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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvqriUvNeiY.
Quick Facts: Material Recording Clerks
2021 Median Pay $37,870 per year
$18.21 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2021 1,248,100
Job Outlook, 2021-31 -3% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2021-31 -38,100

What Material Recording Clerks Do

Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule.

Work Environment

Most material recording clerks work full time.

How to Become a Material Recording Clerk

Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and are trained on the job.

Pay

The median annual wage for material recording clerks was $37,870 in May 2021.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 3 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Despite declining employment, about 131,900 openings for material recording clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for material recording clerks.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of material recording clerks with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about material recording clerks by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Material Recording Clerks Do About this section

Material recording clerks
Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks track outgoing and incoming shipments.

Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.

Duties

Material recording clerks typically do the following:

  • Keep records of items shipped, received, or transferred to another location
  • Compile reports on various changes in production or inventory
  • Organize the assembly, distribution, or delivery of goods to meet production schedules
  • Prepare materials for shipping by labeling or checking packages
  • Examine products for damage or defects
  • Check inventory records for accuracy

Material recording clerks use computers or hand-held devices to keep track of inventory. Sensors and tags enable these electronic tools to automatically detect when and where products are moved, allowing clerks to keep updated reports without manually counting items.

The following are examples of types of material recording clerks:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks manage the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices in a business. They compile reports on the progress of work and on any production problems that arise. These clerks set workers’ schedules, estimate costs, keep track of materials, and write special orders for new materials. They also do general office tasks, such as entering data or distributing mail. Expediting clerks maintain contact with vendors to ensure that supplies and equipment are shipped on time.

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks keep track of and record outgoing and incoming shipments. Clerks may scan barcodes with handheld devices or use radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners to keep track of inventory. They check to see whether shipment orders were processed correctly in their company’s computer system. They also compute freight costs, prepare invoices, and write inventory reports. Some clerks move goods from the warehouse to the loading dock.

Material and product inspecting clerks weigh, measure, check, sample, and keep records on materials, supplies, and equipment that enters a warehouse. They verify the quantity and quality of items they are assigned to examine, checking for defects and recording what they find. They use scales, counting devices, and calculators. Some decide what to do about a defective product, such as to scrap it or send it back to the factory to be repaired.

Work Environment About this section

Material recording clerks
Many material recording clerks work in an office inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant.

Material recording clerks held about 1.2 million jobs in 2021. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks was distributed as follows:

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 814,300
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 377,900
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 55,900

The largest employers of material recording clerks were as follows:

Manufacturing 28%
Wholesale trade 14
Food and beverage stores 3

Material recording clerks usually work in an office inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant.

These workers also may spend time on the warehouse or plant floor to handle packages or automatic equipment, such as conveyor systems.

Injuries and Illnesses

Some material recording clerks may need to lift heavy items and to bend frequently, which may lead to injury. Using proper lifting techniques helps to reduce the risk of harm.

Work Schedules

Most material recording clerks work full time. Some work nights and weekends or holidays.

How to Become a Material Recording Clerk About this section

Material recording clerks
Material recording clerks learn on the job from an experienced worker.

Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and are trained on the job.

Education

Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Some employers prefer to hire production, planning, and expediting clerks who have a college degree.

Training

Material recording clerks usually learn on the job. Training for most material recording clerks lasts up to 1 month. Production, planning, and expediting clerks may train for up to 6 months.

Material recording clerks first may learn to count stock and mark inventory and then move on to more difficult tasks, such as recordkeeping. Production clerks first typically learn how their company operates before they write production and work schedules.

Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Advancement

With additional training or education, material recording clerks may advance to other positions, such as purchasing agent, within their company.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Material recording clerks are frequently in contact with suppliers, vendors, or managers and need to convey their company’s needs effectively.

Customer-service skills. Material recording clerks may interact with customers in order to respond to problems or complaints.

Detail oriented. Material and product inspecting clerks must pay attention to detail when checking items for defects, some of which are small and difficult to spot.

Math skills. Material recording clerks may need to calculate shipping costs or take measurements.

Pay About this section

Material Recording Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2021

Total, all occupations

$45,760

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

$42,030

Material recording clerks

$37,870

 

The median annual wage for material recording clerks was $37,870 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,090.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks in May 2021 were as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $48,040
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 37,610
Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 36,890

In May 2021, the median annual wages for material recording clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Manufacturing $39,240
Wholesale trade 37,700
Food and beverage stores 36,850

Most material recording clerks work full time. Some work nights and weekends or holidays.

Job Outlook About this section

Material Recording Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Total, all occupations

5%

Material recording clerks

-3%

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

-3%

 

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 3 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Despite declining employment, about 131,900 openings for material recording clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Projected employment of material recording clerks varies by occupation (see table). As e-commerce continues to grow, companies are expanding their use of automated storage and retrieval tools to meet rising demand for products and for faster delivery. These types of technologies, including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and collaborative robots, will improve efficiencies of many warehouse operations. Demand for shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks may be limited as use of technology expands and increases productivity of some manual tasks, improving efficiency.

However, employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks is projected to increase because their tasks remain difficult to automate.

Employment projections data for material recording clerks, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Material recording clerks

1,248,100 1,210,000 -3 -38,100

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

43-5061 377,900 396,800 5 18,900 Get data

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

43-5071 814,300 757,200 -7 -57,100 Get data

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

43-5111 55,900 56,000 0 100 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of material recording clerks.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
General office clerks General Office Clerks

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

High school diploma or equivalent $37,030
Laborers and material movers Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials.

See How to Become One $30,320
Information clerks Information Clerks

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties, maintain records, collect data, and provide information to customers.

See How to Become One $37,450
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Recording Clerks,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/material-recording-clerks.htm (visited September 09, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2021

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2021, which is the base year of the 2021-31 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2021-31

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.