Material handlers work in warehouses and other merchandise distribution points. They frequently move products to where they are needed most, whether that be from the production line to storage areas or from storage areas to shipment points for delivery to customers.
The job requirements vary depending on the types of material involved and the department in which the employee works. It is common that material handlers are expected to handle between 45 and 70 pounds of product on their own. Applicants are sometimes required to be familiar with common material handling equipment, such as pallet jacks, forklifts, and hand trucks. While the job is mostly physical, there is usually some paperwork involved, since the movement of merchandise must often be documented at both the origin and destination points. Basic arithmetic skills are needed to verify that the quantities of product are correct. Most material handling jobs require a high school diploma.
Since material handlers are needed in any industry in which goods are physically moved, the shifts and types of positions available vary enormously. These positions can be either full-time or part-time, and many of them allow for overtime opportunities. There are many different shifts available, some during the day and some at night.
Most material handlers work indoors as part of a team. Typically, they are supervised by a warehouse manager or shift supervisor. Depending on the needs of the company, material handlers may have to communicate effectively with suppliers, freight companies, customers, and vendors. Within the place of employment, it is often necessary for material handlers to deal with employees in different departments of the company, such as receiving, production, and customer service. Because of this need to interact with others, communication skills are often important.
Material Handler Tasks
- Call vendors for pick ups or returns.
- Perform packaging, handling, transportation and other related shipping duties.
- Maintain inventory management of the sub-inventory.
- Inspect documents that are present from external suppliers.
- Perform filling work orders in a timely manner.