What does an order picker do?

You will retrieve items from the stacks in the warehouse that customers order, check the accuracy of the items against the customer’s order, and deliver them to the staff that ships items. The job's name is “order picker,” but the equipment you will drive to go into the warehouse is also called the “order picker.” The order picker is similar to a forklift, so it would be a good idea for you to have a forklift operator’s skills to be an order picker.

Computer skills

As an order picker, you will also need computer skills. The company will provide you with technology that you will use to audit and verify the customers’ orders. Because you will be working in a warehouse, you’ll also need to be aware of and follow all applicable safety precautions. Other general material handling skills that you might find useful include:

• Using a pallet jack

• Being able to lift 70 pounds

• Time management

• Being comfortable working under pressure

• Working both swiftly and accurately

Processing products

As part of your attention to detail, you will often process incoming goods as well as outgoing items. You will have to match shipping manifests to the orders that the company placed for the products stocked on the shelves.

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What is the average salary of an order picker?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest average salary for order pickers is $18.63 per hour, which translates to $38,750 annually. The median salary nationwide is $34,886 annually. The lowest 10% of order picker jobs pay $27,000 or less while the highest 10% of order picker jobs pay more than $42,000 annually. Within high-paying states, there are high-paying cities and other municipalities. For example, you will earn nearly $43,000 annually in Santa Clara, California. Fairbanks, Alaska pays order pickers well, too. There, an order picker will make nearly $41,000 annually. These are entry-level salaries. The best way to earn more money is for you to seek and achieve qualifications beyond the basics. These might include:

  • OSHA workplace safety classes
  • Courses in project management
  • OSHA safety pro classes
  • The post-secondary study of logistics
  • Leadership training

Overtime and motivation

Of course, if you work overtime and volunteer to work late shifts and weekends, then you will show your motivation and willingness to do what is necessary to get the job done. In cases like this, be sure that you check with management to ensure your efforts do not go unnoticed. This will provide your employer with information that would result in a higher salary.

Order Picker Jobs

Industries that hire order pickers

The chief industry that hires order pickers is the material handling industry. They also work in the manufacturing and transportation fields. Order pickers work in the companies' warehouses.


Order picker job description

You will be the linchpin that holds the supply chain together. You will be doing important work that helps keep the company’s customers satisfied.


What is the career outlook for an order picker?

The BLS states that the job market for order pickers will continue to grow at a rate of 7% annually over the next 10 years. That makes order picking about as fast-growing as the average job in the United States. This is despite the ever-looming specter of automation.


What education do you need as an order picker?

To start with, all you need is a high school diploma. Most order-picking jobs will train you on the job. Of course, there are myriad opportunities for continuing education to get various certifications that will improve your resume.

Skills and competencies

You could earn OSHA safety qualifications. If, instead, you wanted to earn a college degree online regarding the logistics of the supply chain, you could check out a local university. Many companies also offer their own courses in leadership and other topics related to management and advancement within the company. It would be a good idea to talk to your HR department about that.



Working as an order picker is fast-paced and will keep you engaged as you play an important role in the supply chain. Learn more about this position with the following frequently asked questions.

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