Home page

Shipping and Receiving Clerks

At a Glance

  • Shipping clerks are responsible for all outgoing shipments
  • Receiving clerks are in charge of accepting deliveries
  • Have a high level of social contact
  • Typically work a standard work week
  • Train on the job

Career summary

Shipping and receiving clerks keep records, prepare shipments, and accept deliveries of goods.

#No alternate titles CJ


Shipping clerks are responsible for all outgoing shipments. They keep track of and maintain the inventory of goods to be shipped. They fill orders, or make sure orders filled by other workers are correct. They prepare invoices to send with the order.

Clerks often perform the following tasks:

They decide what shipping method to use, based on their knowledge of rates for various sizes and distances. They also compare different routes to find ways to use less fuel to transport goods. Clerks may move the goods from the warehouse to the loading dock. 


Receiving clerks contact other companies to order goods and arrange for delivery. When shipments arrive, clerks verify the contents against the original order. They also make sure that the contents match the invoice.

Clerks record data about each incoming shipments. They check for damages and discrepancies. In many organizations, clerks use hand-held scanners to read bar codes on incoming shipments.

In small companies, receiving clerks may also perform stock clerk duties. For example, they stock shipped goods and mark them with identifying codes.

In larger companies, shipping and receiving clerks may transfer items between different parts of the organization.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to shipping and receiving clerks.

Common work activities

Shipping and receiving clerks perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, shipping and receiving clerks:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Shipping and receiving clerks frequently:

It is important for shipping and receiving clerks to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for shipping and receiving clerks to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Shipping and receiving clerks need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a shipping and receiving clerk, you typically need to:

Education after high school

No formal education beyond high school is required for this occupation.

On-the-job training

Shipping and receiving clerks usually learn their skills on the job. You work with an experienced clerk and do routine tasks under close supervision. You learn to track inventory, order supplies, and keep records. You may receive training for up to a month.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be warehousing and distribution specialists. Training lasts four to six weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers generally prefer to hire clerks with computer experience. Many employers prefer applicants with basic clerical skills, such as typing, filing, and recordkeeping. Previous business experience or specific job-related experience is also helpful. In addition, employers prefer applicants with good speaking and writing skills. Strength and good eyesight are also important. Some employers require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

In some companies, hiring is based on the bid system. Workers who handle liquor, jewelry, or pharmaceuticals may be required to be bonded. Some employers may require workers to pass a criminal background check and pre-employment drug test.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks (SOC 43-5071)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $13.06 $15.30 $18.03 $22.37 $27.51
Monthly $2,263 $2,651 $3,125 $3,877 $4,767
Yearly $27,160 $31,820 $37,500 $46,520 $57,210
    Bellingham Hourly $12.66 $14.12 $16.96 $20.81 $24.85
Monthly $2,194 $2,447 $2,939 $3,606 $4,307
Yearly $26,327 $29,384 $35,280 $43,297 $51,683
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $12.73 $17.22 $23.64 $26.46 $28.78
Monthly $2,206 $2,984 $4,097 $4,586 $4,988
Yearly $26,484 $35,809 $49,176 $55,021 $59,866
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $11.58 $14.16 $18.23 $26.06 $29.61
Monthly $2,007 $2,454 $3,159 $4,516 $5,131
Yearly $24,102 $29,434 $37,926 $54,206 $61,600
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $12.36 $13.86 $17.67 $22.20 $25.70
Monthly $2,142 $2,402 $3,062 $3,847 $4,454
Yearly $25,719 $28,825 $36,760 $46,166 $53,450
    Longview Hourly $13.97 $17.69 $23.48 $31.19 $37.27
Monthly $2,421 $3,066 $4,069 $5,405 $6,459
Yearly $29,060 $36,785 $48,836 $64,874 $77,533
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $12.40 $13.80 $16.48 $20.59 $24.60
Monthly $2,149 $2,392 $2,856 $3,568 $4,263
Yearly $25,802 $28,688 $34,277 $42,833 $51,177
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $12.71 $14.17 $17.00 $20.06 $24.78
Monthly $2,203 $2,456 $2,946 $3,476 $4,294
Yearly $26,450 $29,472 $35,366 $41,709 $51,529
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $13.86 $16.17 $18.64 $22.90 $28.17
Monthly $2,402 $2,802 $3,230 $3,969 $4,882
Yearly $28,834 $33,641 $38,773 $47,647 $58,592
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.78 $14.22 $16.95 $20.36 $25.18
Monthly $2,215 $2,464 $2,937 $3,528 $4,364
Yearly $26,594 $29,581 $35,262 $42,347 $52,359
    Vancouver Hourly $13.04 $14.71 $17.61 $21.67 $26.38
Monthly $2,260 $2,549 $3,052 $3,755 $4,572
Yearly $27,117 $30,596 $36,629 $45,090 $54,853
    Walla Walla Hourly $13.66 $17.25 $20.09 $25.85 $29.71
Monthly $2,367 $2,989 $3,482 $4,480 $5,149
Yearly $28,421 $35,883 $41,778 $53,769 $61,810
    Wenatchee Hourly $12.65 $13.67 $15.78 $19.02 $24.34
Monthly $2,192 $2,369 $2,735 $3,296 $4,218
Yearly $26,310 $28,447 $32,838 $39,571 $50,611
    Yakima Hourly $12.64 $13.93 $16.22 $19.67 $23.63
Monthly $2,191 $2,414 $2,811 $3,409 $4,095
Yearly $26,286 $28,976 $33,743 $40,912 $49,153
United States Hourly $11.01 $13.00 $15.88 $19.51 $24.22
Monthly $1,908 $2,253 $2,752 $3,381 $4,197
Yearly $22,900 $27,040 $33,030 $40,580 $50,380

Wages vary by industry and area of the country. In general, wages are higher in big cities than in small towns.

Full-time shipping and receiving clerks may receive benefits. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks (SOC 43-5071)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 11,297 11.3% 16.1% 1,441
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 480 14.4% 13.4% 65
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 165 4.2% 8.6% 18
    Benton and Franklin Counties 229 12.7% 15.0% 30
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 358 3.1% 11.9% 37
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 807 2.4% 15.2% 84
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 496 12.5% 14.1% 64
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 615 12.7% 14.6% 81
    King County 4,544 7.4% 19.6% 532
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 579 14.0% 13.8% 78
    Pierce County 1,391 15.5% 15.2% 194
    Snohomish County 1,131 9.4% 12.4% 138
    Spokane County 802 17.7% 13.9% 114
United States 662,600 -1.0% 5.2% 64,800

National employment

Shipping and receiving clerks work in almost every industry. Although jobs are found throughout the country, most are in or near large cities.

Major employers:

National outlook

Growth for clerks is expected to show little to no change. Automation will limit growth.

Even with automation, some jobs will be created because of increasing trade. Also, many tasks cannot be automated. In addition, many job openings will occur as current clerks leave the occupation.

Other resources

Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster