Material Handler Job Description [Updated for 2024]

material handler job description

In the modern industrial landscape, the demand for material handlers has never been higher.

As logistics and supply chains continue to evolve, the need for skilled individuals who can efficiently manage, control, and protect our inventory and materials grows stronger.

But let’s examine this further: What’s really expected from a material handler?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager defining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the world of material handling,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we introduce a customizable material handler job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Material Handler Duties and Responsibilities

Material Handlers are responsible for moving and managing materials in a warehouse or production environment.

They use a variety of equipment and processes to ensure that materials are properly transported and logged for inventory and production purposes.

Their daily duties and responsibilities can include:

  • Receiving and documenting incoming materials
  • Managing inventory and ensure that all materials are properly stored and recorded
  • Load and unload materials from delivery vehicles or shipping containers
  • Transport materials to and from storage and production areas, using forklifts or other industrial equipment
  • Prepare materials for shipment, including packing, labeling and documenting
  • Maintain clean and safe work areas, adhering to safety regulations
  • Perform regular equipment checks and basic maintenance tasks
  • Assist in conducting physical inventories and routine audits of inventory records
  • Communicate with supervisors and team members to coordinate tasks and manage workflow


Material Handler Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a diligent Material Handler to join our team.

This role involves handling, moving, and storing goods within a warehouse setting.

Responsibilities include loading and unloading deliveries, managing inventory, and ensuring that products are stored safely and efficiently.

The ideal candidate will have previous experience in a similar role, a strong attention to detail, and the ability to work safely in a fast-paced environment.

Ultimately, the Material Handler’s responsibility is to ensure that all materials are handled and stored correctly to maintain quality and efficiency.



  • Receive and document incoming materials and products
  • Pick, pack, and dispatch outgoing goods and materials
  • Ensure the safe and efficient storage of materials and products
  • Conduct regular inventory checks and maintain accurate inventory records
  • Operate manual and automated material handling equipment
  • Load and unload materials from delivery trucks
  • Adhere to health and safety regulations
  • Communicate effectively with team members and other departments
  • Perform general warehouse maintenance tasks



  • Previous experience as a Material Handler or similar role
  • Experience with inventory software, databases, and systems
  • Familiarity with modern warehousing practices and methods
  • Ability to operate forklifts and other material handling equipment
  • Good organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to lift heavy objects
  • High school degree or equivalent



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Material Handler
  • Work Environment: Warehouse setting. Physical activities including lifting, standing, and moving heavy items are required.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Warehouse Supervisor or Warehouse Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $35,000 minimum to $55,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Material Handler Do?

Material Handlers are primarily responsible for managing inventory in warehouses or production areas.

They play a crucial role in logistics operations and often work in various industries such as manufacturing, retail, and distribution.

They are tasked with the responsibility of physically handling products, materials, or goods in their workplace.

This can include duties such as unloading deliveries, organizing inventory, and preparing outgoing shipments.

Their job involves operating machinery like forklifts and pallet jacks to move heavy items around.

They also use scanning equipment to keep track of inventory, ensuring that all items are correctly accounted for and stored in the right location.

Material Handlers are also responsible for maintaining a clean and safe work environment.

This includes identifying potential hazards, disposing of waste properly, and adhering to all health and safety regulations.

Their role is critical in ensuring that the right products are available and ready to be distributed or used in production at the right time.

They also play a role in preventing inventory loss or damage, which can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line.


Material Handler Qualifications and Skills

Material Handlers need a variety of physical abilities, technical skills, and knowledge about storage and distribution to efficiently handle goods and materials, including:

  • Physical strength and endurance to lift heavy items, load and unload materials, and stand for extended periods.
  • Knowledge of inventory management systems to maintain accurate records of goods received, stored, and shipped.
  • Ability to operate material handling equipment such as forklifts, pallet jacks, hand trucks, and dollies.
  • Good organizational skills to arrange goods in an orderly and accessible manner in warehouses, tool rooms, supply rooms, or other storage areas.
  • Detail-oriented to inspect incoming and outgoing materials for discrepancies or damages and report any issues promptly.
  • Understanding of safety procedures and regulations to maintain a safe and clean working environment.
  • Good communication skills to coordinate with team members and other staff for smooth operation of material handling processes.
  • Basic mathematical skills to count stock and maintain inventory records accurately.
  • Problem-solving abilities to resolve issues related to inventory, storage space, or material handling equipment.


Material Handler Experience Requirements

Entry-level material handlers usually need no specific work experience as many of the skills for this role are learnt on the job.

Some employers might prefer candidates who have experience in warehouse environments, or in roles that require manual labor, organization, and coordination.

Material handlers with 1 to 2 years of experience will likely have honed their skills in managing inventory, operating material handling equipment, and adhering to safety protocols.

They may have also gained exposure to supply chain processes and logistics.

Material handlers with more than 3 years of experience are often adept at managing warehouse operations, including the receipt, storage, and distribution of materials.

They may also have knowledge of inventory software and warehousing systems.

Those with over 5 years of experience usually possess advanced skills in inventory management, warehouse operations, and team leadership.

They may be prepared to take on supervisory or managerial roles within the warehouse or logistics department.


Material Handler Education and Training Requirements

Material Handlers generally require a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

They receive on-the-job training to familiarize themselves with warehouse operations, safety procedures, and the use of warehouse equipment.

Previous work experience in a warehouse, manufacturing, or shipping environment can be helpful.

However, most employers provide training for new hires that includes proper lifting techniques and the safe operation of forklifts, pallet jacks, and other machinery.

Some Material Handlers may need to have a valid driver’s license, especially if they are required to operate heavy machinery or vehicles.

Professional certifications, such as the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) from the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), can be beneficial for career advancement.

Continuous learning and training, particularly in safety protocols and the operation of new machinery or equipment, are typically part of the job.

Some employers may also require Material Handlers to have basic computer skills for maintaining inventory records and processing orders.


Material Handler Salary Expectations

A Material Handler makes an average of $33,920 (USD) per year.

The salary can differ depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, and the geographical location of the job.


Material Handler Job Description FAQs

What skills does a material handler need?

Material Handlers should possess strong physical stamina and coordination as the role requires frequent heavy lifting and moving of materials.

They should have good organizational skills for sorting and managing inventories accurately.

Basic math skills are also important for counting and measuring quantities.

They should also have familiarity with safety procedures and the operation of machinery like forklifts.


Do material handlers need any specific qualifications?

Material Handlers do not need a degree, but a high school diploma or equivalent is often required.

Some companies may provide on-the-job training.

Previous experience in a warehouse or manufacturing environment can be advantageous.

For roles that require operation of heavy machinery like forklifts, proper certification may be necessary.


What should you look for in a material handler resume?

Look for previous experience in material handling or related roles such as warehouse operations, logistics, or inventory management.

Any demonstrated knowledge or certification in operating warehouse equipment, such as forklifts or pallet jacks, is a plus.

Good physical stamina and a proven record of safety in the workplace are also key qualities to look for.


What qualities make a good material handler?

A good material handler is dependable, efficient and has a strong work ethic.

They should be detail-oriented to ensure accurate handling and tracking of materials.

Physical strength and stamina are important as the job involves a lot of manual labor.

They should also be safety-conscious and able to follow procedures to minimize risk of accidents.


Is it difficult to hire material handlers?

The difficulty in hiring material handlers depends largely on the specific requirements of the role and the local labor market.

For roles requiring specific certifications or experience with certain types of machinery, it might take longer to find qualified candidates.

However, with competitive pay and clear progression opportunities, companies can attract suitable candidates for the role.



There you have it.

Today, we’ve given you a glimpse into the dynamic world of a material handler.

And guess what?

It’s not just about moving boxes.

It’s about supporting the operational backbone of an organization, one parcel at a time.

With our detailed material handler job description template and real-life examples, you’re ready to get started.

But why halt your journey here?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your essential tool for crafting pinpoint-accurate listings or honing your resume to perfection.


Every parcel handled is a vital link in the operational chain.

Let’s strengthen that chain. Together.

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