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.

Learn More About How To Become a Material Handler

Material Handler Career Paths

Average Salary for a Material Handler

Material Handlers in America make an average salary of $33,215 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Material Handler Salary
$33,215 Yearly
$15.97 hourly

What Am I Worth?

How To Become a Material Handler
How To Become a Material Handler Career Overview

States With The Most Material Handler Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active material handler jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where material handlers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Material Handler Jobs By State

Material Handler Education

Material Handler Majors

26.0 %

Material Handler Degrees

High School Diploma

50.6 %


17.0 %


13.9 %

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, 12.5% of material handlers listed pallets on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and listening skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Material Handler Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Material Handler templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Material Handler resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Material Handler Demographics

Material Handler Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among material handlers, 22.4% of them are women, while 77.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among material handlers is White, which makes up 62.0% of all material handlers.

  • The most common foreign language among material handlers is Spanish at 77.2%.

Online Courses For Material Handler That You May Like

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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 Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, and Massachusetts. Material handlers make the most in Minnesota with an average salary of $38,144. Whereas in Wisconsin and Washington, they would average $37,294 and $36,638, respectively. While material handlers would only make an average of $36,368 in Massachusetts, 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:
Location Quotient:

2. Minnesota

Total Material Handler Jobs: 1,281
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. North Dakota

Total Material Handler Jobs: 167
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Material Handlers

How Do Material Handler Rate Their Jobs?

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Parts for refineryOctober 2019


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

Most Common Employers For Material Handler

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
3XPO Logistics$36,530$17.56540

Material Handler Videos

Becoming a Material Handler FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Material Handler?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a material handler. That is the time it takes to learn specific material handler skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

How Much Money Does A Material Handler Make?

A material handler makes $29,028 a year ($13.96 an hour). The range, however, can be as high as $84,000 a year to as low as $18,500 a year. Factors such as the location of the position, number of years of experience, and the type of material hanger position all impact the earning potential of material handlers.

What Is Material Handling Experience?

Material handling experience means experience related to the movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

What's Another Word For Material Handler?

Another word for a material handler is a package handler. However, many different words are used by companies to describe the role of a material handler.

In its essence, a material handler is paid to move materials - be it in a building or from a vehicle to a building. Material handlers work throughout many supply chains, including manufacturing and production, shipping and storage, and customer receiving.

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