Most workers are trained on the job in 1 to 6 months and must usually have a high school diploma.
Most material recording clerks must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Production, planning, and expediting clerks need to have some basic computer skills. Candidates who have taken some business classes may be given preference over those who haven’t.
Stock clerks and order fillers generally are not required to have a high school diploma.
Material recording clerks usually learn their work on the job. Training for stock clerks and material inspectors may last less than a month. For shipping and production clerks, it can take up to 6 months. The more complex automatic equipment and sensors that are used in warehouses, the longer on-the-job training can take.
Typically, a supervisor or more experienced worker trains new clerks.
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.
With additional training or education, material recording clerks can advance to other similar positions within their firm, such as purchasing agent. For more information, see the profile on purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents.
Clerical skills. Typing, filing, and recordkeeping are common tasks for most material recording clerks.
Communication skills. Production, planning, and expediting clerks are often in contact with suppliers, vendors, and production managers and need to be able to communicate the firm’s scheduling needs effectively.
Customer-service skills. Stock clerks sometimes interact with customers in retail stores. They may have to get the item the customer is looking for from the storeroom.
Detail oriented. Material inspectors check items for defects, some of which are small and difficult to spot.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition