strong communication skills, problem-solving ability, and leadership skills.
Warehouse managers are proficient in inventory management software, enterprise resource planning software, and supply chain software. There are certification opportunities for some of this software. For instance, the Association for Supply Chain Management offers the Supply Chain Professional certification.
Apply to Work in a Warehouse Today
The qualifications you need to work in a warehouse range from a high school diploma for entry-level jobs to formal education and software certifications for manager positions. No matter which job you apply for, fill your application materials with keywords related to the position and industry.
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