Materials Handler

Last Updated:
January 20, 2024

Job Description Overview

A Materials Handler job description typically involves managing and organizing materials in a warehouse or at a transportation site. This position is important for ensuring that goods are correctly handled and transported, and that all products are going where they need to be. A Materials Handler is responsible for moving boxes, crates, or pallets using forklifts, dollies, and other equipment. They may also be responsible for tracking and labeling packages, verifying orders, and maintaining inventory. This job can be physically demanding and requires a lot of time on your feet. Successful candidates for this position will need to be able to work well under pressure, be detail-oriented, and work effectively in a team environment. If you're looking for a career in the transportation industry, a Materials Handler job might be right for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Receive and inspect incoming materials and check for damages, quality, and accuracy of shipment.
  • Verify shipment documentation and update inventory records in the system.
  • Move materials from incoming storage areas to designated inventory locations using hand trucks, forklifts, or other equipment.
  • Pick, pack and prepare materials for outbound shipment safely and accurately.
  • Operate material handling equipment to load and unload trucks and containers.
  • Maintain a safe and clean work environment by complying with procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Report any inventory discrepancies, equipment malfunctions, or safety hazards immediately to the supervisor.
  • Participate in inventory counts and reconcile differences.
  • Communicate effectively with co-workers, supervisors, and transportation personnel to ensure efficient material flow.
  • Follow quality and procedural guidelines to ensure the accurate and timely delivery of materials to production areas.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Materials Handler in the Transportation industry, you'll typically need a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may prefer candidates with additional education, such as vocational or technical courses. Experience in a warehouse or manufacturing environment is also helpful. You should have good physical stamina and be able to lift heavy objects, as the job involves moving items around. Organizations that transport goods by land, sea, or air rely on Materials Handlers to manage inventory, assist with loading and unloading cargo, and ensure that all items are properly labeled and packaged. With the right training and experience, you can enjoy a career in this rewarding area of the transportation industry.

Salary Range

As a Materials Handler in the Transportation industry, you can expect to make a salary range of $25,000 to $54,000 per year in the United States. Entry-level positions typically pay on the lower end of the range, while those with more experience and specialized skills can command higher salaries. In the UK, the average salary for a Materials Handler is £20,000 (approx. $26,000 USD) per year, while in Australia it is around AU$49,000 (approx. $35,000 USD) per year.


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  • Glassdoor (,16.htm)
  • Indeed (

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Materials Handler in the transportation industry is quite promising over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Material Handling Workers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The logistics and transportation sector's growing demand for efficient management of warehouse operations will continue to drive job growth for materials handler. Additionally, the e-commerce boom has led to an increase in demand for goods transportation, which requires skilled Materials Handlers to help transport, store and distribute shipments. Therefore, if you are interested in a career in transportation, becoming a material handler could be a smart choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Materials Handler do in the Transportation industry?

A: A Materials Handler is responsible for receiving, storing, and distributing materials for a transportation company. They may also load and unload trucks or assist with inventory control.

Q: Is a Materials Handler required to have any specific education or training?

A: Generally, no formal education or training is required to become a Materials Handler in the transportation industry. However, experience in warehouse management or forklift operation may be preferred by some employers.

Q: What are some common tools and equipment used by a Materials Handler?

A: Materials Handlers frequently use forklifts, pallet jacks, and hand trucks to move materials around a warehouse or loading dock. They may also use scanners or inventory management software to track items.

Q: What type of physical demands are required for this job?

A: Materials Handlers must be able to lift and move heavy boxes, crates, or equipment for extended periods. They may also need to stand for extended periods and work in a noisy or dirty environment.

Q: What are some common employment opportunities for Materials Handlers in the transportation industry?

A: Materials Handlers are commonly employed by freight companies, supply chain management firms, logistics providers, or manufacturing facilities. They work in warehouses, distribution centers, or at loading docks.

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