What does a shipping clerk do?
Shipping clerks are responsible for keeping detailed and accurate records of all outgoing shipments. They prepare mailing labels and shipping documents and ensure that orders have been correctly filled. They document the items taken from the inventory and record when and how the orders were filled. They look up and calculate shipping rates and document the weight and cost of every shipment. Shipping clerks sometimes fill orders themselves by acquiring products from the warehouse or stockroom and packing them in shipping materials. They also document when inventories are running low and arrange for reorders. They may prepare invoices and provide shipping information to other departments of the company.
What kind of training does a shipping clerk need?
Shipping clerks typically need at least a high school diploma. Most learn their skills through on the job training. Since automation is increasing many employers prefer candidates that have experience with computer and other electronic equipment. New shipping clerks typically start out under the supervision of experienced workers completing simple tasks and move on to more complicated duties as they gain experience. Shipping clerks learn how to count and mark stock, take inventory, and keep detailed records. They must stay up to date on advancements in the field and often complete additional training throughout their careers. Shipping clerks that handle medication, liquor, or jewelry may need to be bonded.
What are the prospects for a career as a shipping clerk?
Employment of shipping clerks is expected to grow slower than average for all professions, increasing 4% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increase in automation and the reduction of labor costs will contribute to the slow job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be fair especially in smaller facilities that require more hands-on work instead of automation. Many job openings will result from the need the replace shipping clerks that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do shipping clerks make?
As of November 2009, the middle 50% of shipping clerks earn annual salaries between $25,915 and $36,233. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $42,623 (2).
A career as a shipping clerk is an excellent choice for individuals interested in providing shipping needs for a variety of companies and organizations. Shipping clerks must have good physical strength and stamina and be able to complete repetitive tasks. Good eyesight, self-motivation, patience, and detail orientation are desirable characteristics. Shipping clerks must have excellent communication and be able to work as part of a team. They must also be able to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines.