Material Recording Clerks

Career, Salary and Education Information

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

Work Environment: Many material recording clerks work full time. Stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, often work part time.

How to Become One: Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and are trained on the job.

Salary: The median annual wage for material recording clerks is $30,010.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 1 percent over the next ten years.

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

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a material recording clerk with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

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What Material Recording Clerks Do[About this section] [To Top]

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 of Material Recording Clerks

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 for Material Recording Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Material recording clerks hold about 3.3 million jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks is distributed as follows:

Stockers and order fillers 2,135,800
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 710,400
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 378,500
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 61,300

The largest employers of material recording clerks are as follows:

Food and beverage stores 18%
Manufacturing 13%
Wholesale trade 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 for Material Recording Clerks

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

Material Recording Clerk 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.

Stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, usually work part time. 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] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Material Recording Clerks near you!

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

Education for Material Recording Clerks

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.

Material Recording Clerk 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 for Material Recording Clerks

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 for Material Recording Clerks

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.

Material Recording Clerk Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for material recording clerks is $30,010. 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 $21,210, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,840.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks are as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $48,260
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping $35,040
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks $34,190
Stock clerks and order fillers $27,380

The median annual wages for material recording clerks in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Manufacturing $37,840
Wholesale trade $33,200
Food and beverage stores $25,730

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.

Stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, usually work part time. 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 for Material Recording Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 1 percent over the next ten years. Employment growth will vary by occupation (see table below).

The increased use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags should allow these workers to quickly locate an item or count inventory in some retail stores, requiring fewer overall workers to stock shelves and fill orders over the decade.

Both 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 reduce the demand for some material recording clerks.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks schedule production and shipment processes, functions that remain difficult to automate.

Employment projections data for Material Recording Clerks, 2019-29
Occupational Title Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29
Percent Numeric
Material recording clerks 3,286,000 3,257,900 -1 -28,100
  Production, planning, and expediting clerks 378,500 393,300 4 14,800
  Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 710,400 648,800 -9 -61,500
  Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 61,300 64,500 5 3,100
  Stockers and order fillers 2,135,800 2,151,300 1 15,500


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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