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How to Become a Shipping and Receiving Clerk

Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy working as part of a team? If so, a job as a shipping and receiving clerk may be right for you. 

Shipping and receiving clerks are vital members of order fulfillment teams — receiving, processing, and often packing orders for shipment — as well as keeping track of inventories for products and goods. It’s a fast-paced job where filling orders swiftly and accurately is essential and could be a good fit for motivated candidates with focus and the ability to multitask. 

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for a new shipping and receiving clerk to join our ranks. The ideal candidate for this position should have previous experience in the shipping field. Warehouse management experience is beneficial as well. As our shipping and receiving clerk, it will be your job to manage and organize incoming and outgoing packages at our facility. You will also be responsible for space management and must be able to input data and calculate space requirements to ensure that our facility has enough room for large shipments. This job is full-time and offers benefits. The ideal candidate for this position will have good organizational skills, communication skills, and skills in problem resolving. If this sounds like it fits you, please consider applying. We’re looking forward to having you on our team.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Accurately process customer orders
  • Review all orders for special requests and shipping information
  • Insert items into containers and packaging
  • Prioritize orders by pick-up and ship time
  • Monitor inventory counts as necessary
  • Maintain data and records related to shipping and receiving activities

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers tend to prefer candidates with experience working in a warehouse or shipping setting.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Ability to read and understand delivery orders, and work with minimal guidance
  • Ability to operate computers and relevant software to fulfill orders
  • Follow safe work practices and procedures
  • Excellent teamwork skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 2 years of relevant experience
  • Detail-oriented, accuracy-driven, and proficient computer skills 
  • The ability to work efficiently and independently is important as well
  • Must have familiarity with shipping and receiving procedures

Typical work environment

As a shipping and receiving clerk, it will be your duty to manage outgoing and incoming shipments. A shipping and receiving clerk must be able to understand warehouse operations to be successful. Oftentimes, the daily duties of a shipping and receiving clerk will include processing deliveries, registering both incoming and outgoing packages and mail, maintaining the stockroom, and several other tasks. Some of the required skills for this position will be the ability to successfully manage large influxes of packages without confusing their destinations within the company or organization and being able to multitask. You will be working in a warehouse and partially in an office for the majority of your hours.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a shipping and receiving clerk can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in a warehouse setting. With materials often shipping around the clock, overtime or weekend hours aren’t uncommon, depending upon the employer. 

Available certifications

Shipping and receiving clerks work in an industry where they are not usually required to have certifications for their position. Because of this, a shipping and receiving clerk with a certification of some relevance to the position can benefit immensely from this added credibility. Some of the best certifications include:

  • International Accredited Business Accountant (IABA). Having a certification as an internationally accredited business accountant will benefit shipping and receiving clerks with their management and organizational skills. This certification is internationally recognized, so can prove to be immensely beneficial for any shipping and receiving clerks in a large variety of positions.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). The Certified Supply Chain Professional certification allows a professional to understand supply chain and logistics operations. This certification ensures a quality level of customer service and problem resolution skills. Because of this, it can be beneficial for a shipping and receiving clerk.

Career path

Often, shipping and receiving clerks might start in an entry-level position, but with experience, they can grow their skills and abilities and move into leadership roles. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-3042

2020 Employment734,900
Projected Employment in 2030694,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift40,600 decrease

The increased use of technology means fewer clerks are needed to do the same amount of work. Examples of this new tech include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically.