Receiving clerk jobs generally are not complicated, but they provide an essential function for certain businesses. Receiving clerks oversee incoming shipments so that businesses have what they need to operate. The specific duties of the job can vary with the size and scope of the business, how the position is defined and how much automation is used. Receiving clerk jobs in smaller businesses tend to involve more diversified duties because they do not have as many employees as large businesses. The different jobs that a receiving clerk performs can include checking shipments as they arrive, checking the invoices for those shipments and coordinating the distribution of the items received.
One job that a receiving clerk performs is documenting information about a shipment when it arrives. This includes making sure the shipment is correct and not damaged. In smaller businesses, receiving clerks might manually enter product information into a computer. Larger companies might use scanning devices or radio frequency identification (RFID) chips to receive and track shipments.
Receiving clerk jobs often involve checking invoices to make sure the number of items received and their prices are correct. A receiving clerk might also verify that any applicable credits or discounts were applied to the order. If an order is incorrect or damaged, the receiving clerk might work with shippers to make adjustments if items are lost or damaged during shipping.
Some receiving clerks are expected to coordinate or route shipments to their final destination within a company. For example, shipments might be delivered to a warehouse and then moved to a certain department. In smaller businesses, receiving clerks might be expected to deliver the shipments to the proper location. Forklifts or conveyor belts might be used to process large shipments.
Receiving clerk jobs might also require duties often associated with traffic clerk jobs. These duties are concerned with verifying the weight and the charges relating to all shipments coming in and going out. Any legal shipping requirements for certain products or materials must also be followed.
People who excel in receiving clerk jobs usually enjoy physical labor and performing repetitive tasks. In some cases, advancement into supervisor or manager positions is available. Entry-level positions often require only a high school education, and supervisory positions might require a two- or four-year college degree.
Experience usually is not required, and most training takes place on the job. Training can include learning how to count stock, take inventory and create records. Some familiarity with electronic inventory equipment and computers might be beneficial or required. Receiving clerk jobs are often found in factory, retail and educational settings.