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How to Become a Warehouse Manager

If you have excellent communication and management skills, you are very organized, and you have exceptional leadership qualities, a warehouse manager might be the perfect fit for you.

A warehouse manager is responsible for running a warehouse. They oversee all shipping and receiving activities and inventory, manage the warehouse staff, and ensure compliance with all safety measures. They must be good at managing people and should have a keen understanding of warehousing and logistics. Warehouse managers need the ability to multitask and must have solid organizational skills. 

As a manager, you will train new employees as well as handle security, maintenance, and administrative functions of the warehouse. You’ll enforce policies and procedures and ensure all warehouse equipment is operational and meets safety standards. Managers must also document warehouse activities and keep records of goods coming in and out, so you need to be accurate and have a high level of attention to detail. Proficiency in using computers and strong problem-solving skills are also required to succeed as a warehouse manager.

Sample job description

A warehouse manager is needed for urgent hire at [Your Company Name]. As a manager, your responsibilities will largely vary. First and foremost you must uphold your company standards in every aspect of the warehouse, attempting to achieve and help the completion of their vision. The layout of the warehouse may be upon your decision, so you will need to analyze this in an attempt to create simpler, more efficient systems. Whether it be the company or legal standards, you must ensure that policies and procedures put on the warehouse are fulfilled. If there is a legal procedure/policy that outperforms the ones prior, you must immediately install them, as well as search for new ones. While it may be difficult while working in a warehouse, health, hygiene, safety, and security must be protected and ensured by you. This not only applies to employees you oversee but machinery as well. Inputting data for tax reasons, accounting, and more is an essential part of the job. It will also be because of this data, that finding improvements will be simpler. Your company will most likely provide a budget, and it will be your responsibility to work within this budget, and guarantee deadlines and tasks are completed without overspending. To successfully fulfill this role, you must speak with and handle clients, suppliers, and/or transport companies. As the overseer of the employees, it will be your duty to assign tasks. This includes deciding which employees are best for which tasks, encouraging employees, and appraising.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Oversee warehouse and shipping department
  • Ensure accurate inventory tracking and accounting
  • Manage the efficient flow of products and materials through a warehouse environment
  • Recruit, train, and coach warehouse staff
  • Create warehouse metrics reports as needed
  • Follow all applicable safety standards

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business management, logistics, or other related fields.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Organizational and communication skills
  • Aptitude for counting and inventory management
  • Managerial and business expertise
  • Excellent leadership skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience in warehouse management procedures and best practices
  • Proven ability to implement process improvement initiatives
  • Hands-on experience with warehouse management software and databases
  • Leadership skills and ability to manage staff

Typical work environment

Because you are the most essential role in the warehouse, you will most likely have slightly longer hours than that of the employees in the warehouse. You can expect extended periods of time to be working within the office for reports, data, recruitment, etc., and the rest of the time on the floor with the others. While some warehouse managers may work outdoors, the vast majority of jobs will be indoors. Depending on the warehouse, air conditions may vary from cold to hot, dusty to humid, etc. Large portions of your time may be used on the phone, as talking with clients, suppliers, and transportation companies are inevitable. You may be prone to distracting noises, as most warehouses rely on heavy equipment for operation. 

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a warehouse manager are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in a warehouse setting. With materials often shipping around the clock, overtime or weekend hours may be necessary. 

Available certifications

A warehouse manager may benefit from certificates in both the managerial and safety fields. Because of this, two of the common certifications which will benefit one working in this position are:

  • OSHA Safety Certificate. Because of the field of work, this certificate will be impressive, if not required by employers. It shows you have an understanding of safety, a top priority while working in warehouses. 
  • CSS. Certified Security Supervision and Management is an exam allowing you to flaunt your proven management skills. This will reassure your boss that he is receiving the quality he is paying for. This certificate does require two years of experience, guaranteeing only the best will acquire it.

Career path

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business management, logistics, or other related fields. Fairly often, a candidate needs several years of experience before being considered for a management position in this field. Also, earning certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) can help boost advancement opportunities.  

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3051

2020 Employment189,300
Projected Employment in 2030199,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift10,000 increase

The increased use of technology means fewer warehouse and logistics workers 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. That said, the need for effective warehousing and logistics remains, as does the need for qualified professionals to manage those areas.