How to Become a Warehouse Worker (With Skills and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Warehouse workers manage the intake and output of stock. They may pack orders, produce invoices, stock shelves and maintain a clean and safe work environment. Knowing how to become a warehouse worker can help you decide if you may like to pursue a career as one. In this article, we explain the steps to becoming a warehouse worker, discuss their common skills, list the typical duties they conduct, provide their average salary and answer some commonly asked questions regarding the position.

How to become a warehouse worker

The following steps explain the basics of how to become a warehouse worker:

1. Obtain an education

Most employers require warehouse workers to have a minimum of a year 12 high school education or equivalent to be deemed suitable for the role. If you wish to progress your career in a more senior role, including warehouse manager or logistics manager, then you may wish to pursue a university degree in business or logistics. These qualifications can provide you with the correct skills and knowledge to undertake your role successfully and allow for potential career progression.

2. Get your driver's licence

While it's not usually compulsory for warehouse workers to have their driver's licence, it can be helpful when unloading deliveries. You can check the licensing authority's website for your relevant state to see what the requirements are for obtaining your driver's licence classes.

3. Obtain your forklift certification

Not all warehouse positions require you to operate a forklift, yet having your certification may improve your chances of being offered a position as a warehouse worker. It's a good idea to check your local training provider to find a suitable course for you to get your forklift certification. These courses usually run over a couple of days and equip you with the appropriate skills to operate a forklift safely.

4. Update your resume

Updating your resume is an important step when seeking a job as a warehouse worker. Including a professional summary statement within your resume is a great idea to capture the reader's attention and explain your motivation for applying for the role. Your resume can also include your work history and list any relevant education you've completed.

5. Apply for warehouse worker jobs

Once you've updated your resume, you can apply for a job as a warehouse worker. It can be helpful to check online job boards for any available positions. It's also a good idea to check the minimum requirements for positions before you apply to ensure you're a suitable candidate.

Common skills of a successful warehouse worker

The skills below are examples of skills you may be required to possess when pursuing a career as a warehouse worker:

Communication skills

It's common for larger warehouses to have a lot of employees, so being able to communicate confidently and clearly with your colleagues can be essential to ensure you can give and receive directions to other team members effectively. Being able to communicate correctly can make tasks easier to complete and can promote great teamwork. Excellent communication skills involve talking confidently and listening attentively when others are talking.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Physical fitness

Manoeuvring around a warehouse to collect stock may involve manual handling and heavy lifting. Because of this, it's important you have a good level of physical fitness to ensure you can lift items safely and complete a standard eight-hour shift without becoming fatigued. It's also likely for you to climb ladders to reach stock on top shelves, which requires a certain strength to complete safely.

Basic administrative skills

While most of your role as a warehouse worker is likely to involve unloading goods and collecting stock for orders, it's also common for you to write invoices for orders and respond to customer enquiries via email. These tasks require a basic understanding of administrative functions to ensure you can undertake these duties correctly.

Related: What is Administrative Work? (With Examples)

Organisational skills

When you receive stock into the warehouse, it's your role as a warehouse worker to unload it and store it correctly. This requires strong organisational skills to assist you in storing the products effectively. You may store products alphabetically or in numerical order to allow for easy recall when collecting products to include in customer orders.

Related: Top Organisational Skills For Your Resume and Workplace

Teamwork skills

Teamwork is essential when working in a warehouse. It's important you can work with other employees to maintain a clean and safe working environment. There are often forklifts in use across the warehouse, so being aware of other people in your team and working collaboratively to complete your tasks can ensure everyone's safety while the forklifts are in operation.

Time management skills

A warehouse work environment is usually fast-paced and requires excellent time management to ensure you undertake your job successfully. It's common for multiple couriers to arrive at once to collect packages for delivery. This requires you to plan your day and allocate your time accordingly to ensure you pack your parcels on time and complete any quality assurance checks before they arrive.

Related: Time Management Skills: The Importance of Including Them in Your Resume

Interpersonal skills

It's common for you to work with various people while undertaking your role as a warehouse worker. To ensure you can work effectively and understand the unique abilities within a workplace, it's important for you to have interpersonal skills. These skills are also useful when liaising with couriers regarding a delayed delivery to ensure you deal with them professionally.

Duties performed by warehouse workers

Warehouse workers can expect to undertake the following duties:

  • packing orders to prepare for shipping

  • managing inventory

  • preparing invoices for customer orders

  • unloading and organising new stock and verifying it against purchase orders

  • identifying missing stock and notifying the warehouse manager

  • packing away empty palettes

  • cleaning the warehouse floor to maintain a clean and safe work area

  • liaising and coordinating deliveries with couriers

  • operating forklifts and manual pallet jacks to unload stock

  • attending meetings with other warehouse employees

  • moving items between warehouse shelves to maintain an organised work area

How much does a warehouse worker earn?

The national average salary for a warehouse worker is $57,799 per year. This figure can vary depending on your background, your experience, your employer and the type of warehouse you work in. Salaries can also vary from state to state to accommodate the cost-of-living requirements.

Benefits of pursuing a career as a warehouse worker

There can be many benefits to pursuing a career as a warehouse worker. The list below shares some of them:

  • It can be an active job. Unlike some jobs that require you to sit at a desk all day, a career as a warehouse worker requires you to be active for most of the day. It can be a great career choice if you're looking for a job that requires stamina and strength.

  • You get to work as part of a team. Being part of a collaborative team can be very rewarding. Working with other warehouse personnel can make your shift more enjoyable and allow you to form strong working relationships with your teammates.

  • There may be flexible working hours. Many employers offer flexible working hours to accommodate family commitments and to encourage their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. As a warehouse worker, you're likely to have the option to work regular full-time hours or you may also work shift work if that's better suited to your lifestyle.

FAQs relating to warehouse worker positions

Below are the answers to some FAQs relating to warehouse worker jobs:

Do warehouse workers wear a uniform?

When working in a warehouse, you usually wear appropriate PPE to ensure your safety while undertaking your role. PPE usually includes safety boots with a steel cap toe, a long sleeve top, a hard hat and high visibility clothing. It's common for your employer to issue you with clothing, including the company logo, once they offer you a job.

What hours do warehouse workers work?

Depending on the type of company you're working for, you may work different shifts as a warehouse worker. Usual business days for couriers and delivery drivers are Monday to Friday and they generally operate between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm. It's common for warehouse employees to work night shifts to assist with unloading late deliveries and completing inventory control.

What types of industries offer warehouse positions?

Many industries offer warehouse employment opportunities. Some of the most common ones include retail, hospitality, manufacturing, construction and pharmaceutical. Some companies offer more employment opportunities because of the size of their warehouse and the volume of stock they turn over.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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