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Yard Supervisor: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Sep 18, 2019

Yard supervisors require no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties, outlook and other requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Yard supervisors are tasked with overseeing workers at shipyards, junkyards and a variety of other such facilities. Those holding these jobs are often warehouse workers, laborers or vehicle operators who have moved up through the ranks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting an increase as fast as the average employment growth rate in this profession through 2028.

Essential Information

Yard supervisors oversee vehicle operators, laborers, helpers, and material movers. These workers typically don't require any postsecondary education, but having relevant warehousing or transportation experience is often a requirement. Laborers, material movers or vehicle operators who are looking to advance and take on new responsibilities may consider becoming yard supervisors.

Required Education GED or High School Diploma
Other Requirements Previous experience in warehousing, transportation, or other related industry
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% for first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors
Median Salary (2018)* $55,600 for first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

Yard supervisors work in various storage and transportation settings, including manufacturing and materials handling facilities. This can include junk or scrap yards, steel yards, recycling yards, livestock yards and coal yards.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers yard supervisors as part of two major employment groups (www.bls.gov). For material handlers that use trucks and other machines, the BLS classifies yard managers as first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators. Other yard managers are considered first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers and material movers. Almost half of first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers and material movers and 70% of first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators are high school graduates with no additional education; however, previous experience in warehousing or transportation is usually necessary.

Duties

Yard supervisors are in charge of laborers, vehicle operators, material movers and helpers. They prepare work orders and shipping documents, maintain shipping and employee records and manage inventory. These professionals must also make sure safety procedures are followed, and they're responsible for ensuring accuracy in order fulfillment and receiving procedures.

Yard managers can be responsible for hiring and training workers, as well as keeping the storage facility secure. They might be tasked with equipment and vehicle maintenance. Some need to know more than one language to facilitate communication with workers or customers.

Outlook

The BLS reported that there were 416,200 first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers employed in 2018. Demand for first-line supervisors is expected to increase as fast as the average between 2018 and 2028, per data from the BLS. If manufacturing levels decrease in a slow economy, though, the need to hire workers or supervisors in these fields may decrease as well.

Yard supervisors must have good organizational and communication skills, extensive knowledge in their chosen industry and be able to ensure that their facility meets a variety of regulatory standards. Experience is more important that formal education in this field.

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