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Career Definition for a Stock Clerk
Stock clerks maintain the order of stock rooms by receiving, unpacking, and inspecting merchandise as it arrives. They may tag items for inventory control and distribute merchandise to the proper location using a dolly or electric hand truck. In retail stores, stock clerks place new merchandise on sales floors, maintain its appearance, and replace damaged or expired items when necessary. They may also keep track of inventory, both on and off the sales floor, using hand-held scanners and computers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of stock clerks work in department stores, but many work in grocery stores, warehouses, and factories throughout the United States. They often work nights, weekends, and holidays.
|Education||High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training|
|Job Skills||Able to meet physical requirements, data-entry, basic office skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$24,470 (for all stock clerks and order fillers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||5% (for all stock clerks and order fillers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'
Many employers require applicants to be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Employers generally provide on-the-job training, but some require previous experience. Inventory control is a large part of a stock clerk's job, so basic bookkeeping, word processing, and computer courses may give you a competitive edge in the job market.
Stock clerks need to be able to lift heavy objects, stoop, and bend. They must be able to operate equipment, such as hand-held scanners and electric pallet trucks. Organization and basic office skills, including computer, data entry, and word processing skills, are necessary for receiving, processing, and tracking inventory. Stock clerks must also have good customer service skills and be able to work effectively with co-workers. Some employers require a valid driver's license and clean driving record. Depending on the industry, stock clerks may need to be bonded.
Salary Information and Career Outlook
As inventory control becomes more automated, the BLS expects overall job growth for stock clerks to increase 5% between 2016 and 2026. However, stock clerks are often promoted to other warehouse and sales floor positions, so entry-level jobs should continue to open up. Job seekers with versatile skills, including computer proficiency, may find more opportunities for hiring and promotion. The median annual salary for stock clerks was $24,470 in May 2017, according to the BLS.
Alternative Career Options
Other jobs similar to a stock clerk that might appeal to you include:
Shipping, Receiving and Traffic Clerk
These types of clerks perform duties like tracking incoming and outgoing shipments and estimating freight costs. Between 2016 and 2026, this career option is estimated to experience little to no change, based on information from the BLS. The median income was $31,810 as of May 2017. A minimum of a high school diploma is required, and some on-the-job training may be necessary.
Production, Planning and Expediting Clerk
Between 2016 and 2026, a 5% job growth is predicted by the BLS for these clerks. Among their duties, production, planning and expediting clerks confer with clients about their shipments, inspect products and create production reports. A high school diploma is usually needed. In 2017, the median income was $46,670 per year, according to the BLS.