shipping departmemt

Shipping Clerk Job Guide

Thank a shipping clerk today

They make sure that you receive that fresh order of produce, your monthly subscription, or your quarterly supply of diapers and wipes. Shipping clerks keep a close eye on shipments. They guarantee that the warehouse runs with efficiency. They usually focus on outgoing shipments. They may help with receivables, too.

There are many ways to plan for a successful career in the warehouse industry. This includes meeting education requirements. We also recommend a plan for promotion opportunities. Consider this helpful information about job duties and certifications.

Be prepared for a warehouse environment

A shipping clerk will most likely work in a warehouse environment. They have the option to work in a part- or full-time position. This role requires employees to do the following:

  • Lift heavy packages
  • Drive a forklift
  • Stand for a long period
  • Use warehouse equipment
  • Track package shipments
  • Communicate across departments

Meet expectations

Depending on the size of the company, a shipping clerk may either work alone or on a team. Besides the duties listed above, a shipping clerk has additional responsibilities. They include:

  • Keeping a clean and safe workspace for the team
  • Updating supplies to meet the needs of the warehouse team
  • Preparing and printing shipping labels
  • Scheduling pick-ups
  • Tracking inventory
  • Updating records
  • Reporting shortages
  • Printing shipping documents like sales receipts
  • Ensuring accuracy
  • Cross-checking sales receipts
  • Processing orders with a buyer’s preferred shipping systems
  • Identifying cost-effective shipping solutions

Meet the requirements

Consider four areas before applying for the role: education, training, certifications, and skills. Each area is an important part of beginning a career as a shipping clerk. Benefits include receiving opportunities for career advancement.


For an entry-level shipping clerk, it is best to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Employees needs more years of experience for senior roles. Two to five years is a good range. Shipping clerks need to have a basic understanding of computers and software. This includes everything from spreadsheets to word processing.

Be open to specific educational course requirements to qualify for the position. These courses may focus on computer skills and math skills. Pursuing more education in the field is also helpful. One suggestion may be an associate or bachelor’s degree in logistics. More years of experience as well as educational courses help with career advancement.


On-the-job experience is one of the most common ways for shipping clerks to train. It provides a better understanding of the systems and processes. Training for the role may take a few weeks — or six months. Upper level shipping clerks train new employees. A shipping clerk can shadow a senior-level employee. This happens before beginning work under their new manager.


If a shipping clerk has a certification, they increase their value as an employee. The three most common certifications for shipping clerks below. Each certificate offers benefits for a shipping clerk. Select one that aligns with your career goals.

Certified Supply Chain Professional

The Association for Operations Management created this certificate. This option provides a general overview of supply chain management and best practices. You can either take the course online or in person. Plan for three to six months of preparation before taking the exam. If you’d like to qualify for this certification, you will need at least one of the following:

  • one more APICS or Institute of Supply Management certification and two years of relevant experience
  • a bachelor’s degree plus two years of relevant business experience
  • five years of related business experience

Certified Professional in Inventory Management

APICS created this certificate. Consider this option if you’d like to pursue a career in inventory management. You only need two years of experience in the field. Shipping clerks receive training and learn the industry terminology. Plan to take five individual exams with a focus on five different areas. Plan to study:

  • supply chain management
  • detailed scheduling
  • planning and execution
  • control of operations
  • master planning of resources

Certified Professional in Supply Management

Made available by the ISM, this certification focuses on purchasing and procurement. This certificate focuses on financial management, contract management or procurement practices. You must have three years of professional supply chain management experience. You must also have a bachelor’s degree or five years of supply chain management experience.

Know the salary

If you’re planning to begin a career as a shipping clerk, keep in mind that the salary may vary. A shipping clerk’s salary depends on experience, education, and location. A salary can range from $7.25 to $24.05 per hour. In the United States, a more common salary is $13.66 per hour.


Shipping clerks need both hard and soft skills for the shipping clerk role. Here are some skills that will help you become successful in a warehouse environment:

  • Technological skills
    Technological skills are valuable for maintaining accurate records. This is important for working in a database, printing labels, and comparing bills.
  • Math skills
    Shipping clerks must properly weigh packages. It is also important for them to determine the cost of postage.
  • Organizational skills
    Getting packages out on time is a priority. This time-sensitive task requires organizational skills. Shipping clerks must watch inventory and alert the team about shortages.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
    Teamwork plays a critical role in warehouse management. Communication skills are important for delegation and sharing information.
  • Physical fitness
    Besides long periods of standing, shipping clerks will need to bend, pull, lift and more. To safely perform responsibilities, a shipping clerk should exercise to avoid injury.

Take the steps

Before submitting your first application, spend some time doing research. Planning ahead will help you apply for the right job and offer the best resume and experience. Follow the steps below as you begin your new career journey.

  1. Find a role, and meet education requirements
  2. Begin or continue work to gain relevant experience
  3. Spend time on your resume
  4. Make a move and apply

If a shipping clerk is no longer an interest. Consider a related career below.

  • Office clerk
  • General manager
  • Inventory manager
  • Warehouse manager
  • General laborer

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