If you like diverse responsibilities and a fast-paced work environment with a little bit of risk, then warehouse administrator may be your ideal career path.
In these positions, you get to spend time in the office and the warehouse, where you'll need to wear safety gear and follow strict protocols. If you're lucky, you may even be required to drive a forklift! A thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office and other data entry software, as well as your ability to find your way around the computer, is essential to pick up the specialist software required for warehouse inventory.
You have to be happy to deal with lots of people though, warehouses usually have a large team and as an administrator you will be in charge of handling customer and supplier inquiries.
The number of Warehouse positions are expected to expand by 3% by 2024, despite advances in technology such as RFID readers reducing the amount of labor required in some jobs. People who have qualifications and higher level experience will be more in demand than entry level staff with no training. It also turns out that all the online retail therapy is going to a good cause, as changing consumer behavior means that stock clerks and order fillers are predicted to have the largest growth with 5% more jobs expected to be available by 2024.
Over three million people in the United States work in warehousing positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2016. The Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division, is the fifth highest employer in the country with almost 300,000 people holding these positions, which represents 25 people employed in warehouse administration per 1000 jobs held.
Above all, in warehouse administration position you need to be able to use database and inventory software to manage and control warehouse stock. The following skills can add an edge to your application and help you specialize if you want to.
- Invoicing: Even if you're not creating the invoices yourself, you will often have to refer to and use sales orders and invoices in a warehouse to manage stock.
- Cashflow & Payroll: If you would like to specialize in the accounting side of warehouse administration, you will be required to manage warehouse cashflow, payroll, and staff entitlements.
- Forklift License: Why bother working in a warehouse if you can't ride around in a forklift? Most warehouses require heavy machinery to get the job done, and if you know how to use them you will be in a better position to get the job.
Essential Soft Skills
When faced with a pile of candidates that all have the same qualification, it is your attributes and emotional intelligence that will help your application get across the line. In a warehouse, organization, teamwork, and communication are essential for a successful operation.
- Organization: You'll need to be highly organized and efficient to handle, monitor, record, and schedule all the tasks required in a warehouse.
- Communication: Whether you are dealing with drivers, fellow staff members, different departments, suppliers or clients, you will need to employ your superior communication skills to ensure everyone has all the information they need for the warehouse to run smoothly.
- Teamwork: Warehouses often have a large team with people hailing from diverse backgrounds. You need to be willing to work with everyone and respect the chain of command.
- Attention to detail: In these positions, you will often need to cross reference information to ensure the right items are always in the right place. One incorrect number could spell disaster, and there is always a risk working around heavy machinery, so attention to detail is paramount in all warehouse positions.
The following are just a few of the industries that require warehouse staff.
Examples of Job Titles
Warehouse administration positions come by a variety of titles, and each one specializes slightly in some way. If you'd prefer spending more of your day working with numbers than people you could look at accounting or recording positions. I like my work hours to pass quickly, so I enjoy a bit of manual labor. Shipping and receiving positions would allow me to put my administration skills into action while getting a workout when I work. Here are some job titles to keep an eye out for:
- Warehouse Clerk, Warehouse Assistant
- Warehouse Administrator, Administration Manager
- Accounts Clerk, Bookkeeper
- Production Clerk
- Planning, Expediting Clerk
- Material Recording Clerk
- Stock Clerk
- Order Filler
- Shipping, Receiving Clerk
- Weighers and Measurers
If you are interested in warehouse positions but want to improve your chances of securing a job or moving up the career ladder, check out our business and accounting program and download our free e-book.