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Become A Loading Dock Hand

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Working As A Loading Dock Hand

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Deal with People

  • Stressful

  • $36,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Loading Dock Hand Do

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

Duties

Hand laborers and material movers typically do the following:

  • Manually move material from one place to another
  • Pack or wrap products by hand
  • Keep a record of the material they move
  • Signal machine operators who help move material
  • Clean cars, equipment, and workplaces

In warehouses and wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, where they load material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment wash automobiles and other vehicles, as well as storage tanks, pipelines, and related machinery. They use cleaning products, vacuums, hoses, and brushes. Most of these workers clean cars at a car wash, an automobile dealership, or a rental agency. Some clean industrial equipment at manufacturing firms. Some—for example, those who work at a car wash—interact with customers.

Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers move materials to and from storage and production areas, loading docks, delivery trucks, ships, and containers. Although their specific duties may vary, most of these movers, often called pickers, work in warehouses. Some workers retrieve products from storage and move them to loading areas. Other workers load and unload cargo from a truck. When moving a package, pickers keep track of the package number, sometimes with a hand-held scanner, to ensure proper delivery. Sometimes they open containers and sort the material.

Hand packers and packagers package a variety of materials by hand. They may label cartons, inspect items for defects, and keep records of items packed. Some of these workers pack materials for shipment and move them to a loading dock. Many hand packers are employed by grocery stores, where they bag groceries for customers at checkout.

Machine feeders and offbearers process materials by feeding them into equipment or by removing them from equipment. The equipment is generally operated by other workers, such as material moving machine operators. Machine feeders and offbearers help the operator if the machine becomes jammed or needs minor repairs. Machine feeders track the amount of material they process during a shift.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Many collectors lift garbage cans by hand and empty them into their truck. Some collectors drive the garbage or recycling truck along a scheduled route. When collecting materials from a dumpster, drivers use a hydraulic lift to empty the contents of the dumpster into their truck.

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How To Become A Loading Dock Hand

Formal education is not usually required to become a hand laborer or material mover. Employers typically require only that applicants be physically able to perform the work.

Education

There are no formal education requirements to become a hand laborer or material mover.

Training

Most positions for hand laborers and material movers require less than 1 month of on-the-job training. Some workers need only a few days of training, and most training is done by a supervisor or a more experienced worker who decides when trainees are ready to work on their own.

Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Refuse and recyclable material collectors who drive trucks that exceed a certain capacity—such as vehicles with the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo exceeding 26,000 pounds—must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Obtaining a CDL requires passing written, skill, and vision tests.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Hand laborers and material movers who work with the public, such as grocery baggers or car wash attendants, must be pleasant and courteous to customers.

Hand–eye coordination. Most hand laborers and material movers use their arms and hands to manipulate objects or move objects into specific positions.

Listening skills. Hand laborers and material movers follow instructions that a supervisor gives them.

Physical stamina. Hand laborers and material movers need the endurance to perform strenuous tasks, such as moving or cleaning objects, throughout the day.

Physical strength. Some workers must be able to lift and carry heavy objects.

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Average Length of Employment
Dock Associate 2.1 years
Dock Worker 2.1 years
Hand Trucker 2.1 years
Loading Dock Hand 2.0 years
Ship Dock 1.9 years
Dock Loader 1.8 years
Dock Hand 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Loading Dock Hand
Cashier 13.8%
Driver 6.3%
Sorter 3.8%
Cook 3.1%
Assembler 3.1%
Manager 3.1%
Assistant 3.1%
Stocker 2.5%
Welder 2.5%
Top Careers After Loading Dock Hand
Cashier 7.5%
Driver 5.5%
Operator 4.5%
Cook 4.0%
Assembler 4.0%
Cleaner 3.0%
Associate 3.0%

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Top Skills for A Loading Dock Hand

  1. Tractor Trailers
  2. Pallet Jack
  3. Delivery Trucks
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Unloaded and loaded tractor trailers on timely matter.
  • Operated powered lift truck, pallet jacks and forklifts safely, with a 0% incident rate.
  • Unload wood and other materials from forklift to delivery trucks and racks.
  • Cleaned up spilled food, drink and broken dishes, and removed empty bottles and trash.
  • Obtain, move, and sort products, materials, containers, and orders, using hand tools.

Loading Dock Hand Demographics

Gender

Male

71.9%

Female

18.3%

Unknown

9.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Swedish

25.0%

French

25.0%

Loading Dock Hand Education

Schools

Calhoun Community College

8.6%

Houston Community College

8.6%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

Lincoln Technical Institute

5.7%

Central Texas College

5.7%

Remington College

5.7%

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

5.7%

Northwest Lineman College

5.7%

Rowan College at Gloucester County

5.7%

Porter and Chester Institute

5.7%

Benedict College

5.7%

Everest University-Jacksonville

5.7%

University of Southern Maine

2.9%

University of Northern Colorado

2.9%

Lewis-Clark State College

2.9%

Arkansas Northeastern College

2.9%

Central Community College

2.9%

Richland Community College

2.9%

College of Western Idaho

2.9%

University of Houston

2.9%
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Majors

Business

22.9%

Criminal Justice

9.4%

General Studies

8.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.3%

Medical Assisting Services

5.2%

Computer Technical Support

4.2%

Computer Science

4.2%

Automotive Technology

4.2%

Education

4.2%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Accounting

3.1%

Health And Wellness

3.1%

Chemical Engineering

3.1%

English

3.1%

History

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Nursing

3.1%

Management

2.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

59.4%

Associate

17.4%

Bachelors

10.3%

Certificate

7.1%

Masters

2.6%

Diploma

2.6%

License

0.6%
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Top Loading Dock Hand Employers

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Loading Dock Hand Videos

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Forklift drives off loading dock!

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