What is Warehouse?
In 2014, Amazon sold 2 billion items worldwide. That's 2 billion products stored inside Amazon's fulfillment centers that were sorted and wrapped by warehouse workers. Source
Warehouse work is a huge industry that includes many different positions. But ultimately everyone is responsible for the same thing: getting the right product to the right person or store at the right time. Here are some of the most common jobs and what they do:
|Order filler |
(Also known as: order selector, packager, picker, fulfillment associate)
|Select or pack a variety of products into a package or order.|| |
|Freight, stock, material movers||Move freight, stock, or other materials, usually with a pallet jack or forklift.|| |
|Machine feeders and offbearers||Feed into or remove materials from equipement. For example, taking packed boxes off a conveyor belt.|| |
|Stock clerks||Receive and issue materials and equipment from stockroom or warehouse. Keep records and compile stock reports.|| |
Nationally, warehouse jobs are expected to grow around 5% from 2016‐2026 which is above average. But some jobs and areas are expected to see even faster growth:
|Area||Job||Projected change 2016‐2026|
|Oregon||Freight, stock, material movers||17%|
|Washington||Freight, stock, material movers||11%|
Career Growth Potential
Your career doesn't have to stop at order filler. There's always an opportunity to grow into management positions with higher salaries and more responsibility. A first line supervisor earns up to $116,000 a year. And warehouses generally prefer to promote from within the organization.
No previous training required
Most warehouses provide training on day one and don't require a high school diploma. So, once you find a job, you can get started right away.
Warehouse associates were among the top nine jobs with the fastest wage growth in 2017, 6.7% median wage increase. Source: CBS News/Glassdoor
The average pay for an order filler in the US is $25,410 a year, but warehouse salaries are growing rapidly. Thanks to heavy demand from online retailers and high turnover rates at warehouses, competition for reliable warehouse workers is fierce. And this has driven salaries up.
Is Warehouse right for me?
You need a lot of energy to work in a warehouse. Order fillers move very quickly, sometimes work in extreme hot and cold, and are constantly bending and lifting. Sound okay so far? Then ask yourself:
- Do you want a very physically active job?
- Can you work a 10‐12 hours shift on your feet?
- Are you comfortable learning to use machinery like a pallet jack or forklift?
- Can you deal with extreme hot and cold temperatures (you could be packing food in a freezer)?
- Are you comfortable using computerized tools like an RFID scanner?
How would I get started in Warehouse?
You don't need any formal education for the majority of warehouse jobs. Just listening skills, physical strength, and stamina. Most positions require anywhere from a few days to a few weeks on‐the‐job training, usually with a supervisor or more experienced worker. So you can get started right away.