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Become A Material Handler

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Working As A Material Handler

  • 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

  • $25,260

    Average Salary

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.

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 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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Material Handler jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Warehouseman 3.4 years
Shipper Receiver 3.3 years
Stock Handler 3.0 years
Material Processor 2.8 years
Material Movers 2.8 years
Cargo Handler 2.7 years
Forklift Driver 2.6 years
Forklift Operator 2.6 years
General Warehouse 2.3 years
Ship Dock 2.1 years
Material Handler 2.0 years
Handle Assembler 2.0 years
Shipping 1.9 years
Warehouse Labour 1.8 years
Warehouse Worker 1.8 years
Warehouse Employee 1.8 years
Can Handler 1.7 years
Freight Handler 1.7 years
Loader/Unloader 1.6 years
Package Handler 1.2 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 10.5%
Cook 3.6%
Assembler 3.2%
Driver 2.9%
Supervisor 2.7%
Top Employers After
Cashier 5.1%
Driver 4.5%
Operator 3.6%
Technician 3.4%
Assembler 3.3%
Supervisor 2.8%

Material Handler Demographics

Gender

Male

74.1%

Female

24.2%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

79.7%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.6%

French

5.3%

Carrier

3.1%

Hmong

2.3%

German

2.3%

Arabic

1.8%

Portuguese

1.7%

Tagalog

1.3%

Japanese

1.2%

Russian

0.8%

Italian

0.8%

Filipino

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Swedish

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Khmer

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Somali

0.4%

Hindi

0.3%
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Material Handler Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

11.6%

University of Memphis

7.6%

Kaplan University

5.0%

Ashford University

4.7%

Trident Technical College

4.7%

Strayer University

4.6%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.5%

Liberty University

4.2%

Remington College

4.0%

Greenville Technical College

3.7%

Concorde Career College

3.3%

Houston Community College

3.2%

The Academy

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.0%

Grand Rapids Community College

2.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.9%

Henry Ford College

2.7%

Northwest Mississippi Community College

2.7%

Hinds Community College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.2%

General Studies

9.3%

Criminal Justice

8.5%

Computer Science

5.3%

Automotive Technology

4.3%

Accounting

4.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Precision Metal Working

3.3%

Information Technology

3.2%

Management

3.2%

Nursing

3.1%

Psychology

3.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Education

2.9%

Communication

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%
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Degrees

Other

46.8%

Associate

19.1%

Bachelors

18.6%

Certificate

8.7%

Diploma

3.7%

Masters

2.5%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Material Handler Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Material Handler Manager Morristown Shredder Inc. DBA Morristown Iron & Met Morristown, TN Jan 14, 2015 $52,354
Movers/Material Handlers The Garden Cottage Inc. Fairfield, NJ Apr 01, 2016 $38,505
Material Handlers Jordan River Moving LLC Kirkland, WA Apr 01, 2016 $34,853
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving Co Inc. Somerville, MA Mar 01, 2016 $33,225
Material Handler Stairhopper Movers LLC MA Mar 01, 2016 $33,225
Material Handler Stairhopper Movers LLC MA Mar 01, 2014 $32,077
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving Co Inc. MA Feb 25, 2014 $32,077
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving Co Inc. MA Feb 25, 2015 $31,931
Material Handler Stairhopper Movers LLC MA Mar 01, 2015 $31,931
Material Handlers Jordan River Moving LLC WA Jun 01, 2015 $29,656
Material Handler State Road Builders Supply PA Apr 01, 2012 $28,842
Material Handler Eagle Van Lines Inc. MD Apr 01, 2015 $27,924
Material Handler Executive Moving Systems Inc. VA May 14, 2013 $27,569
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving (Dc), LLC (Dc) VA Mar 15, 2016 $27,319
Material Handler Executive Moving Systems Inc. VA Apr 07, 2014 $25,127
Material Handler Executive Moving Systems Inc. DC Apr 07, 2014 $25,127
Material Handler Seaside Party Celebrations, LLC MA May 01, 2011 $25,023
Material Handler Stairhopper Movers LLC MA Mar 01, 2012 $24,898
Material Handler Stairhopper Movers LLC MA Mar 01, 2011 $22,957
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving Co Inc. MA Feb 25, 2013 $22,832
Material Handlers Supa Doors, Inc. TX Mar 20, 2014 $22,373
Material Handler Home Services of Camden, Inc. AR Feb 18, 2015 $22,289
Material Handler PAU Construction Brownsville, TX Jan 08, 2016 $21,621
Material Handler Apple Valley Waste Services, Inc. Hagerstown, MD May 01, 2016 $20,870
Material Handler Safe Movers Inc. MA Apr 01, 2012 $20,745
Material Handler Gentle Giant Moving Co Inc. MA Feb 27, 2012 $20,745
Material Handler PAU Construction TX Jan 01, 2015 $20,411
Material Handler Home Services of Camden, Inc. AR Mar 01, 2013 $20,119

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Top Skills for A Material Handler

DifferentDepartmentsElectricPalletJackSafetyProceduresDeliveryVehiclesForkliftOperationRFScannerLoadTrucksAssemblyLineInventoryControlRawMaterialsSortPackageCustomerServiceCycleCountsDataEntryCustomerOrdersHandTrucksStorageAreasHandToolsFedex

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Top Material Handler Skills

  1. Different Departments
  2. Electric Pallet Jack
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • SAP generates transfer orders for preparation of kits for distribution to different departments upon planner's request, using SAP.
  • Utilize RF Scanner, forklift and electric pallet jacks to pick items, and move product from storage locations to shipping
  • Followed appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  • Load and unload packages onto or from delivery vehicles, trailers, conveyor system carts and load gratings.
  • Multifaceted experience in forklift operation and warehousing as a result of four full seasons with the BLM.

Top Material Handler Employers

Material Handler Videos

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Material Handler Safety

Cat® MH3037 Material Handler Safety Walkaround

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