Material Recording Clerks

Summary

material recording clerks image
Material recording clerks ensure proper recordkeeping and inventory control.
Quick Facts: Material Recording Clerks
2019 Median Pay $qf_median_annual_wage_html $qf_median_hourly_wage_html
Typical Entry-Level Education $qf_education_html
Work Experience in a Related Occupation $qf_experience_html
On-the-job Training $qf_training_html
Number of Jobs, 2018 $qf_number_jobs_html
Job Outlook, 2018-28 $qf_outlook_html
Employment Change, 2018-28 $qf_openings_html

What Material Recording Clerks 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 a Material Recording Clerk

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

Pay

Job Outlook

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. The increased use of technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, is expected to allow fewer clerks to do the same amount of work.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for material recording clerks.

Similar Occupations

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

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about material recording clerks by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Material Recording Clerks Do

Material recording clerks
Shipping and receiving clerks track outgoing and incoming shipments.

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

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

Material recording clerks
Many stock clerks work in retail stores.

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

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.

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

Material recording clerks
Material recording clerks learn on the job from an experienced worker.

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

Education

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.

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

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

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.

Pay

Material Recording Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2019

Total, all occupations

$41,950

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

$41,160

 

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

Material Recording Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2018-28

Total, all occupations

4%

Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

-5%

 

Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. 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 SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

$occ_name

$tools.number.format($emp_current) $tools.number.format($emp_projected) $emp_percent_change $tools.number.format($emp_net_change)

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

43-5061 378,500 393,300 4 14,800 Get data

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

43-5071 710,400 648,800 -9 -61,500 Get data

$occ_name

43-5081 $tools.number.format($emp_current) $tools.number.format($emp_projected) $emp_percent_change $tools.number.format($emp_net_change) Get data

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

43-5111 61,300 64,500 5 3,100 Get data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of material recording clerks.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2019 MEDIAN PAY
General office clerks General Office Clerks

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Laborers and material movers Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Information clerks Information Clerks

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties, maintain records, collect data, and provide information to customers.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Recording Clerks,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/material-recording-clerks.htm (visited October 23, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019