There are around 671,780 shipping clerks in the US.Shipping clerks work in warehouses, storage depots, ports, and fulfillment centers.
If you're interested in working as a shipping clerk, most positions are entry-level with no previous experience required.
To help you decide whether this is the right job for you, we've put together the following guide.
We'll tell you about the top shipping clerk job responsibilities and the skills you'll need for the job.
We'll also share the average shipping clerk salary and tell you where to look for a job. And, to help you get hired, we've put together our top resume tips.
Let’s get started.
Shipping clerks work in a warehouse setting and have a range of clerk duties. They check invoices, fulfill orders, and print labels.
They manage incoming and outgoing shipments and make sure there’s enough inventory to meet customer demand.
When an order comes in, the shipping clerk needs to collect the goods and prepare them for the customer.
Shipping clerks work in a team environment and often communicate with retail assistants, traffic clerks, and couriers.
Shipping clerks may work full-time, part-time, or seasonally. Some shipping clerks need to work weekends.
If you want to work as a shipping clerk, you'll need a GED or high school diploma.
Warehouses and docks can be busy work environments, and you may be on your feet for long periods. You’ll likely be required to do some heavy-lifting, and you may need to use machinery such as forklifts and pallet jacks.
To be successful in this role, you'll need excellent communication skills. You'll also need computer skills and to be confident using inventory management software, and possibly spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.
You should be organized, motivated, and good at multitasking. Accuracy is essential, and you'll need basic math skills to check stock levels and fill orders.
When you start work, you'll need to complete training. You'll learn how to operate lifting equipment and use computer systems. You'll also learn about workplace safety.
Here are five of the top responsibilities you’ll find in a shipping clerk job description:
Shipping clerks are responsible for inventory control. They monitor the work area, and when stock is running low, they order more by submitting purchase orders.
They also need to record accurate inventory levels so customers know if there'll be a delay.
If an item is going to be permanently out-of-stock, they need to make sure they change its status to "no longer available."
When orders are processed, shipping clerks need to pack the items. If the package needs to travel by post, they print the shipping documents.
They may use a template to print customer names and addresses. Labeling needs to be easy to read and accurate.
Some orders may also need a "fragile" or "handle with care" sticker. The shipping clerk may need to weigh and scan packages.
Most warehouses and storage depots use computer applications for their inventory, ordering, and communication.
The shipping clerk needs to maintain accurate records. For example, they'll need to keep a record of when a customer has picked up their package.
If a customer orders online, they may need to send them a status update to let them know the package is ready or on the way.
Some companies may use Excel, while others will have a customized customer and inventory management system.
Shipping clerks need to manage pick-ups and outgoing deliveries. Depending on the workplace, they may deal with delivery drivers or the general public.
For example, some warehouses pack products to restock stores, while others are open for click-and-collect.
The shipping clerk may need to pick products from the storeroom on short notice. They may also need to drive a forklift and load boxes onto a truck.
A shipping clerk needs to manage the supply chain and make sure new products are coming in to fill the shelves.
When a delivery arrives, a shipping clerk unpacks the pallets. These packages may arrive on a regular basis.
The shipping clerk needs to move and store stock correctly to avoid damage or injury.
The average salary for shipping clerks is $25.39 per hour, or $52,820 per year.
As a shipping clerk, you’ll likely have opportunities for career progression. For example, once you have a few years of experience, you may be able to work as a supervisor or warehouse manager.
If you'd like to apply for a job in this industry, you can browse local shipping clerk positions on our job board.
If you want to apply for a job as a shipping clerk, here are our top resume tips:
List your work experience in reverse chronological order
Highlight any existing warehouse skills, such as forklift experience
Address the cover letter to the hiring manager
Include interpersonal skills such as good communication and time management skills
Make sure your resume fits on one page
Check your resume for spelling and grammatical mistakes
Add any training in occupational health and safety and manual handling
Highlight examples of when you used good teamwork skills
Want more resume tips? Check out our Getting Hired Resource Center.
Are you interested in applying for a job as a shipping clerk?
In this article, we told you about the role and the top job responsibilities.
Our list included monitoring inventory, printing shipping labels, using computer applications, managing pick-ups, and collecting incoming shipments.
We explained the skills you'll need for the job and the average salary you can expect to earn.
Finally, we showed you where you can look for a position and gave you our top resume tips.
Looking for something else? You can search for job openings in your area on Jobcase.