Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
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Overview
Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, about 67,300 job openings a year are expected for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks .
Safety from automation
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are more likely to be automated than 95% of other careers.
Workforce size
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, with 681,400 workers, form a larger workforce than 94% of careers.
Education
Only 8% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks have bachelor's degrees than 74% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 80% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks.
This job's median $33KAll jobs' median $39K$32K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 29% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks -- that's a smaller percentage than 55% of other jobs.
Gender of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, the median men's salary was 10% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 23% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are minority, and 19% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (19%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 49% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, and 62% have company-sponsored health insurance (16% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (88%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (64%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (53%)
  • Consequence of Error (32%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks (ACS Salary Data)
$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks (ACS)
Private for-profit (95.0%)
Private not-for-profit (2.2%)
Local government (0.6%)
State government (0.4%)
Federal government (1.0%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$31K$30K$36K$30K$32K$37K$31K$37K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$33K$50K$36K$33K$37K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$35K$31K$34K$32K$30K$34K$26K$35K$21K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
020K40K60K80KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks and gender

With 29% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 55% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
29%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Men (71%)
Women (29%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, with the median salary for men 10% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$28K$31K$0$20K$40K$60KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 72% of other jobs.

10%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks than for 64% of other careers. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
White (69% )
Black (14% )
Other (8% )
Asian (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$26K$28K$29K$29K$31K$31K$31K$32K$0$20K$40K$60KOtherMultiracialBlackHispanicPacific IslanderWhiteAsianAmerican Indian
Distribution: Salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks by nativity
$29K$31K$0$20K$40K$60KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks.

Education attained by shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Production, planning, and expediting clerks need to have basic knowledge of computer applications such as spreadsheet software.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks? Below we see the distribution of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$27K$31K$31K$31K$32K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (12%)High School (46%)Some College (27%)Associate's Degree (7%)Bachelor's Degree (7%)Master's Degree (1%)
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

What jobs will most shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerksHand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversStock clerks and order fillersIndustrial truck and tractor operatorsDriver/sales workers and truck driversFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersRetail salespersonsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersProduction workersHand packers and packagersInspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighersManagers (specialized areas)
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 9 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks as well as 1% of respondents after working as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
Stock clerks and order fillers
269,400
$0$200K$26K
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
Hand packers and packagers
108,600
$0$200K$21K
Industrial truck and tractor operators
66,000
$0$200K$31K
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.9%
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
7.9%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
1.1%
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
2.0%
Stock clerks and order fillers
269,400
$0$200K$26K
4.0%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
1.4%
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
1.4%
Assemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)
131,900
$0$200K$30K
1.1%
Hand packers and packagers
108,600
$0$200K$21K
1.8%
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
67,300
$0$200K$31K
35.9%
Industrial truck and tractor operators
66,000
$0$200K$31K
3.4%
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
1.3%
Office and administrative support workers
30,900
$0$200K$40K
1.0%
No occupation
9.6%
Read about shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Material recording clerks typically do the following:

  • Keep records of items shipped, received, or transferred to another location
  • Compile reports on various aspects of changes in production or inventory
  • Find, sort, or move goods between different parts of the business
  • Check inventory records for accuracy

Material recording clerks use computers, tablets, or hand-held devices to keep track of inventory. Sensors and tags enable these computers to automatically detect when and where products are moved, allowing clerks to keep updated reports without manually counting items.

The following are examples of types of material recording clerks:

Production, planning, and expediting clerks manage the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices in a business. They compile reports on the progress of work and on any production problems that arise. These clerks set workers’ schedules, estimate costs, keep track of materials, and write special orders for new materials. They perform general office tasks, such as entering data or distributing mail. Expediting clerks maintain contact with vendors to ensure that supplies and equipment are shipped on time.

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks keep track of and record outgoing and incoming shipments. Clerks may scan barcodes with handheld devices or use radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners to keep track of inventory. They check to see whether shipment orders were correctly processed in their company’s computer system. They also compute freight costs and prepare invoices. Some clerks move goods from the warehouse to the loading dock.

Stock clerks and order fillers receive, unpack, and track merchandise. Stock clerks move products from a warehouse to store shelves. They keep a record of items that enter or leave the stockroom and inspect for damaged goods. These clerks also use handheld RFID scanners to keep track of merchandise. Order fillers retrieve customer orders and prepare them to be shipped.

Material and product inspecting clerks weigh, measure, check, sample, and keep records on materials, supplies, and equipment that enters a warehouse. They verify the quantity and quality of items they are assigned to examine, checking for defects and recording what they find. They use scales, counting devices, and calculators. Some decide what to do about a defective product, such as to scrap it or send it back to the factory to be repaired. Some clerks also prepare reports, such as reports about warehouse inventory levels.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Production, planning, and expediting clerks are frequently in contact with suppliers, vendors, and production managers and need to communicate the firm’s scheduling needs effectively.
Customer-service skills
Stock clerks sometimes interact with customers in retail stores and may have to get the item the customer is looking for from the storeroom.
Detail oriented
Material and product inspecting clerks check items for defects, some of which are small and difficult to spot.
Math skills
Some material recording clerks use math to calculate shipping costs or take measurements.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 80% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $33KAll jobs' median $39K$32K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are anticipated to remain steady over the next decade; 78% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300200,000400,000600,000800,0001,000,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.02.04.06.08.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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