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.

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 $37,870.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 3 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 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 for Material Recording Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Material recording clerks hold about 1.2 million jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks is distributed as follows:

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 814,300
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 377,900
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 55,900

The largest employers of material recording clerks are as follows:

Manufacturing 28%
Wholesale trade 14%
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 for Material Recording Clerks

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.

Material Recording Clerk Work Schedules

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

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.

Some employers prefer to hire production, planning, and expediting clerks who have a college degree.

Material Recording Clerk 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 for Material Recording Clerks

With additional training or education, material recording clerks may advance to other positions, such as purchasing agent, within their company.

Important Qualities for Material Recording Clerks

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.

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

The median annual wage for material recording clerks is $37,870. 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 $28,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,090.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks are as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $48,040
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping $37,610
Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks $36,890

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

Manufacturing $39,240
Wholesale trade $37,700
Food and beverage stores $36,850

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

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

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 3 percent over the next ten years.

Despite declining employment, about 131,900 openings for material recording clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of Material Recording Clerks

Projected employment of material recording clerks varies by occupation. As e-commerce continues to grow, companies are expanding their use of automated storage and retrieval tools to meet rising demand for products and for faster delivery. These types of technologies, including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and collaborative robots, will improve efficiencies of many warehouse operations. Demand for shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks may be limited as use of technology expands and increases productivity of some manual tasks, improving efficiency.

However, employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks is projected to increase because their tasks remain difficult to automate.

Employment projections data for Material Recording Clerks, 2021-31
Occupational Title Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31
Percent Numeric
Material recording clerks 1,248,100 1,210,000 -3 -38,100
  Production, planning, and expediting clerks 377,900 396,800 5 18,900
  Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks 814,300 757,200 -7 -57,100
  Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 55,900 56,000 0 100


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


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