Bureau of Labor Statistics

Material Recording Clerks

material recording clerks image
Material recording clerks ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.
Quick Facts: Material Recording Clerks
2020 Median Pay $38,470 per year
$18.50 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, 2020 1,159,800
Job Outlook, 2020-30 -1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2020-30 -6,300

Summary

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 $38,470 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030.

Despite limited employment growth, about 111,600 openings for material recording clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different 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

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

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 2020. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks was distributed as follows:

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 734,900
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 365,700
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 59,100

The largest employers of material recording clerks were as follows:

Manufacturing 29%
Wholesale trade 15
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

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

Material Recording Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2020

Total, all occupations

$41,950

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

$41,160

Material recording clerks

$38,470

 

The median annual wage for material recording clerks was $38,470 in May 2020. 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 $26,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,980.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks in May 2020 were as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $49,640
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 36,650
Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 35,260

In May 2020, the median annual wages for material recording clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Manufacturing $39,780
Wholesale trade 37,030
Food and beverage stores 34,670

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

Job Outlook

Material Recording Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Total, all occupations

8%

Material recording clerks

-1%

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

-2%

 

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030.

Despite limited employment growth, about 111,600 openings for material recording clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and increased use of other technology, such as hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, allow fewer clerks in warehouses 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 likewise continue to automate warehouse operations. Collaborative robots and other technology help increase efficiency but may limit the demand for some material recording clerks.

However, the tasks done by production, planning and expediting clerks and by material and product inspecting clerks remain difficult to automate. As a result, employment in these occupations is projected to increase.

Employment projections data for material recording clerks, 2020-30

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

Occupational Title

Material recording clerks

SOC Code
Employment, 20201,159,800
Projected Employment, 20301,153,400
Percent Change, 2020-30-1
Numeric Change, 2020-30-6,300
Employment by Industry
Occupational Title

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

SOC Code43-5061
Employment, 2020365,700
Projected Employment, 2030393,600
Percent Change, 2020-308
Numeric Change, 2020-3027,900
Employment by IndustryGet data
Occupational Title

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

SOC Code43-5071
Employment, 2020734,900
Projected Employment, 2030694,300
Percent Change, 2020-30-6
Numeric Change, 2020-30-40,600
Employment by IndustryGet data
Occupational Title

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

SOC Code43-5111
Employment, 202059,100
Projected Employment, 203065,400
Percent Change, 2020-3011
Numeric Change, 2020-306,300
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

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 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

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 2020 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 $35,330
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 $30,010
Information clerks Information Clerks

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

See How to Become One $36,920

Contacts for More Info

Last Modified Date: Monday, September 13, 2021

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 October 25, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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