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Become A Material Handler/Warehouse

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Working As A Material Handler/Warehouse

  • 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

  • $25,480

    Average Salary

What Does A Material Handler/Warehouse 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/Warehouse

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/Warehouse jobs

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Material Handler/Warehouse Career Paths

Material Handler/Warehouse
Truck Driver Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Delivery Driver Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Quality Assurance Technician Production Supervisor
Distribution Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Lead Warehouse Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Security Officer Technician
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Custodian Operations Manager Owner
Owner/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Lead Warehouse Manager General Manager
Owner/Operator
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Technician Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Dispatcher Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Supervisor Receiving Clerk
Receiving Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Supervisor Shipping Supervisor
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Production Supervisor Warehouse Supervisor
Shipping Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Material Handler/Forklift Operator Truck Driver Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Custodian Operator Foreman
Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Material Handler/Forklift Operator Operator Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Warehouse Foreman 4.0 years
Warehouseman 3.4 years
Warehouse Lead 3.3 years
Stock Handler 3.0 years
Material Processor 2.8 years
Warehouse/Driver 2.8 years
Warehouse Shipper 2.8 years
Forklift Driver 2.6 years
Forklift Operator 2.6 years
Warehouse Clerk 2.5 years
Material Handler 2.4 years
General Warehouse 2.3 years
Warehouse Loader 2.1 years
Handle Assembler 2.0 years
Warehouse Worker 1.8 years
Warehouse Employee 1.8 years
Warehouse Labour 1.8 years
Can Handler 1.7 years
Freight Handler 1.7 years
Warehouse Stocker 1.6 years
Warehouse Helper 1.5 years
Warehouse Packer 1.4 years
Warehouse Picker 1.1 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 4.4%
Driver 3.0%
Associate 2.2%
Top Employers After
Driver 5.0%
Cashier 4.0%
Assembler 3.4%
Cleaner 2.3%

Material Handler/Warehouse Demographics

Gender

Male

79.2%

Female

18.4%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

79.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.8%

French

11.5%

German

7.7%

Carrier

7.7%

Portuguese

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Yoruba

3.8%

Japanese

3.8%

Korean

3.8%
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Material Handler/Warehouse Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.8%

Trident Technical College

7.8%

National Institute of Technology

5.9%

Arkansas State University

5.9%

Cuyahoga Community College

5.9%

Utah State University

5.9%

University of Kansas

5.9%

American InterContinental University

5.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.9%

Jacksonville State University

3.9%

Remington College

3.9%

Pensacola State College

3.9%

College of Wooster

3.9%

Valdosta State University

3.9%

Eastern Oregon University

3.9%

Vincennes University

3.9%

Union County College

3.9%

Kent State University

3.9%

Wichita Area Technical College

3.9%

The Academy

3.9%
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Majors

Business

19.1%

General Studies

8.4%

Criminal Justice

8.4%

Computer Science

7.9%

Liberal Arts

5.6%

Automotive Technology

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

4.5%

Management

3.9%

Education

3.9%

Supply Chain Management

3.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.9%

Nursing

3.4%

Pharmacy

3.4%

Communication

3.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.4%

Kinesiology

2.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Precision Metal Working

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Information Technology

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

50.2%

Bachelors

18.9%

Associate

15.1%

Certificate

9.6%

Diploma

3.4%

Masters

2.1%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Material Handler/Warehouse

SafetyPracticesStorageAreasMaterialHandlersDeliveryTrucksElectricPalletJackProceduresInventoryControlRawMaterialsCycleCountsDataEntryLoadTrucksRFHandTrucksAssemblyLineCustomerServiceCustomerOrdersTemporaryFedexSortProperLocation

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Top Material Handler/Warehouse Skills

  1. Safety Practices
  2. Storage Areas
  3. Material Handlers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain equipment storage areas to ensure that inventory is.
  • Coordinate with a crew of 6 Material Handlers to reach and exceed nightly company goals.
  • Loaded Priority and first class mail on designated trucks using a forklift and electric pallet jack.
  • Determine shipping method for materials, using knowledge of shipping procedures, routes, and rates.
  • Job scheduling, receiving, data entry, inventory control, ordering and distribution of packaging and/or supplies.

Top Material Handler/Warehouse Employers

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