A sorter is responsible for categorizing items after the production process. Sorters duties include utilizing factory equipment to sort products efficiently, monitor and exclude defective items, maintain a clean and organized production area, assist in loading and unloading items, perform repairs on malfunctioning equipment, and examine inventories requesting necessary supplies, and adhering to the safety protocols and regulatory procedures. Sorters must have excellent time-management and multi-tasking skills, as well as in-depth product knowledge to classify items accordingly.

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Sorter Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real sorter resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Train and apply HAZWOPER program compliance through 29 CFR 1910.120. using full PPE including SCBA implementation.
  • Sort checks on a NCR 3890.
  • Process ATM transactions for off-site machines.
  • Prime trainer for Unisys and NCR proof machines.
  • Count, weigh, record, organize and sort DVDs.
  • Repair the DVD wrappings and re-label the DVDs if need.
  • Repackage broken orders and reprint labels using rf scan gun.
  • Encode all commercial & personal deposits and correct all discrepancies.
  • Used ability to troubleshoot and make minor repairs on machines.
  • Sort recycling and operate a front loading bobcat and forklift.
  • Perform work at the central hub loading trailers and sorting packages.
  • Perform online and offline processing of MICR documents to meet very strict deadlines.
  • Operate a forklift in order to separate and recycle debris, metals and other material.
  • Sort and scan packages to be ship from the central hub location to individual posts.
  • Sort letters for USPS delivery, packaging, operate machinery producing mails, retrieved/stock materials, inventory, and station clean-up.

Sorter Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, sorter jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a sorter?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of sorter opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 156,200.

Sorters average about $15.13 an hour, which makes the sorter annual salary $31,465. Additionally, sorters are known to earn anywhere from $24,000 to $39,000 a year. This means that the top-earning sorters make $18,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a sorter. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an agriculture labour, potato inspector, package handler, and apple inspector.

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Sorter Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 35% of Sorters are proficient in Warehouse Environment, Industrial Trucks, and Customer Orders. They’re also known for soft skills such as Hand-eye coordination, Listening skills, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Sorters that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Warehouse Environment, 35%

    Warehouse environment, responsible for electronically scanning and loading packages neatly onto boxed trailers after sorting for various destinations.

  • Industrial Trucks, 21%

    Operate industrial trucks, tractors, loaders, and other equipment to transport packages to and from transportation vehicles.

  • Customer Orders, 6%

    Used computer to access inventory, print correct labels, and prepare customer orders each day.

  • Recyclable Materials, 5%

    Captured recyclable containers and recyclable material from a moving conveyor belt

  • Stand-Up Forklift, 5%

    Company trained to use a powered pallet jack and stand-up forklifts to unload semi trailers.

  • Aided Design, 4%

    Computer-aided design, photography, and website upload/design.

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"warehouse environment," "industrial trucks," and "customer orders" aren't the only skills we found sorters list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of sorter responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a sorter to have in this position are hand-eye coordination. In this excerpt that we gathered from a sorter resume, you'll understand why: "most hand laborers and material movers use their arms and hands to manipulate objects or move objects into specific positions." According to resumes we found, hand-eye coordination can be used by a sorter in order to "worked as team to process usps priority mail used data entry in coordination with package handling"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling sorter duties is listening skills. According to a sorter resume, "hand laborers and material movers follow instructions that a supervisor gives them." Here's an example of how sorters are able to utilize listening skills: "inspected packages for damages and hazardous materials, and communicated to supervisors on progress. "
  • Physical stamina is also an important skill for sorters to have. This example of how sorters use this skill comes from a sorter resume, "hand laborers and material movers need the endurance to perform strenuous tasks, such as moving or cleaning objects, throughout the day." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "followed supervisor's direction and possessed stamina and ability to load, unload and sort packages"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "physical strength" is important to completing sorter responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way sorters use this skill: "some hand laborers and material movers must be able to lift and carry heavy objects." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical sorter tasks: "skilled and physically fit individual who is able to perform all tasks of a package handling job. "
  • As part of the sorter description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "customer-service skills." A sorter resume included this snippet: "hand laborers and material movers who work with the public, such as grocery baggers or carwash attendants, must be pleasant and courteous to customers." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "sorted customer packages by zip code and prepared them for transportation to final destination. "
  • See the full list of sorter skills.

    The sorters who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and general studies, while a small population of sorters studied criminal justice and medical assisting services.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a sorter. We've found that most sorter resumes include experience from FedEx, Amazon, and Rehrig Pacific. Of recent, FedEx had 10,337 positions open for sorters. Meanwhile, there are 6,912 job openings at Amazon and 54 at Rehrig Pacific.

    Since salary is important to some sorters, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Steel Dynamics, Seneca Foods, and Jubilee Ministries. If you were to take a closer look at Steel Dynamics, you'd find that the average sorter salary is $41,991. Then at Seneca Foods, sorters receive an average salary of $40,971, while the salary at Jubilee Ministries is $39,795.

    View more details on sorter salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire sorters from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include FedEx, UPS, and Fort Gordon.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious sorters are:

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    What Agriculture Labours Do

    A package handler's primary duty is to place and load correct packages to delivery vehicles and review inventory upon shipments. Package handlers are responsible for analyzing product labels to make sure that the items are accurately processed. A package handler should also have basic knowledge on running warehouse equipment and loading tools to finish the task more efficiently. Package handlers must be able to communicate with other personnel for any concerns that might affect the parcel condition and customer's satisfaction.

    In this section, we compare the average sorter annual salary with that of an agriculture labour. Typically, agriculture labours earn a $3,620 lower salary than sorters earn annually.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A sorter responsibility is more likely to require skills like "warehouse environment," "industrial trucks," "customer orders," and "powered industrial trucks." Whereas a agriculture labour requires skills like "strong work ethic," "farm equipment," "physical labor," and "milking." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Agriculture labours really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $31,131. Whereas sorters tend to make the most money in the transportation industry with an average salary of $36,377.

    On average, agriculture labours reach similar levels of education than sorters. Agriculture labours are 0.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Potato Inspector?

    The next role we're going to look at is the potato inspector profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $13,748 higher salary than sorters per year.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, sorter responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "warehouse environment," "industrial trucks," "customer orders," and "powered industrial trucks." Meanwhile, a potato inspector might be skilled in areas such as "usda," "diagnostic tests," "conduct surveys," and "foreign materials." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On the topic of education, potato inspectors earn higher levels of education than sorters. In general, they're 10.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Package Handler Compares

    The third profession we take a look at is package handler. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than sorters. In fact, they make a $1,320 higher salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several sorters and package handlers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "warehouse environment," "industrial trucks," and "powered industrial trucks," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a sorter is likely to be skilled in "customer orders," "recyclable materials," "aided design," and "electric pallet jack," while a typical package handler is skilled in "load trailers," "load packages," "supply support," and "rf."

    Package handlers make a very good living in the retail industry with an average annual salary of $38,714. Whereas sorters are paid the highest salary in the transportation industry with the average being $36,377.

    Package handlers typically study at similar levels compared with sorters. For example, they're 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Apple Inspector

    Apple inspectors tend to earn a higher pay than sorters by about $7,413 per year.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a sorter might have more use for skills like "warehouse environment," "industrial trucks," "customer orders," and "powered industrial trucks." Meanwhile, some apple inspectors might include skills like "usda," "macos," "cnc," and "graders" on their resume.

    In general, apple inspectors reach similar levels of education when compared to sorters resumes. Apple inspectors are 0.9% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.