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Distribution Clerk Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization distribution clerks work for will determine their duties and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, distribution clerks' tasks typically include:

Receiving Products Distribution clerks ensure that the products received to the warehouse are distributed to the correct areas, such as packing or shipping.

Assisting with Facilities Management Distribution clerks are closely involved with warehouse organization, facilities management, and inventory. They develop more efficient processes to make the system as effective as possible.

Inspecting Shipments Distribution clerks inspect all incoming shipments for damage or errors, liaising with suppliers to resolve issues.

Fulfilling Customer Orders Distribution clerks pack, seal, and label items for customers, ensuring they're ready to be sent to the correct place. This involves checking stock quantities in the warehouse, making sure the correct quantities are included.

Updating Records Distribution clerks ensure inventory records and customer accounts are updated accordingly and that databases are organized for fast retrieval of information.


Distribution Clerk Skills and Qualifications

Distribution clerks are organized, providing professional service to suppliers and customers. Typically, employers require a high school diploma, as well as the following abilities:
  • Customer service experience - to liaise with customers or suppliers, providing a professional service
  • Attention to detail - from checking items for defects to identifying errors in orders or shipments, distribution clerks detect errors, finding ways to resolve them accordingly
  • Math skills - to calculate shipping costs and take measurements
  • Communication skills - to effectively plan and expedite work from suppliers and vendors
  • Physical strength - to lift heavy items and to operate machinery in the warehouse

Distribution Clerk Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a distribution clerk is a high school diploma. This job includes both physical labor and clerical work, so applicants need a technological background to work with spreadsheets and have experience organizing inventory. It is advantageous to have experience operating machinery, such as a forklift license.

Distribution Clerk Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for distribution clerks is nearly $39,000, according to PayScale. Distribution clerks in the 10th percentile earn around $27,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $58,000 a year. Some companies offer packages that can reach up to $3,000 from bonus structures based on individual or group performances and profit sharing opportunities of up to $2,000. Over 80 percent of employers offer medical insurance as part of their benefits package, and more than 70 percent offer dental plans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the growth rate for this sector to grow by 4 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

We've collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about working as a distribution clerk:

Warehouse and Distribution Management - This LinkedIn group has over 61,000 members, making it a great starting point for networking with others in the industry. The group was set up to help professionals looking to exchange knowledge and experiences, as well as to find new job opportunities.

Distribution Clerk Red-Hot Career Guide - From behavior questions to problem-solving and advice on which previous work experience best prepares someone for a role in the distribution industry, this book has over 2,500 questions to prepare readers for an interview as a distribution clerk. The guide provides clear and concise answers to virtually any question that might arise in a distribution clerk interview, so applicants can be fully prepared for anything an interview might throw at them.

Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse - A comprehensive guide to all aspects of managing a warehouse, this book is a great reference for making warehouse operations more efficient. For distribution clerks looking to improve systems in their workplace, this book has practical case studies and downloadable warehouse tools to make the task even simpler.

Essentials of Inventory Management - Inventory management is a key component of working as a distribution clerk; this book demystifies the business of maintaining inventory and increasing productivity. It covers a wide range of topics, from forecasting and replenishing strategies, to how to simply calculate quantities and schedules, making it an incredibly useful book to have.

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