As America’s supply chain continues to demand tighter timelines, the warehouse clerk tasked with tracking the products moving in and out of the growing number of facilities in the United States find themselves in demand with opportunities across the country. But what does a warehouse clerk do? 

Global internet access and the ever-increasing number of consumers making online shopping part of their lives is just a part of the demand for products driving logistics. The companies making those products also must have their parts shipped in a reliable and timely manner.  

What does a warehouse clerk do?

Warehouses employ a variety of clerks. These positions often include tasks related to shipping and receiving, inventory, and parts/products. Each position has subtle differences and job requirements will vary depending on the particular role. But there are core responsibilities for each across the board. 

Shipping and Receiving 

Shipping and receiving clerks are generally responsible for tasks like: 

  • Shipping orders 
  • Receiving deliveries 
  • Processing returns 
  • Carrier relations 
  • Order management 
  • Product management 
  • Customer service 

Some basic responsibilities for shipping and receiving clerks include: 

  • Knowing standard operating procedures (SOP) and enforcing them 
  • Management of material handlers 
  • Inbound and outbound delivery truck control (through logistics software)  
  • Bay assignments 
  • Maintaining the office 
  • Ensuring security and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance by all employees and delivery personnel 

For this position, required education is at least a high school diploma or GED with basic math skills and a year of warehouse or logistics experience that includes familiarity with necessary software. Experience with warehouse management systems (WMS) like SAP, Oracle, or Manugistics is a big help. 

Inventory Clerk 

An inventory control clerk is responsible for maintaining records of inventory and customer orders. They have similar skill requirements as shipping and receiving clerks. But this role specifically requires excellent communication skills and attention to detail because efficiency and cost controls demand it.  

Some of the responsibilities inventory clerks have include: 

  • Enter inventory data and make cycle count adjustments in the WMS  
  • Troubleshoot quantity discrepancies 
  • Collect product lot number and expiration date data 
  • Monitor all items with shelf-life 
  • Prepare reports 
  • Perform cycle counts and pick-list counts 
  • Participate in physical inventory 
  • Check shipping orders for accuracy.  

As with shipping and receiving clerks, an inventory clerk must have at least a high school diploma or GED with good math skills and a year of warehouse experience. Familiarity with a warehouse management system is preferred by most employers. 

Position Data 

A shipping and receiving or inventory clerk can find employment just about anywhere in the United States they would want to locate, with warehouses generally located near large population centers with good access to transportation, particularly interstate highways. Nationwide 795,360 people are employed as shipping/receiving or inventory clerks with a mean annual wage of $38,210. Warehousing and storage are responsible for 73,060 of these jobs at $37,720 annually, about 4.5% of all clerk jobs. 

California employs the most clerks in all sectors at 87,880 as of May 2021 with a mean annual wage of $41,080. The other states in the top five are Texas (78,960 and $35,800), Florida (42,970 and $35,510), Ohio (39,160 and $37,870) and Illinois (35,890 and $41,040). 

(All data is via the BLS)

How to get started as a warehouse clerk? Be sure you have your high school diploma or GED and apply to warehouse positions that are entry level to gain the needed experience. In this line of work, there is no substitute for on-the-job training in the hustle and bustle of a warehouse. These are jobs well-suited for those who like to stay moving throughout their workday and are organizationally minded as professionals essential to America’s supply chain. 


MarketStaff by LGC partners with clients to fill open positions in the retail and warehouse industries (especially open warehouse clerk positions). Apply today to find great, flexible gigs in your area.