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Article: Warehouse Work


This article covers the following jobs:

  • Fork Lift Truck Operator
  • Order Picker
  • Warehouse Clerk
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Warehouse Operative.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.

Video: - Various: Warehouse Work


Most large wholesalers, retailers and factories have their own warehouses. Some retail outlets have warehouses on-site, while others store most of their stock in a central warehouse.

There is a range of jobs that involve working in a warehouse. This article will give you details of five of the key ones.

Some of the different careers in this area

Warehouse Clerk

Warehouse clerks/administrative assistants handle the administration work in warehouses. They could be based in an office or spend much of their time in the warehouse itself.

Usually, warehouse clerks are responsible for dealing with records relating to the warehouse stock. They deal with goods notes when stock is delivered, keep a record of the stock held at the warehouse (and where it is stored), and prepare invoices.

They might be responsible for ordering goods and choosing an area in the warehouse to store them, although a warehouse assistant might do this work. Warehouse clerks often use computers to produce lists of goods to be picked out for delivery or to store customers' addresses, for example.

There are no formal academic entry requirements, although employers might ask for some GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

Warehouse Operative

Warehouse operatives receive, store and send out goods from a warehouse. They check all goods coming in and going out, to make sure none are damaged or missing. Within the warehouse, they decide where goods should be stored, and keep records of what stock they hold.

When an order is received, warehouse operatives pick goods from the warehouse and prepare and pack them for delivery. You do not usually need any qualifications to enter this job, but basic English, maths and IT skills are useful.

Some people enter this career via a Warehousing and Storage Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Warehouse Manager

Warehouse managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of warehouses. They decide on how best to store goods within the warehouse, schedule deliveries, and keep a record of goods arriving and leaving.

Warehouse managers make sure that goods are stacked and stored according to any special requirements, such as them being fragile. They are responsible for supervising staff and making sure that they follow safety and security rules.

There are several different routes into this career. You could enter after A levels or equivalent qualifications. Some people enter with higher-level qualifications such as foundation degrees or degrees and train on-the-job with their employer.

It's also possible to enter via an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Logistics Operations Management.

Order Picker

Order pickers take items from warehouse stocks to match a specific order. The work of a picker or order assembler might overlap with that of a warehouse operative.

When a customer or company places an order, the items are listed on a picking slip. The order picker, using a hand-held scanner will read the slip, select the correct items from the warehouse or storage area and put them into a trolley or assembly carrier.

The picker or their supervisor checks that the brand and quantities of items are correct, then the load is taken or sent to the packers or to the collection/delivery bay.

In small warehouses, the picker might have to pack goods and help with filling shelves. No educational qualifications are usually needed to enter this job. Some maths, English and IT skills would be useful though.

Some people enter this career via a Warehousing and Storage Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Fork Lift Truck Operator

Fork lift trucks are vehicles designed to move heavy or bulky goods. They are mainly used in warehouses, stockyards and other storage areas. On the front of the truck are two forks.

The operator fits these forks into the pallets on which goods are stored. They use the forks to lift the pallet, take it to where it is needed and set it down. They may also have to keep records and follow instructions written on a work sheet.

The operator is also responsible for the basic maintenance of the truck. This includes greasing or oiling parts and changing the battery.

No qualifications are usually needed to enter this job. Operators must pass a Certificate of Competence for insurance purposes.

Some people enter this career following a Warehousing and Storage Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Further Information

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK)

Address: Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 4AX

Tel: 01536 740100



Careers in Logistics

Address: Langstone Technology Park, Langstone Road, Havant, Hampshire PO9 1SA

Tel: 0844 5619149


Skills for Logistics

Skills for the freight logistic industry

Tel: 0117 927 8800



A Career in Retail




Retail recruitment


People 1st

Address: 4th Floor, 93 Newman Street, London W1T 3EZ

Tel: 020 7462 5060



United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA)

Address: Walter House, 418-422 Strand, London WC2R 0PT

Tel: 020 7836 5522



Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA)

Address: 34B Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5SJ

Tel: 01635 277577



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