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
3.1 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Material Handler make?

$39,091 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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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
Senior Material Handler
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.
Lee HealthLee Health
Material Handler
Sep 9, 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
May 27, 2022

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

Home Hardware StoresHome Hardware Stores
Material Handler
May 3, 2023

“I enjoy working at Perficient because it provides good learning environment on the day to day activities”

Comparision Shopper/Jack Of All Trades Did All Jobs
Sep 19, 2022

“It was fun and nice to work”

LSC CommunicationsLSC Communications
Material Handler
Oct 13, 2022

“People are great and respectful.”

Kysor WarrenKysor Warren
Material Handler
Nov 2, 2021

“Been here six months and have been promised a raise and to get hired on and got neither.”

Material Handler
May 21, 2023

“I am helping save lives every day and that's why I love my job.”

Material Handler
Mar 26, 2022

“I was praised for my hard work and ability to learn and cross train easily.”

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Material Handler Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles 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 include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years 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