What Does a Shipping Clerk Do?

If the idea of working in a warehouse or manufacturing environment appeals to you, consider a job as a shipping clerk. You'll be responsible for processing a company's outgoing deliveries. Read on to learn more about what a shipping clerk does. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a shipping clerk, you'll be responsible for monitoring the merchandise leaving a company's warehouse. This could include creating shipping documents, such as invoices and purchase orders, and pulling inventory from the shelves. Once an order has been filled, you're responsible for monitoring each shipment to make sure that outgoing packages are packed correctly and accurately. You may then need to print shipping labels, schedule pick-ups, and ensure that each package has the proper postage. You also perform inventory control and track a shipment's delivery status. Some positions require you to complete all of these tasks quickly enough to meet a company's production quotas. You may have to use scanners, postage machines, scales, and, in some cases, a forklift to perform these job duties.

Important Facts About Shipping Clerks

Key Skills Reading comprehension, multitasking, critical thinking, coordination
Work Environment Office and warehouse setting
On-the-job Training Up to 6 months
Similar Occupations Material recording clerk, delivery truck driver, office clerk

Qualifications and Experience

Typically, shipping clerk jobs are entry-level positions open to applicants with a high school diploma. However, some employers look for shipping clerks with experience ranging anywhere from six months to five years. Other employers are willing to train new hires, but a general knowledge of invoices and packing slips could be helpful.

Knowledge of computer applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel is also important. Additionally, communication and basic math skills are skills held by shipping clerks. Some companies may require you to have additional experience with private couriers' shipping software. You should be prepared to stand for long periods, move around often, and lift items repeatedly. While most employers require solid references, a few also conduct criminal background checks and drug screenings.

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median annual wage for shipping, receiving and traffic clerks was $29,930 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities for these positions is expected to grow little (about 3%) if at all during the 2014-2024 decade, per the BLS.

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