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Material Handler Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Material Handler, or Assembler, is a worker who ensures that any necessary materials can be moved and/or delivered safely and efficiently. Their duties include loading and unloading inventory, managing and cataloguing inventory, and operating different types of machinery.

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Material Handler duties and responsibilities

Material Handlers have several duties and responsibilities they must fulfill. Some of the most common duties every Material Handler will need to accomplish include:

  • Fulfill orders by packaging necessary materials and preparing them for shipment
  • Store materials in appropriate areas
  • Manage and catalogue inventory with consistently updated records
  • Operate machinery such as forklifts and cranes
  • Track inventory levels and make recommendations for purchases when supply is low
  • Comply with safety regulations
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Material Handler Job Description Examples:

What does a Material Handler do?

Material Handlers are responsible for moving and cataloguing incoming and outgoing inventory for the company they work for. This typically happens in a warehouse used to store the materials in question. A Material Handler may also have to package materials for shipment. Their tasks are often performed using machinery like forklifts, as the materials in question can be far too heavy for a single person to move by hand at an efficient rate. Additionally, Material Handlers ensure the right equipment is available for any order fulfillment they need to do.

Material Handler skills and qualifications

Several specialized skills are necessary to succeed as a Material Handler. Some of the most important skills prospective candidates will need to possess include:

  • Ability to regularly lift heavy objects
  • Standing and walking for long periods of time
  • Exceptional organization skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery
  • Time management skills

Material Handler experience requirements

Material Handlers generally do not need much experience, as these jobs are typically open to entry-level candidates. However, it is preferred for a candidate to have experience working in a warehouse environment, as some Material Handler positions require greater attention to detail or work with sensitive materials .

Material Handler education and training requirements

In terms of education, a Material Handler will need to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Generally, any higher-level degrees would not be relevant to the job and may not offer any candidate particular benefits or advantages. Some certifications may be required depending on the Material Handler position, however. For example, a Material Handler may need an official forklift certification and/or other certifications for relevant heavy machinery operation.

Material Handler salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Material Handler in Canada is $17.40 per hour. While this rate is fairly consistent, there are some fluctuations based on company, location, and the experience of the worker.

Job description samples for similar positions

If Material Handler doesn’t exactly match the kind of position you’re looking for, here are some other job description samples that may be a better fit:

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Material Handler job description FAQs

Do Material Handlers have to work with hazardous materials?

Not all Material Handlers have to work with hazardous materials, but some do. In these cases, candidates may be expected to have specialized certifications or training. Common hazardous materials include asbestos. For particularly hazardous materials like radioactive materials, for example, the work is handled by highly trained specialists with HAZMAT certification rather than typical Material Handlers.

How relevant is mathematics to the job?

Math is surprisingly relevant to Material Handler work. While the job doesn’t require advanced-level computations, workers often need to use basic math to keep track of inventory and take measurements. Being able to do these tasks on the fly is essential for an efficient Material Handler. Employers should keep an eye out for math skills specified on Material Handler resumes. While basic math abilities are generally implied when one has a high school diploma, stating it specifically demonstrates that the candidate knows how relevant those skills are to the job.

What is the shift pattern like for Material Handlers?

Shift patterns can vary based on the details of the position, but most Material Handlers rotate shifts fairly regularly. Essentially, the position will be for a certain time of day for certain days of the week. For example, a Material Handler may be on the day shift Monday through Friday, meaning they would work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. They wouldn’t be working 12-hour days, however, as the actual shifts they would work in would be any eight hours within these time frames in most cases.

How physically fit does a Material Handler need to be?

Efficient Material Handlers are in outstanding physical condition. Their job involves regular heavy lifting for hours along with hard work on their feet, so physical fitness is an absolute necessity. In fact, it is common for candidates to have to demonstrate their physical fitness before getting the job.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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