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Become A General Merchandise Clerk

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Working As A General Merchandise Clerk

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $24,511

    Average Salary

What Does A General Merchandise Clerk Do

Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.

Duties

Material recording clerks typically do the following:

  • Keep records of items shipped, received, or transferred to another location
  • Compile reports on various aspects of changes in production or inventory
  • Find, sort, or move goods between different parts of the business
  • Check inventory records for accuracy

Material recording clerks use computers, tablets, or hand-held devices to keep track of inventory. Sensors and tags enable these computers to automatically detect when and where products are moved, allowing clerks to keep updated reports without manually counting items.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks manage the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices in a business. They compile reports on the progress of work and on any production problems that arise. These clerks set workers’ schedules, estimate costs, keep track of materials, and write special orders for new materials. They perform general office tasks, such as entering data or distributing mail. Expediting clerks maintain contact with vendors to ensure that supplies and equipment are shipped on time.

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks keep track of and record outgoing and incoming shipments. Clerks may scan barcodes with hand-held devices or use radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners to keep track of inventory. They check if shipment orders were correctly processed in their company’s computer system. They also compute freight costs and prepare invoices. Some clerks move goods from the warehouse to the loading dock.

Stock clerks and order fillers receive, unpack, and track merchandise. Stock clerks move products from a warehouse to store shelves. They keep a record of items that enter or leave the stockroom and inspect for damaged goods. These clerks also use hand-held scanners to keep track of merchandise. Order fillers retrieve customer orders and prepare them to be shipped.

Material and product inspecting clerks weigh, measure, check, sample, and keep records on materials, supplies, and equipment that enters a warehouse. They verify the quantity and quality of items they are assigned to examine, checking for defects and recording what they find. They use scales, counting devices, and calculators. Some workers decide what to do about a defective product, such as to scrap it or send it back to the factory to be repaired. Some clerks also prepare reports, such as reports about warehouse inventory levels.

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How To Become A General Merchandise Clerk

Material recording clerks usually need to have a high school diploma and are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements for stock clerks and order fillers.

Education

Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks need to have basic knowledge of computer applications such as spreadsheet software.

There are no formal education requirements for stock clerks and order fillers.

Training

Material recording clerks usually learn to do their work on the job. Training for most material recording clerks may last less than a month. Production, planning, and expediting clerks’ training can take several months.

Typically, a supervisor or more experienced worker trains new clerks.

Material recording clerks first learn to count stock and mark inventory and then move onto more difficult tasks, such as recordkeeping. Production clerks need to learn how their company operates before they can write production and work schedules.

Advancement

With additional training or education, material recording clerks may advance to other positions within their firm, such as purchasing agent. Clerks in retail establishments can move into the sales department.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Production, planning, and expediting clerks are frequently in contact with suppliers, vendors, and production managers and need to be able to communicate the firm’s scheduling needs effectively.

Customer-service skills. Stock clerks sometimes interact with customers in retail stores and may have to get the item the customer is looking for from the storeroom.

Detail oriented. Material and product inspecting clerks check items for defects, some of which are small and difficult to spot.

Math skills. Some material recording clerks use math to calculate shipping costs or take measurements.

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General Merchandise Clerk jobs

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General Merchandise Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

52.8%

Male

45.9%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

76.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.0%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.1%

Japanese

7.4%

French

7.4%

Cantonese

3.7%

German

1.9%

Irish

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Braille

1.9%

Bosnian

1.9%

Mandarin

1.9%

Tagalog

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Ojibwe

1.9%

Italian

1.9%
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General Merchandise Clerk Education

Schools

Ferris State University

10.1%

University of Phoenix

7.3%

Lansing Community College

6.7%

Palomar College

6.7%

Sinclair Community College

5.6%

Central Michigan University

5.6%

Grand Rapids Community College

5.1%

Orange Coast College

5.1%

Columbus State Community College

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.5%

California State University - San Bernardino

4.5%

Davenport University

4.5%

Western Michigan University

4.5%

College of the Canyons

3.9%

Grand Valley State University

3.9%

California State University - Fullerton

3.4%

Wayne State University

3.4%

University of Toledo

3.4%

Victor Valley College

3.4%

Mt San Antonio College

3.4%
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Majors

Business

23.4%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

Psychology

7.5%

Accounting

6.3%

General Studies

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

4.4%

Communication

4.4%

Computer Science

4.2%

Marketing

4.2%

Health Care Administration

3.6%

Pharmacy

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Nursing

3.2%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Management

3.0%

Information Technology

3.0%

English

2.6%

Human Development

2.4%

Fine Arts

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.6%

Other

31.6%

Associate

17.8%

Certificate

5.3%

Masters

3.6%

Diploma

2.2%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A General Merchandise Clerk

CustomerServiceSkillsStockShelvesSalesFloorSafetyProductDisplaysMerchandiseClerkProperInventoryControlBakeryDeliEnsureCustomerSatisfactionCompanyPoliciesElectronicsDepartmentCustomerQuestionsPhoneCallsBackRoomMeijerLossPreventionProductKnowledgeStockProductCommunicationSkills

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Top General Merchandise Clerk Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. Stock Shelves
  3. Sales Floor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service skills throughout early tenure resulting in promotion to General Merchandise Clerk.
  • Assist customers, run cash registers, stock shelves, unload deliveries, collect carts, and general cleaning duties.
  • Drive sales by quickly and accurately transferring products onto the sales floor to their respective product location based on store schematics.
  • Handled products and equipment in accordance with safety and sanitation guidelines.
  • Build product displays, ensure proper fronting of products.

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