Summary

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Quick Facts: Material Recording Clerks
2016 Median Pay $26,820 per year
$12.90 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, 2016 3,095,300
Job Outlook, 2016-26 4% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 120,600

What Material Recording Clerks Do

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

Work Environment

Many material recording clerks work full time. About 1 out of 3 stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, worked part time in 2016.

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 $26,820 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. The increase use of technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, is expected to allow fewer clerks to do the same amount of work.

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 and receiving 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 aspects of changes in production or inventory
  • Find, sort, or move goods between different parts of the business
  • Check inventory records for accuracy

Material recording clerks use computers, tablets, or hand-held devices to keep track of inventory. Sensors and tags enable these computers 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 perform 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 traffic 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 correctly processed in their company’s computer system. They also compute freight costs and prepare invoices. Some clerks move goods from the warehouse to the loading dock.

Stock clerks and order fillers receive, unpack, and track merchandise. Stock clerks move products from a warehouse to store shelves. They keep a record of items that enter or leave the stockroom and inspect for damaged goods. These clerks also use handheld RFID scanners to keep track of merchandise. Order fillers retrieve customer orders and prepare them to be shipped.

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. Some clerks also prepare reports, such as reports about warehouse inventory levels.

Work Environment About this section

Material recording clerks
Many stock clerks work in retail stores.

Material recording clerks held about 3.1 million jobs in 2016. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks was distributed as follows:

Stock clerks and order fillers 2,008,600
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 681,400
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 329,400
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 75,900

The largest employers of material recording clerks were as follows:

General merchandise stores 19%
Grocery stores 17
Wholesale trade 14
Manufacturing 13
Retail trade, except motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores 12

Stock clerks and order fillers usually work in retail settings and sometimes help customers. Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks usually work in an office inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant.

Although shipping clerks and material inspecting clerks prepare reports in an office, they also spend time in the warehouse, where they sometimes handle packages or automatic equipment such as conveyor systems.

Injuries and Illnesses

Stock clerks and order fillers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. They may need to lift heavy materials and bend frequently.

Work Schedules

Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks usually work full time. Some clerks work nights and weekends or holidays when large shipments arrive.

About 1 out of 3 stock clerks and order fillers worked part time in 2016. Evening and weekend work is common because they work when retail stores are open. They sometimes work overnight shifts when large shipments arrive or when it is time to take inventory.

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.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks need to have basic knowledge of computer applications such as spreadsheet software.

Training

Material recording clerks usually learn to do their work on the job. Training for most material recording clerks may last less than a month. Production, planning, and expediting clerks’ training can take several months.

Typically, a supervisor or more experienced worker trains new clerks.

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

Advancement

With additional training or education, material recording clerks may advance to other positions within their firm, such as purchasing agent. Clerks in retail establishments can move into the sales department.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Production, planning, and expediting clerks are frequently in contact with suppliers, vendors, and production managers and need to communicate the firm’s scheduling needs effectively.

Customer-service skills. Stock clerks sometimes interact with customers in retail stores and may have to get the item the customer is looking for from the storeroom.

Detail oriented. Material and product inspecting clerks check items for defects, some of which are small and difficult to spot.

Math skills. Some material recording clerks use math to calculate shipping costs or take measurements.

Pay About this section

Material Recording Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2016

Total, all occupations

$37,040

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

$30,430

Material recording clerks

$26,820

 

The median annual wage for material recording clerks was $26,820 in May 2016. 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 $18,760, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,580.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks in May 2016 were as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $46,760
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 31,180
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 28,790
Stock clerks and order fillers 23,840

In May 2016, the median annual wages for material recording clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Manufacturing $35,670
Wholesale trade 30,440
Retail trade, except motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores 23,560
Grocery stores 22,740
General merchandise stores 22,560

Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks usually work full time. Some clerks work nights and weekends or holidays when large shipments arrive.

About 1 out of 3 stock clerks and order fillers worked part time in 2016. Evening and weekend work is common because they work when retail stores are open. They sometimes work overnight shifts when large shipments arrive or when it is time to take inventory.

Job Outlook About this section

Material Recording Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations

7%

Material recording clerks

4%

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

2%

 

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by occupation (see table below).

Although increased use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags should allow stock clerks to more quickly locate an item or count inventory in some retail stores, stocking shelves and filling orders will still require these workers.

In warehouses, both RFID tags and increased use of other technology, such as hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, allow fewer clerks to do the same amount of work. In addition, use of barcodes, electronic and optical readers, and RFID tags is expected to increase accuracy in shipping, thereby reducing the number of times a product needs to be weighed, checked, or measured.

As retail continues to move from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online commerce, retailers will seek to automate warehouse operations, including using what are known as “collaborative robots.” These new robots can help workers perform tasks and increase efficiency. However, this increased efficiency may reduce the demand for some material recording clerks.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks plan and schedule production and shipment processes, functions that remain difficult to substitute with technology.

Employment projections data for material recording clerks, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Material recording clerks

3,095,300 3,215,900 4 120,600

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

43-5061 329,400 347,300 5 17,900 employment projections excel document xlsx

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

43-5071 681,400 681,400 0 100 employment projections excel document xlsx

Stock clerks and order fillers

43-5081 2,008,600 2,109,900 5 101,300 employment projections excel document xlsx

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

43-5111 75,900 77,300 2 1,400 employment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 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 OES 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 2016 MEDIAN PAY Help
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 $30,580
Laborers and material movers

Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Some of these workers may feed or remove material to and from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

No formal educational credential $24,880
Information clerks

Information Clerks

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

See How to Become One $32,920
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Recording Clerks,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/material-recording-clerks.htm (visited November 15, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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 Statistics (OES) 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 Statistics (OES) 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).

2016 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 Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.

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, 2016

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2016, which is the base year of the 2016-26 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2016-26

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

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 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

2016 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 Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.