Inventory Controller: Job Duties, Requirements and Career Information

Training in inventory control typically covers administrative tasks, business operations and basic mathematics. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for inventory control graduates.

Essential Information

Inventory control is a component of business operations that ensures an appropriate amount of supply without excess. Inventory specialists and clerks work in a range of organizations, from factories to hospitals. Inventory control clerks require a high school diploma, whereas you will need an associate's or bachelor's degree to become an inventory control specialist.

CareerInventory Control ClerkInventory Control Specialist
Education RequirementsHigh School Diploma Associate's or bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)1% for materials record clerks* 2% for industrial production managers*
Median Salary (2014) $35,411** $41,071**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; ** (2015)

Inventory Control Clerk Job Duties

Whereas internal control specialists have a hand in setting organizational procedures for inventory control, clerks are generally responsible for following them. Under the supervision of a manger, clerks record and maintain inventory lists, review paperwork and reports, check product codes, process shipping orders, and provide customer service. Inventory control clerks also support their mangers by helping with administrative tasks, identifying discrepancies, and coming up solutions to problems.

Requirements reports that inventory control clerks are typically required to hold a high school diploma to qualify for most jobs. Some employers may prefer candidates with an associate's degree in business operations and at least a year of professional experience. Depending on the type of inventory being handled, inventory clerk positions may require good physical fitness and the ability to lift or stand for long periods of time. With experience, clerks have the opportunity to advance into higher positions, which allow for more creativity.

Career Information

As of April 2015, most basic inventory control clerks earned an annual salary of between $20,673 and $41,025, according to Some industries in which inventory control clerks may be employed include transportation and shipping, retail and wholesale, warehousing and logistics, and food manufacturing. The BLS projected that employment growth for materials record clerks would be stagnant at about 1% for 2012-2022.

Inventory Control Specialist Job Duties

Inventory control specialists typically work in a warehouse. They collect data using a computerized system, which allows them to track various aspects of inventory. This data is used to calculate products and parts orders, to ensure that the proper amount of inventory is distributed at the right time. Additionally, specialists may track defective pieces of inventory, rates of return, rates of purchase, and rates of accuracy, in order to maintain and improve quality control. Inventory control specialists are also responsible for responding to sales inquiries, filing reports, managing employees, and providing creative solutions to discrepancies.


Many employers prefer to hire inventory control specialists who have a bachelor's degree in relevant areas, such as business or mathematics, though many positions are open to graduates with an associate's degree. Candidates are also required to be proficient in a computerized database or document system as well as office applications.

Career Information

According to, in April 2015, the salary for most inventory control supervisors was between $21,907 and $52,347 a year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2013, there were 165,340 industrial production manager jobs in the country, including inventory control specialist positions, many of which were in manufacturing industries. The BLS expected that the employment of industrial production manager positions would decrease by 2% between 2012 and 2022.

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