Material Handler Careers

Material handlers, well, they handle materials. But you probably already knew that. Generally, the handling portion extends to moving, shelving, loading and unloading said materials. The materials can vary depending on what industry you're working in.

Materials aren't just shipped on a 9-5 schedule. The materials will arrive at any time of the day or night. So you may need to be prepared to work some overnight shifts. As a material handler, the only requirement to the job is being able to physically perform your job duties. So as long as you can do that, you won't have any problems handling material.

What Does a Material Handler 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.

Learn more about what a Material Handler does

How To Become a Material Handler

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 Salary
$28,822
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
163,362
Job Openings

Material Handler Career Paths

Top Careers Before Material Handler

Cashier
15.9 %

Top Careers After Material Handler

Cashier
8.0 %

Material Handler Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Material Handler

Material Handlers in America make an average salary of $28,822 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $34,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average Salary
$28,822
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities For Material Handlers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Everett, WA
Salary Range31k - 38k$35k$34,970
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range30k - 37k$34k$33,592
Portland, OR
Salary Range30k - 36k$33k$33,204
Reno, NV
Salary Range28k - 35k$32k$32,065
Denver, CO
Salary Range28k - 36k$32k$31,940
Richmond, CA
Salary Range28k - 35k$32k$31,926
Cedar Rapids, IA
Salary Range27k - 34k$31k$31,070
Kansas City, KS
Salary Range26k - 34k$31k$30,534
Billings, MT
Salary Range27k - 33k$30k$30,435
Allentown, PA
Salary Range25k - 33k$30k$29,686
Portland, ME
Salary Range26k - 32k$30k$29,625
Kansas City, MO
Salary Range25k - 33k$29k$29,436
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary Range25k - 33k$29k$29,409
Plainfield, IL
Salary Range25k - 32k$29k$29,129
Indianapolis, IN
Salary Range25k - 33k$29k$29,069
Columbus, OH
Salary Range24k - 32k$28k$28,440
Frederick, MD
Salary Range24k - 32k$28k$28,202
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range24k - 32k$28k$27,993
El Paso, TX
Salary Range22k - 30k$26k$26,148
Knoxville, TN
Salary Range22k - 29k$26k$25,561
$22k
$38k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Material Handler
Pentair
08/31/2021
$40,69708/31/2021
Adecco
Charlotte NC 7Amshift Material Handler
Adecco
08/31/2021
$20,87008/31/2021
Adecco
Memphis, TN Material Handler
Adecco
08/31/2021
$29,21808/31/2021
Alfa Laval
Material Handler 1St. Shift
Alfa Laval
08/31/2021
$31,30508/31/2021
Material Handler
Tradesmen International
08/31/2021
$31,30508/31/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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Material Handler Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Material Handler. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Material Handler Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Material Handler resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Material Handler Resume Examples And Templates

Material Handler Demographics

Gender

male

67.1 %

female

28.7 %

unknown

4.2 %

Ethnicity

White

64.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.0 %

Black or African American

12.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

77.2 %

French

5.9 %

Carrier

2.4 %
Show More Material Handler Demographics

Material Handler Education

Majors

Business
26.0 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

50.6 %

Associate

17.0 %

Bachelors

13.9 %
Show More Material Handler Education Requirements

Online Courses For Material Handler That You May Like

Fundamentals of Logistics, Supply Chain & Customer Service
udemy
4.5
(870)

Learn Logistics, Supply Chain and Customer Service. 3 Courses in 1...

Customer Service Mastery: Delight Every Customer
udemy
4.6
(10,016)

Master Customer Service using this practical customer care course...

SAP Customer Service (CS/SM) - Service Management module
udemy
4.5
(515)

Real World SAP CS and SD, Repair Orders, Service Orders, Service Contracts...

Show More Material Handler Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Material Handler

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 6.4% of material handlers listed forklifts on their resume, but soft skills such as hand–eye coordination and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Material Handler

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a material handler. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, and Minnesota. Material handlers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $37,657. Whereas in Washington and Hawaii, they would average $34,836 and $33,585, respectively. While material handlers would only make an average of $33,570 in Minnesota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Wisconsin

Total Material Handler Jobs:
1,564
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Minnesota

Total Material Handler Jobs:
1,281
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Material Handler Jobs:
499
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Material Handlers

How Do Material Handler Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Parts for refineryOctober 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoParts for refineryOctober 2019

What do you like the most about working as Material Handler?

Learning where the parts are for such as the refinery. Nuts and bolts are used for. Washers, flanges and pipes are connected to. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Not being able to learn where every part goes to. For instance parts that go to a furnace, train, or a converter. Show More

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Top Material Handler Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ material handlers and discovered their number of material handler opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that FedEx was the best, especially with an average salary of $29,974. McKesson follows up with an average salary of $30,397, and then comes Kelly Services with an average of $29,691. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a material handler. The employers include Knoll, Safari Solutions, and None

Material Handler Videos

Updated August 18, 2021