The Many Types of Warehouse Jobs

Warehouses have kept the economy going since the Coronavirus outbreak, providing essential goods to stores, hospitals and homes.

The warehouse can be a confusing place for someone who has never worked there or spent time at the company. There are several different roles, each with its own level of pay, hours, and required skills. However, once you know the basic hierarchy of warehouse management, it becomes easier to identify which position various employees are in and what they do. Check out this guide to understand the inner workings of warehouse hierarchy.

General Workers

General workers tend to be entry positions that form the cogs of the machine and make all of the work happen. Whether they're receiving shipments and sorting materials, assembling the actual products, or running quality control before the finished packages go out the door, they're essential to the flow of the company.

These employees tend to work part-time or in shift work during peak seasonal hours. Some warehouses operate 24/7 during peak seasons, which means employees can earn extra money if they're assigned night and weekend shifts. The peak season also sees a lift in seasonal workers, with more than 200,000 seasonal positions created for distribution alone.

Skilled Workers

General workers who show promise or commitment to the company might work with skilled workers or get trained to take on the position themselves. While these employees work on shifts like the general workers, they get paid more because they offer something that other employees can't. These workers include machinists and engineers who fix the machinery when it breaks, forklift operators who move items across the floor, and drivers who ship the items to and from the warehouse.

Operations Management

The goal of the operations management team is to continuously improve the process. They might evaluate the benefits of new technology or implement new systems that make the process faster or more cost effective. When they're not making improvements, they're known as the problem solvers: identifying parts of production that are broken or slowing the rest of the team down.

Not only do these team members need an intricate knowledge of the company and how it works, but they also need interpersonal skills to discuss changes with employees and train them on new systems. This typically means they're in high demand and are full-time salaried employees.

Human Resources and Administration

These employees are also full-time and typically work 9 to 5, though some companies might ask human resource managers to keep later hours to provide support to shift workers. HR and administrative employees are responsible for the hiring, scheduling, and (if necessary) firing of all employees. If an employee calls in sick, they need to make sure there is someone to replace them. These employees also handle accounting, clerical work, inventory management, and even safety training.

This is just a high-level overview of what you can expect when working in a warehouse. Each company has its own organizational system and may have more positions for one section than others. However, the more warehouses you work in, the more you will understand the general patterns of employment and the better you can tailor your resume to their needs.

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