Warehouses are a critical element in modern logistics and supply chain management. Without sufficient facilities across the country, it would be a significant challenge for companies to store their goods.
Getting started in warehousing may seem intimidating. Working in a warehouse has its pros and cons, just like any other job. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in warehousing but don’t know where to start, look no further.
Each warehouse is unique and may operate differently, so it’s important to research a company and its specific positions before applying. To help you start, we’ve compiled a list of seven types of warehousing jobs to consider if you want to break into this industry.
A general warehouse laborer will complete diverse tasks during their workday. Depending on the facility’s needs, laborers may find themselves working on packing goods, assisting with equipment maintenance, operating machinery or doing administrative tasks.
Other potential responsibilities include janitorial services or even errands for warehouse leaders. General laborers in a warehouse typically make around $28,500 annually.
2. Warehouse Clerk
Like a laborer, a clerk will complete various tasks that could change daily. These employees are sometimes called warehouse associates or workers and are considered jack-of-all-trades.
Clerks may unload or load trucks and ensure the warehouse has essential equipment to operate or assist the receiver with incoming shipments. They typically earn around $29,000 annually.
A receiver is responsible for receiving, storing and tracking incoming shipments to the warehouse. Receivers will open packages, organize and maintain inventory, ensure boxes are in good condition and help other employees find what they need.
Receivers must have strong communication and organizational skills and the ability to pay close attention to detail. They may perform various administrative tasks, such as filing, typing or answering phones. The average warehouse receiver makes around $30,000 annually.
4. Forklift Operator
In 2020, it was reported that employees missed around 17 days of work due to forklift accidents. Therefore, there is high demand for skilled operators in many warehouses.
Forklifts are especially important in large warehouses because they place goods in the right storage space and retrieve them when they need to be shipped. A forklift operator will typically earn around $31,000 annually.
5. Material Handler
A material handler will assist with picking, packing, shipping and handling inventory within a warehouse. They will sometimes also be asked to move stock around to optimize storage space, something every facility needs to focus on.
The job might include using cherry pickers, pallet trucks or other industrial equipment. A material handler will earn about $36,000 annually.
6. Lead Hand
The lead hand is a key position in a warehouse, responsible for directing and supervising other employees on the floor. They must ensure orders are fulfilled properly and shipments are sent on time. They also will work closely with the warehouse manager to ensure all operations are running smoothly. Lead hands can make around $36,500 annually.
7. Warehouse Manager
A warehouse manager has spent a lot of time in a facility, fulfilling various responsibilities and knowing the inner workings of a successful operation.
A manager must have decent experience in virtually all warehouse operations, from inventory control to shipping and receiving. They usually make around $56,000 annually because it’s considered a leadership position.
Remember that many warehouse positions offer overtime, so these salaries are not set in stone. Depending on the facility, you may earn more or less depending on your experience, physical abilities or other soft skills.
Launch Your Career in Warehousing
Warehousing plays a critical role in the U.S. economy, so it’s worth learning more about the industry and what types of jobs you can apply for.
Warehousing often requires some physical labor, such as being able to lift 50 pounds. If you have solid organizational, communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work on a team, this industry may be a good fit for you.
About the author
Rose Morrison is a construction writer with a passion for sustainable building and innovative construction technologies. She is the managing editor of Renovated and regularly contributes to a number of reputable sites, such as NCCER, The Safety Mag, and Geospatial World. For more from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.