What does a Material Handler do?

Material handlers move products in warehouses and manufacturing facilities, either manually or using equipment such as trucks or forklifts. Their responsibilities may include pulling inventory and moving stock and other materials to fulfill orders, and unloading product deliveries by pulling them off of trucks and putting them on shelves.

There are no specific education requirements, but many employers prefer a high school degree or equivalent. In some positions, material handlers need a certificate to operate a forklift or other equipment. Material handlers need to have stamina and strength since they are typically on their feet for long periods of time and often need to lift heavy products.

What responsibilities are common for Material Handler jobs?
  • Load and unload incoming and outgoing materials and products
  • Move materials to and from loading docks, delivery trucks, storage areas, and manufacturing areas
  • Identify and label materials, and record their locations in the warehouse/on the shelves to maintain inventory
  • Prepare finished products for shipment by identifying their location, then pulling, packing, and loading them
  • Operate trucks, forklifts, cranes, and other equipment to move freight
  • Perform and report cycle counts
  • Comply with all warehouse safety rules and guidelines
What are the typical qualifications for Material Handler jobs?
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 1-5 years of experience working in a warehouse setting or in logistics; experience in operating material handling equipment preferred
  • Certification to ride forklift truck preferred
  • Must be able to work well in a team
  • Ability to read.write and to follow instructions, and work independently with little guidance
  • Ability to stand or walk for extended periods of time; ability to bend and to lift heavy materials
  • Ability to operate computers and relevant warehouse management computer software
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including overtime and weekends
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Material Handler Salaries

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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Material Handler Career Path

Learn how to become a Material Handler, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Material Handler
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Senior Material Handler
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Lead Material Handler
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Material Handler

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Material Handler Insights

Read what Material Handler professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Ryder Intergrated Logistics
Material Handler
19 Jun 2020

“Not many areas for career development and sometimes cross training allows employees to perform any tasks”

Lee HealthLee Health
Material Handler
9 Sept 2021

“It was fun and fairly easy; i would often finish quick with my work and my boss wouldn't be a pain about it.”

W.D. Dog Training and Rattlesnake Aversion
Rattlesnake Handler
27 May 2022

“The pay is good and I didn't have any issues interacting with the clientele.”

Comparision Shopper/Jack Of All Trades Did All Jobs
19 Sept 2022

“It was fun and nice to work”

Scot ForgeScot Forge
Material Handler
24 Sept 2020

“Paid weekly and monthly bonuses based on company preformance.”

LSC CommunicationsLSC Communications
Material Handler
13 Oct 2022

“People are great and respectful.”

O'Reilly Auto PartsO'Reilly Auto Parts
Material Handler
19 Nov 2020

“Great flexible hours and pay.”

PAL Environmental ServicesPAL Environmental Services
Asbestos Handler
1 Sept 2020

“It's one of the best compenies were one can learn and grow ethically and professional.”

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Material Handler Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Material Handler

When working as a Material Handler, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Load Unload, English Language, Computer Literacy, Attention To Detail and Written Communication.

The most similar professions to Material Handler are:
  • Laborer
  • Packer
  • Forklift Operator
  • Warehouse Worker

The most common qualifications to become a Material Handler is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

38% skills overlap
50% skills overlap
Forklift Operator
50% skills overlap
Warehouse Worker
63% skills overlap

Material Handler jobs