What Does a Warehouse Assistant Do? (with Skills and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 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 assistants help streamline the supply chain within a warehouse facility to increase productivity and efficiency. Multiple businesses across various industries depend on warehouse assistants to stock their products safely, unpack new deliveries and prepare stock for customer distribution. If you enjoy manual labour and working as part of a team, a career as a warehouse assistant may be suitable for you. In this article, we answer the question, 'What does a warehouse assistant do?' and discuss the skills, requirements and average salary rates of the position.

Related: Types of Careers in Logistics and 11 Logistics Jobs

What does a warehouse assistant do?

The answer to the question, 'What does a warehouse assistant do?', is that they assist with the day-to-day running of a storage or logistics warehouse. While the primary duties may vary depending on the type of warehouse they work in and the type of products they handle, a warehouse assistant usually works as part of a team to pack, stock, load and prepare products for shipping. A warehouse assistant handles a wide variety of products. Depending on the industry, they can typically work across multiple fields that utilise warehouses.

As part of their distribution supply chain, warehouse assistants receive goods for storage. Warehouse assistants may check the orders they receive to ensure the products are in good condition and report any missing or damaged items to their supervisors. The second step in the supply chain is to sort through the stock and organise it based on size, weight and content. They then store the stock in specific locations. If stored items require delivery to a customer or another facility, a warehouse assistant may locate the item in the warehouse and prepare it for postage. This process may include:

  • scanning the product's code to ensure it's correct

  • finding the correct delivery address and postage label

  • performing a quality check on the item to make sure it's not broken

  • weighing the product

  • printing a shipping label

  • packaging the product with brand or safety packaging

  • reporting and recording any product returns by customers

Related: 12 Jobs in a Warehouse (With Typical Duties and Salaries)

What skill set does a warehouse assistant require?

A warehouse assistant typically possesses a dynamic skill set that helps them to perform their daily tasks more efficiently and to a higher standard. If you're interested in becoming a warehouse assistant, you may want to consider developing the following skills to increase your chances of gaining employment:

Physical strength or stamina

The role is likely to require you to be on your feet throughout your shifts in the warehouse, frequently carrying or mechanically transporting items from one place to another. Depending on the weight or height of the stock, this job may require some basic physical strength to prevent fatigue. You may also benefit from having stamina during loading or stocking processes, as this action can take an extended amount of time to complete, depending on the number of products.

Attention to detail

When loading, packing or preparing goods for distribution, you may be responsible for ensuring that your fellow employees or any installed computer software have applied the correct address or postage to each product. Being able to recognise mistakes may be essential for logistics warehouses to prevent human errors from disrupting a business's distribution supply chain. Strong attention to detail could also help you notice any potential health and safety risks, enabling you to create a more efficient and safe working environment.

Related: How to Improve Your Attention to Detail in 4 Steps

Teamwork

Warehouse assistants typically work within a team unit to streamline the operations of a warehouse. Teamwork is important for delegating larger tasks and ensuring that the team can complete different jobs within a set time limit. Excellent communication, trust and respect are three assets that build a great teamwork dynamic. Building a professional relationship with your colleagues may also increase your job satisfaction levels and increase work productivity rates.

Related: 11 Advantages of Working as a Team (An Overview of Teamwork)

Driving

Having a clean driving licence may be desirable to possess when looking for a job as a warehouse assistant. A clean driving licence typically means that you hold no points or violations against your licence to drive. Points may incur if you break any driving, safety or speed laws. These laws may vary depending on the state in which you're driving. Many warehouse assistants use their safe driving skills to manoeuvre heavier items around a warehouse site or to external locations. The most valuable licences specific to warehouse assistants include a commercial car driving licence or a forklift licence.

What are the requirements to become a warehouse assistant?

Many warehouse assistant job listings require some specific skills and educational experience. If you are interested in finding work as a warehouse assistant, consider gaining the following job requirements:

Education

Obtaining a university degree is typically not a requirement to become a warehouse assistant. Many employers ask candidates to complete their secondary school studies, which requires finishing year 10 of high school or hold an equivalent qualification instead. A basic understanding of the English language and basic mathematical skills is likely to be essential for checking inventory levels and creating shipping labels. Having this basic skill set may also make on-the-job training easier for you to understand.

If you choose to attend further education, you may consider an apprenticeship. These are formal training courses that teach you the processes of a warehouse operator while allowing you to gain a qualification. They typically take 12 months to complete and, during the apprenticeship, you may gain an income for your practical work.

Certification

You may be more likely to gain employment as a warehouse assistant if you hold some relevant certifications. These can show employers that you're knowledgeable of health and safety guidelines in warehouse facilities and understand different types of protocols. You could also consider gaining training in specific machinery or modes of transportation, such as forklifts, to gain a competitive advantage when applying for jobs.

A popular certification for warehouse workers includes Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations, which has many training providers across Australia, such as the Australian College Of Commerce And Management or Flexible Training Solutions Pty Ltd. A certification in Supply Chain Operations enables candidates to develop their skills in warehouse operations, build their expertise in the process of logistics and aid their knowledge of common warehouse machinery and equipment. This course takes an average of one year to complete and you may be able to complete the certification alongside full-time or part-time work.

Work experience

Gaining professional work experience in any type of warehousing-related role can be extremely beneficial when applying for a job as a warehouse assistant. Prior work experience shows employers you possess a basic knowledge of the processes and operations used within warehouses, which may increase your productivity rates as you begin work for their organisation. You may also gain valuable health and safety advice through your work experience, such as tips on how to lift heavier items in a safe and controlled way. You can then use this training to enhance your professional resume.

Try looking for paid or voluntary roles in local warehouses to develop your skills and familiarise yourself with the warehouse equipment. You can also search for work experience within a warehouse using the Indeed Job Board. Consider tailoring your search to your specific location by inputting your postcode into the search bar to filter your results.

Related: How to Show Work Experience on Your Resume (With Example and Tips)

How much does a warehouse assistant make?

The average annual salary for a warehouse worker is $56,526 per year, though your individual salary may depend on the responsibilities or level of authority that you possess as a warehouse assistant. The type of warehouse you work in, your experience level, the number of certifications you have and your specific employer may also affect your average income rate.

Your regional location may also affect the average salary income because of possible differences in living costs. You can find the average salary for a warehouse worker per city as listed below:

  • Perth WA: $60,036 per year

  • Dandenong VIC: $58,115 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $58,055 per year

  • Brisbane QLD: $56,602 per year

  • Townsville QLD: $56,499 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $56,432 per year

  • Wetherill Park NSW: $55,832 per year

  • Sydney Western Suburbs NSW: $53,997 per year

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. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles