Dockworkers in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $16.63 per hour. For the most part, Dockworkers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Although the greater part have medical coverage and a majority have dental coverage, over a third claim no health benefits at all. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
|Hourly Rate||$10.98 - $21.14|
|Overtime||$13.99 - $32.75|
|Total Pay (||$23,125 - $46,922|
Job Description for Dockworker
Dockworkers load and unload a variety of cargo, from the lumber for building houses to the clothes we wear. This job can be physically strenuous and occasionally require long hours, and dockworkers are primarily responsible for unloading freight from trucks and rail cars using a forklift or by hand.Read More...
Forklifts are commonly used when the freight received is on pallets. When it is not, dockworkers unload trucks by hand using a line of rollers and stack the merchandise on pallets. After the freight is placed on pallets, the forklift is used to transport and store the merchandise. They work primarily indoors, but may also work outdoors, as most freight trucks and rail cars unload their cargo into a warehouse or storage room at the back of a large retailer.
Educational requirements are not strict for this position, though the ability to operate a forklift is strongly recommended and often required. Dockworkers may also use other tools, such as pallet jacks, which raise pallets only inches off the floor to be rolled to other areas in the facility. Dockworkers also load trucks and must know how to brace and balance loads in their trailers, and loading and unloading freight may be done early in the shift so it can then be loaded and prepared to ship to another location. Shifts can be long in this position, and good physical health is important to meet the job's physical demands and keep moving throughout the shift.
- Operate motorized and manual equipment including forklifts, pallet trucks, and hand trucks to handle freight.
- Verify that documentation matches freight and document incoming and outgoing freight.
- Unload, sort, stack, and identify all products to maximize space and weight distribution.
Common Career Paths for Dockworker
While not commonly seen, Dockworkers who transition into an Operations Supervisor position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Operations Supervisors is $49K per year. Dockworkers go on to become Dock Workers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $32K. Dockworkers who move into a Tractor-Trailer Driver role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $43K.
Pay by Experience Level for Dockworker
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Dockworkers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $35K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $36K. Dockworkers see a median salary of $37K after reaching one to two decades on the job. After two decades in the workforce, the average Dockworker generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $46K.
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for Dockworker
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.