what is a warehouse worker?
Warehouse workers are part and parcel of most businesses, performing vital tasks daily. As a warehouse worker, you'll manage a significant portion of a company's inventory. For instance, you'll directly handle merchandise, stock shelves, and oversee shipments.
In general, warehouse worker roles include packing, unpacking, and shipping items. Thus, most organizations seek efficient and capable warehouse workers. Usually, a high school diploma is sufficient to land you a job in a warehouse. However, some companies prefer candidates with more education.
Experience requirements for warehouse positions vary; some need 1-2 years, while others desire 4-5 years, depending on the role. Since some organizations may be looking for a candidate familiar with inventory software, having this skill is valuable.
Would working as a warehouse worker suit your skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a warehouse worker role.view jobs near you
average warehouse worker salary
Would you like to know what a warehouse worker earns? Where the highest salaries are paid to a warehouse worker? Then check out this salary page and find out all about the salary of a warehouse worker in the USA.
types of warehouse worker
As a warehouse worker, you can fall under any of the following categories:
- receiver: As a receiver, you handle incoming shipments. Your responsibilities include verifying and documenting deliveries, signing off the shipment, and unloading them. You'll inspect for damages and count items to ensure accuracy.
warehouse associate: Since this is a versatile role, you may pick, pack, and load shipments and manage inventory. Duties could change daily based on warehouse needs.
- general labor: These individuals assist across various tasks, from maintenance to rearranging items. You might also clean or help move boxes and skids.
- warehouse manager: If you are experienced in shipping, receiving, and inventory, you could become a warehouse manager. In this role, you supervise teams and operate various warehouse vehicles.
- forklift operators: As a forklift operator, you move shipments and organize inventory from high shelves. It's necessary to have specific training.
- shipping and receiving: This role requires you to handle orders, oversee management tasks, ensure quality, and track and document shipments.
- material handler: In this role, you will operate forklifts, vehicles, motorized machines, and equipment. You stack, palletize, load machines, and use packaging equipment.
working as a warehouse worker
If you enjoy physical tasks over office work, warehouse jobs offer a fulfilling challenge. This field suits dedicated, driven individuals and offers interactions with diverse groups, which sparks intellectual engagement.
warehouse worker skills and education
Becoming a warehouse worker starts with obtaining a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED). Since it's an entry-level position, extensive work or education background is optional. On-the-job training is provided, and advancement to supervisory or managerial roles is possible.
- education: While a high school diploma or GED is often sufficient, pursuing an associate degree in logistics can enhance progression opportunities. This program covers inventory management, warehousing, procurement, and transportation.
- certification: Although not mandatory, specific certifications may be required for certain roles. They could also be advantageous for positions like warehouse or logistics managers. Popular certifications for warehouse workers include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Safety Certificate, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Amusement Operators Safety Certification, and Operator Certification.
- experience: As a newbie, you'll learn on the job as you handle tasks like loading/unloading and using equipment. Familiarizing yourself with warehouse operations readies you for more substantial responsibilities in the future.
skills and competencies
To excel as a warehouse worker, mastering several essential skills is crucial. So, before stepping into this role, it helps if you refine the following abilities:
- interpersonal skills: These "people skills" foster effective teamwork. Clear communication and attentive listening enable you to follow instructions and interact proficiently.
- time management skills: Thriving in fast-paced warehouses requires efficient movement and time usage.
- technical skills: Math and computer knowledge are valuable. You might use computers to update inventory and generate shipping labels.
- physical fitness: Being a warehouse worker demands physical stamina. You'll stand for long periods, handle machinery, and lift over 50 pounds.
- leadership skills: If you aspire to advance, display leadership potential. Also, perform tasks proactively to demonstrate commitment. Companies often prefer internal promotions, making good leadership skills an asset for higher roles like warehouse supervisor.
FAQs about working as a warehouse worker
Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about warehouse workers.