How to Become a Stock Clerk

Many companies and organizations that provide products to consumers must have a constant supply and stock of products. Stock clerks are trained workers that control the flow of incoming and outgoing products in stockrooms and warehouses.

What does a stock clerk do?

Stock clerks receive, check, unpack, sort, store, and track products in stockrooms and warehouses of a variety of facilities such as retail stores and factories. They are responsible for keeping detailed records of items that enter and leave the facility and check items that may be damaged. They organize and mark products with identification codes such as inventory control, stock, and price codes to enable the items to be located easily and quickly. They also keep track of inventories and reorder items when the supplies are diminishing. Stock clerks also receive orders and requests and send items to the correct department. Some stock clerks also pick up orders from customers. Stock clerks typically use hand-held scanners and computers to carry out inventory tasks. They scan bar codes when items enter or leave the stockroom or warehouse.

What kind of training does a stock clerk need?

Stock clerks usually need at least a high school diploma or GED. Most learn their skills through on the job training. Stock clerks should have basic mathematical, reading, and writing skills. Many begin their careers by completing simple tasks under the supervision of experience workers. They learn to unpack and count products, take inventory, and keep detailed records. Most employers also provide training on automated equipment. Many employers prefer to hire stock clerks that have computer, typing, and filing experience. Stock clerks must stay up to date on advanced computerized and automated equipment and often receive additional training as needed.

What are the prospects for a career as a stock clerk?

Employment of stock clerks is expected to decline moderately, decreasing 8% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing use of computers and automated equipment for controlling inventory will contribute to the job decline.

Job prospects are expected to be fair because many job openings will occur from the need to replace stock clerks that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons. Stock clerks with experience working with computers and other electronic equipment will have the best job opportunities.

How much do stock clerks make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of stock clerks earn annual salaries between $25,514 and $32,210. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $35,844 (2).

A career as a stock clerk is a great choice for people interested in performing stocking activities for a variety of companies and organizations. Stock clerks must have good physical stamina and strength to be able to lift heavy materials and boxes. They must be able to complete repetitive tasks in a timely manner. They must be able to perform clerical tasks when needed. Patience, self-motivation, and detail orientation are also desirable characteristics.

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