Reach New Levels of Success: Expert Guide to Becoming a Warehouse Picker (With Duties and Salary)! A warehouse picker prepares items in a warehouse for shipment to stores, manufacturing facilities and other locations. Working as a warehouse picker can offer excellent job security and the opportunity to engage in physical job duties, such as lifting and carrying items. If you’re interested in working in a warehouse, you might consider learning about what you can do to become a warehouse picker so you start preparing for your career. In this article, we discuss what a warehouse picker is, explore the position’s primary responsibilities and explain how to pursue this role.
What is a warehouse picker?
A warehouse picker is a specialized warehouse worker who sorts items for shipment. Some people also refer to warehouse pickers as order pickers, as they typically prepare items for specific orders from customers. Working in this position usually involves frequent physical labor, which can be ideal for candidates who enjoy moving around and working with their hands during work. Warehouse pickers also often have a strong knowledge of a warehouse’s inventory that can allow them to quickly find and transport items to their intended locations.
Some warehouse pickers might have specialized experience that enables them to use machinery that requires training, such as a pallet jack or a forklift.
What does a warehouse picker do?
A warehouse picker can have many job duties that involve sorting packages for shipment. Here are some of the most common job duties for a warehouse picker to have:
Remaining updated on the inventory a warehouse has in stock
Using digital or written requests to identify items that they need to collect
Pulling items from warehouse shelves and transporting them to the loading dock
Lifting boxes and other items manually
Ensuring that all items are placed in the correct loading container
Updating the warehouse’s inventory system after removing items from shelves
Bending and kneeling to collect items from low-hanging shelves
Memorizing the layout of a warehouse to know where all items are located
Using machinery and equipment to transport especially heavy loads
Assembling items that need to be shipped as finished products
Communicating with order packers to ensure they have all necessary items for delivery
How to become a warehouse picker
Here are some steps you can use to start your own career as a warehouse picker:
1. Earn a high school diploma or GED
The first step in becoming a warehouse picker is usually to graduate from high school or to earn a GED. This is because most employers in warehouses require candidates for this position to have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for jobs. Many jobs in warehouses also have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old, so having a high school diploma or GED can help you by verifying your age to employers.
2. Improve your physical fitness and strength
Working as a warehouse picker typically involves lifting heavy objects and carrying items to different locations. Because of this, it can be important for aspiring warehouse pickers to maintain their physical fitness to ensure they’re prepared to take part in physical labor each day. It can also be helpful to improve your strength, as this can make job duties that require you to carry or lift items easier. You can work on your fitness and strength by performing exercises such as lifting weights and engaging in cardio, like running or skipping rope.
3. Gain practical experience
While it can be possible to find a job as a warehouse picker directly after high school, many candidates build experience in the industry before applying to specialized positions. This can be especially helpful for people who want to work in warehouse pickers jobs that use machinery, such as forklifts, as candidates typically need training before using these types of equipment. To gain practical experience, you can work in an entry-level warehouse job that can allow you to learn about the industry and develop your skills. Here are a few job titles you can use to build warehouse experience:
Entry-level warehouse associate
Entry-level warehouse assembler
4. Apply for jobs as a warehouse picker
After building some practical experience, you can start applying to open positions as a warehouse picker. Most of these jobs exist in warehouses, so one way to find jobs is to research warehouses in your area that might have openings for warehouse pickers. You can also use a job search website that lists job openings by title and location or a general search engine that allows you to search through many different sources. If you currently work in a warehouse in a lower-level position, you might reach out to your supervisor about opportunities to advance to a warehouse picker position.
Salary and job outlook for a warehouse picker
While Indeed doesn’t offer salary information specifically for a warehouse picker, they provide salary data for an order picker, which is another job title for the same position. The national average salary for an order picker in the United States is currently $48,588 per year. Indeed also notes that order pickers can earn an average of $5,000 per year in overtime pay. Many order pickers receive employee benefits in addition to their salaries, such as paid time off, health insurance and access to employee assistance programs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have job outlook data specifically for this position, but they do offer information for hand laborers and material movers, which can include warehouse pickers. According to the BLS, the number of people employed as hand laborers and material movers is expected to increase by 7% from 2020 to 2030, which is a fairly average rate of growth. The BLS states that this growth might result from an increasing number of professionals in these positions who are preparing for retirement.