Material Handler Work, Do You Have What it Takes?


Are you evaluating an opportunity as a material handler? Not sure you know what you’re signing up for? Material handling is more than simple line work. You need to have the skills and knowledge required to get the job done right. Here’s a look at what to expect when working as a material handler. We also share some great tips to set yourself up for success in this role.    

Job Overview  

A material handler moves products, merchandise, stock or other materials. They work in a variety of different supply chains, from manufacturing and production, to shipping, receiving and storage. The work may involve feeding or removing material to and from machines, cleaning vehicles and packing materials for moving. Material handlers may be referred to as a “package handler,” “warehouse associate” or “hand laborer”. The title may change, but the work is more or less the same.  

Material handlers move goods and materials to and from production or storage areas, loading docks and delivery trucks manually or with motorized equipment, such as forklifts. Of course, specific duties vary depending on your employer’s industry and your position. Some handlers specialize in particular materials, such as non-hazardous materials like clothing or other consumer goods, or specialized handling of hazardous materials, like asbestos. The specifics of the products may require different skills or experience, so keep that in mind when applying to jobs.  

Job Requirements  

The ideal candidate must remain alert and be committed to maintaining a safe and hazard-free workspace. The work environment requires standing for long periods, and may involve the use of eye and ear protection. Most employers are looking for workers with at least one year of related manufacturing experience, but it really comes down to the ability to use common hand tools and operating machines, and those who can stand for a full 8-hour shift. Candidates must also be able to frequently lift at least 50 lbs, and maintain strong attention to detail and follow a step-by-step process repetitively.  

Education and Training  

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent for this position. Training is often provided on the job, but those who have experience in similar roles are more likely to start at a higher pay point and be more competitive in the job market. Advanced education in mathematics can improve your qualifications as jobs often involve counting, record keeping and stock management. 

On-the-job training is common for entry-level material handler roles. This training often involves instruction on safety protocols, equipment operation, organization techniques specific to the company and other day-to-day tasks. Training may also involve processes and protocols for handling certain materials, such as hazardous elements or heavy items. 

Ready to work? 

To learn more about opportunities in material handling or other temp services in Portland TN, connect with a recruiter at All-Star Personnel, or browse our career portal and apply today!

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