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How to become a Material Handler

The minimum education required to work as a material handler is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many of the skills in material handling are gained by working as an apprentice in a manufacturing environment. Over time, you gain the job experience in material handling, operating forklifts, dollies, hoists, cranes and record-keeping.

How to become: Warehouse Worker · Forklift Operator · Order Picker · Shipping and Receiving Clerk · Laborer
These qualifications are required: CDL · CDL A · CDL B
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What skills help Material Handlers find jobs?

  • Basic math
  • Bilingual
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Data entry
  • Driving
  • ERP systems
  • English
  • Forklift
  • Heavy lifting
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Career progression for Material Handler

Education levels for Material Handlers

Based on the requirements of Material Handler job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED83.3%
Associate's degree9.5%
Bachelor's degree6.2%
Master's degree0.6%
Middle school education0.3%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Material Handler in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$23,300
4 - 8$25,700
8 - 12$27,200
12 - 16$27,900
16 - 20$28,100
20 - 24$28,200
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Common qualifications for Material Handlers

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications
certification

Forklift Certification

OSHA Training University
ClickSafety
486 reviews
Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationCDL A
  • certificationCDL B
  • certificationCDL
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Common questions about career advices for a Material Handler

Is a material handler considered an in-demand profession?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for material handlers is expected to grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028.

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What other positions are similar to a material handler?

Positions similar to a material handler are:

  • Material movers: These move materials manually from one location to another and pack and wrap products by hand. Material movers also signal machine operators to move the materials and keep records of them. They also clean the equipment in their place of operation.
  • Warehouse workers: These workers receive, sort, and stock goods later dispatched from the warehouse to customers. Warehouse workers also inspect consignments for faulty goods and report them to supervisors**.** They keep records of where each of the goods is stored for easier tracing.
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How can a material handler remain competitive?

Material handling is a manual job, but there are skills prospective material handlers can add to increase their chances of being hired or receiving a promotion. They can study basic accounting and computing skills to improve their data entry, collection, and record-keeping skills.

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