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 $28,860.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to show little or no change over the next ten years. The increased use of technology, such as radio frequency identification tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, is expected to allow fewer clerks to do the same amount of work.

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

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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 3.1 million jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks is distributed as follows:

Stock clerks and order fillers 2,056,600
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 662,600
Production, planning, and expediting clerks 358,700
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 66,300

The largest employers of material recording clerks are as follows:

Food and beverage stores 18%
Manufacturing 13%
Wholesale trade 13%

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

Stock clerks and order fillers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. They may need to lift heavy materials and bend frequently.

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.

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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 $28,860. 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 $20,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,110.

Median annual wages for material recording clerks are as follows:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks $47,580
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks $33,030
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping $32,310
Stock clerks and order fillers $25,700

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

Manufacturing $35,670
Wholesale trade $30,440
Food and beverage stores $22,560

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 show little or no change over the next ten years. Employment growth will vary by occupation (see table below).

Although increased use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags should allow stock clerks to more quickly locate an item or count inventory in some retail stores, stocking shelves and filling orders will still require these workers.

In warehouses, both RFID tags and increased use of other technology, such as hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, allow fewer clerks 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 will seek to automate warehouse operations, including using what are known as "collaborative robots." These new robots can help workers perform tasks and increase efficiency. However, this increased efficiency may reduce the demand for some material recording clerks.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks plan and schedule production and shipment processes, functions that remain difficult to substitute with technology.

Employment projections data for Material Recording Clerks, 2018-28
Occupational Title Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28
Percent Numeric
Material recording clerks 3,144,300 3,191,200 1 46,900
  Production, planning, and expediting clerks 358,700 373,800 4 15,100
  Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 662,600 656,200 -1 -6,500
  Stock clerks and order fillers 2,056,600 2,091,300 2 34,700
  Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping 66,300 69,900 5 3,600


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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