What Material Recording Clerks Do
Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule.
Many material recording clerks work full time. Stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, often work part time
How to Become a Material Recording Clerk
Material recording clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and are trained on the job.
The median annual wage for material recording clerks was $30,010 in May 2019.
Overall employment of material recording clerks is projected to decline 1 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.
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.
Material recording clerks held about 3.3 million jobs in 2019. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up material recording clerks was distributed as follows:
|Stockers and order fillers||2,135,800|
|Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks||710,400|
|Production, planning, and expediting clerks||378,500|
|Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping||61,300|
The largest employers of material recording clerks were as follows:
|Food and beverage stores||18%|
Stock clerks and order fillers usually work in retail settings and sometimes help customers. Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks usually work in an office inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant.
Although shipping clerks and material inspecting clerks prepare reports in an office, they also spend time in the warehouse, where they sometimes handle packages or automatic equipment such as conveyor systems.
Injuries and Illnesses
Some material recording clerks may need to lift heavy items and bend frequently, which can lead to injury. Using proper lifting techniques can help to reduce the risk of harm.
Production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and material and product inspecting clerks usually work full time. Some clerks work nights and weekends or holidays when large shipments arrive.
Stock clerks and order fillers, the largest occupation within this profile, usually work part time. Evening and weekend work is common because they work when retail stores are open. They sometimes work overnight shifts when large shipments arrive or when it is time to take inventory.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of material recording clerks.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
General Office Clerks
General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$34,040|
Hand Laborers and Material Movers
Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials.
|No formal educational credential||$28,710|
Information clerks perform routine clerical duties, maintain records, collect data, and provide information to customers.
|See How to Become One||$35,390|
For more information about material recording clerks, visit
Warehousing Education and Research Council
For a career video on stock clerks, sales floor, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Recording Clerks,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/material-recording-clerks.htm (visited ).