Inventory Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Inventory Specialist, or Inventory Control Specialist, oversees the ordering, storing, receiving and distributing processes of an organization’s products and supplies. Their main duties include controlling the flow of supplies and equipment, tracking and analyzing inventory maintenance and developing protocols for loss mitigation.



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Inventory Specialist duties and responsibilities

Inventory Specialists maintain the inventory of the company they work for. Inventory Specialists have the additional following responsibilities:

  • Interview potential vendors and select ones that best meet the needs of the organization
  • Oversee inventory and order additional products and supplies when needed
  • Evaluate the selection and shipping process and work to improve efficiency
  • Keep up-to-date with industry trends and update inventory as needed
  • Negotiate vendor contracts in order to maximize profit
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What does an Inventory Specialist do?

Inventory Specialists usually work for department or retail stores, developing procedures to effectively manage and maintain a company’s inventory. They’ll make sure a company’s shipment is accurate by conducting inventory counting processes. Inventory Specialists also oversee and manage the inventory storage space in the warehouse to ensure there’s enough room to store new product shipments. 

When inventories start to run low, the Inventory Specialist will place restock orders and make sure they never run out of essential inventory items. They also use management software systems and technologies to manage and update their inventory records accordingly.


Inventory Specialist skills and qualifications

Inventory Specialists will typically have certain prerequisite skills or qualifications, which include:

  • Good organizational skills are necessary for Inventory Specialists to take charge of organizing inventory and improving the efficiency of the selection and shipping process.
  • The ability to manage multiple projects at one time in an efficient and timely manner is important in this position.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills are crucial for negotiating contracts, interviewing new vendors, educating warehouse employees and developing new inventory processes. 
  • Inventory Specialists need problem-solving skills to come up with ways to improve overall efficiency and overcome inventory problems.


Inventory Specialist salary expectations

An Inventory Specialist makes an average of $14.66 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 


Inventory Specialist education and training requirements

A minimum of a high school diploma is often required to work as an Inventory Specialist. Some candidates will also have an associate or bachelor’s degree in logistics or inventory management. Students can begin training in their educational program or with an entry-level position working in inventory. Some students will also receive additional training while working toward a certification.


Inventory Specialist experience requirements

Inventory Specialists will often have previous experience in a warehouse or inventory role. Candidates may come from a background as an Inventory Stocker or Selector. Some Inventory Specialists may also begin their career as an Inventory Clerk or Inventory Associate. Then, they will work their way up toward an Inventory Specialist role. It is also possible for Inventory Specialists to move between industries.


Job description samples for similar positions

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Frequently asked questions about Inventory Specialists


Do Inventory Specialists have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes, most Inventory Specialists hold similar responsibilities of taking stock and inventory of items. Those that work in larger department stores and retail settings often spend a majority of their time in the warehouse overseeing the employees stocking the products. They also make sure the right products move from the warehouse to the sales floor. 

Some Inventory Specialists may work in a corporate office setting, taking inventory of items that the organization’s employees need for regular use. They work with different departments to learn what items are needed and communicate with vendors to negotiate the best prices to purchase these supplies for the company. 


Who reports to Inventory Specialists?

The employees who report to Inventory Specialists are typically Warehouse Workers. Inventory Specialists monitor the Warehouse Workers’ performance and efficiency levels and provide valuable feedback to ensure they’re operating effectively. 

Inventory Specialists are also in charge of building the Warehouse Workers’ schedules and delegate tasks according to the skills and interests of their employees. If the Warehouse Workers come across any challenging workplace situations, the Inventory Specialist works to resolve them and find a logical solution.


What makes a good Inventory Specialist?

A good Inventory Specialist is proficient at mathematics and is great at using numbers to measure inventory levels. They should understand how to compare various shipment costs to account for the company’s budget. Since they’re regularly building inventory strategies and processes, Inventory Specialists should have great organizational skills to effectively sort through inventory tasks and stay updated on inventory levels. 

Inventory Specialists are also regularly on their feet moving throughout the warehouse and providing assistance to Stockers and other Warehouse Workers as they move products from one area to the other. They should have physical stamina to accomplish this. 


Who does an Inventory Specialist report to?

The person the Inventory Specialist reports to typically depends on the size of the company they work in. Those who work in larger warehouses may serve on a team of other Inventory Specialists who all report to an Inventory Manager or Senior Inventory Specialist. 

Other Inventory Specialists who work for smaller companies may report directly to the Store Manager or owner of the store. They provide regular store updates and inventory requirements for the Inventory Specialist to use accordingly.

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