What is a Warehouse Assistant?

Nat Robinson

A warehouse assistant provides assistance with the everyday operations of a warehouse. The assistant may perform various activities to ensure that the warehouse runs efficiently. In most cases, a high school diploma will be the standard amount of education required to work in this position. A warehouse assistant may have just one main job or may do many. In many cases, his or her main duty may be to drive a forklift, while other assistants may do a variety of administrative tasks instead of a singular job.

Warehouse assistants may prepare shipments.
Warehouse assistants may prepare shipments.

Sometimes, a warehouse assistant will spend his or her entire day doing just one thing. Many assistants' main duty is to load and unload products coming in and going out of the warehouse. Individuals in this position typically drive a machine such as a forklift. When assigned to this particular warehouse duty, an individual may need to undergo more extensive training. He or she will need to be taught how to operate the machinery and may spend some time in practice before assuming the role.

Most warehouse assistants need to know how to operate a forklift.
Most warehouse assistants need to know how to operate a forklift.

Often, a warehouse assistant will do a variety of administrative tasks. Record keeping can be an essential aspect of this job. Warehouses typically store a wide variety of products and goods. An assistant will generally help ensure that these materials are kept at a certain quality and quantity. In order to do this job efficiently, he or she will typically keep records of products and goods using stock reports.

Warehouse assistants are often in charge of inventory control.
Warehouse assistants are often in charge of inventory control.

When new shipments arrive at the warehouse, the assistant may be in charge of receiving the merchandise. He or she may need to sign off on shipments and retain a proof of delivery to pass on to his or her boss. After receiving an item, this individual may also be responsible for storing products in the warehouse. For this reason, a great part of being a warehouse assistant can be having the huge task of deciding where to put the various products. He or she may spend an ample amount of time strategizing ways to store what can be an ever evolving quantity of goods.

The responsibility of issuing materials once they arrive may also be assigned to the warehouse assistant. When working in the warehouse of a very large company, the assistant will generally have to pay very close attention to detail to ensure that the correct materials arrive at the correct departments. Any error in delivery may fall upon his or her shoulders. The duties of warehouse assistants can be vast, while some may generalize in one area, most spend their working days doing many different tasks throughout the day.

Warehouse assistants help move products into and out of the warehouse.
Warehouse assistants help move products into and out of the warehouse.

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Discussion Comments


One of the biggest warehouse assistant duties is to scan inventory when it is coming or going. This is typically done with a little handheld scanner.

I remember working at one warehouse where the scanner would chime after each item was scanned, kind of like at the grocery store. The thing was that the chime was really loud and grating. If you had a big shipment you were liable to go mad with the chime repeating itself over and over all night long.


I have had a number of different supply chain jobs over the years. I have done inventory audits, worked in shipping and receiving and also spent a few years as a warehouse assistant for a computer company.

The thing I will always remember about the job was the warehouse manager. He was a very fat lazy Polish man who spent most of his day sitting in his office smoking cigars. He was lazy as a cat but also one of the nicest guys you've ever met. You would ask for a favor and he would just wave his hand through the smoky air saying "No problem, no problem." One of the best bosses I have ever had.


I used to work as a warehouse assistant. I couldn't drive a fork lift at first so they gave me all the worst jobs. I did a lot of cleaning and maintenance and any time something needed loaded or unloaded by hand I was the guy they called.

But the work was really not so bad. I stayed in shape, spent most of my time in a climate controlled warehouse and had a lot of time to goof around with the guys. The pay wasn't anything to write home about but what would you expect?

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