Career Development

What Does a Stock Clerk Do?

Find out what a stock clerk does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a stock clerk.

Stock clerks are the backbone of any retail operation. They’re responsible for keeping track of all the products that come into or go out of a store, ensuring that everything is properly accounted for at all times.

Stock clerks typically work in a fast-paced environment where they must be able to multitask and pay attention to multiple things at once. They may also be tasked with performing other duties such as pricing items, organizing merchandise on shelves, or assisting customers with their purchases.

Stock Clerk Job Duties

A stock clerk typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Scanning and entering data on inventory items using computerized inventory systems
  • Receiving, unpacking, and storing incoming merchandise, such as clothing or electronics
  • Recording purchase orders and other transactions related to the purchase of goods or services
  • Creating labels for shipping containers and preparing them for transport
  • Updating inventory records with new information about items that have arrived or been sold
  • Maintaining an accurate record of all inventory transactions, including purchases, sales, and storage locations
  • Performing clerical tasks such as answering phones, filing documents, and greeting customers
  • Stocking shelves with merchandise in accordance with department store policies regarding layout and presentation
  • Monitoring store security by observing customers for theft or shoplifting activity and reporting incidents to management

Stock Clerk Salary & Outlook

Stock clerks are typically paid hourly, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, including their level of experience, the company size, and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $27,500 ($13.22/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $54,500 ($26.2/hour)

The employment of stock clerks is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by e-commerce, as more companies offer online ordering and home delivery of products. In addition, the continued popularity of online shopping may lead to greater demand for stock clerks in retail stores.

Related: In-Depth Stock Clerk Salary Guide

Stock Clerk Job Requirements

A stock clerk may need to meet the following qualifications:

Education: A high school diploma or GED certificate is often a minimum requirement to be considered for a stock clerk position. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or supply chain management.

Training & Experience: Stock clerks typically receive on-the-job training from their new employers. This training may include learning the store’s specific inventory management system and procedures. Training may also include learning how to use the store’s computerized cash registers and scanners.

Stock clerks can also receive training through internships. Internships allow students to gain practical experience in a field they are interested in. Internships typically last for several months and provide students with a small stipend. Students can complete internships during the summer or during breaks from school.

Certifications & Licenses: Stock clerks do not require any certifications to earn their position. However, some stock clerks may seek certifications to gain additional knowledge of their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities.

Stock Clerk Skills

Stock clerks need the following skills in order to be successful:

Organization: Organization skills allow you to prioritize tasks and manage your time efficiently. As a stock clerk, you may be responsible for maintaining the inventory of several different departments. Organization skills can help you prioritize which products need to be restocked first. This can help you complete your tasks in a timely manner and free up time for other tasks.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes in a situation. It’s important for cashiers to have good attention to detail because they need to verify that customers are paying the correct amount for their purchases. This also helps ensure that the cashier doesn’t make any mistakes when entering the customer’s information into the register.

Communication: Communication skills are also important in this role. You may be required to communicate with customers and coworkers, so it’s important to be able to speak clearly and concisely. You may also be required to communicate information about products to coworkers, so it’s important to be able to relay information clearly.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with customers and answer their questions. Customer service skills can help you provide a positive experience for customers, which can lead to repeat business and positive reviews. You can use customer service skills to help you sell products, answer questions about company policies and help customers find what they need.

Computer skills: Computer skills are also important for cashiers and stock clerks. Many companies use cash registers and inventory management software that require employees to input data and complete transactions through a computer. Having computer skills can help you complete your work more efficiently and accurately.

Stock Clerk Work Environment

Stock clerks work in a variety of settings, including retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers. They may work in the stockroom of a store, where they receive and store merchandise, or in the sales floor area, where they retrieve merchandise for customers. Many stock clerks work the traditional Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 schedule; however, some may work evenings, weekends, and holidays, and some may be required to work overtime. The work can be physically demanding, as stock clerks are often required to lift and move heavy boxes and containers of merchandise. In addition, stock clerks may be required to stand for long periods of time.

Stock Clerk Trends

Here are three trends influencing how stock clerks work. Stock clerks will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Online Shopping

The growth of online shopping is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, stock clerks will need to learn how to manage inventory in an online environment.

This means that stock clerks will need to be familiar with online shopping platforms and how to manage inventory in a way that is efficient and effective. They will also need to be able to work quickly and efficiently in order to keep up with the demands of online shoppers.

More Automation in Distribution Centers

As automation becomes more prevalent in distribution centers, stock clerks will need to learn new skills in order to stay competitive.

One of the most important skills that stock clerks will need to learn is how to operate automated systems. This includes learning how to use software that automates tasks such as picking and packing. In addition, stock clerks will need to be able to troubleshoot any problems that may occur with these systems.

Greater Focus on Customer Service

As businesses focus more on customer service, stock clerks will need to develop skills in this area.

Stock clerks can utilize customer service skills in a variety of ways, including by helping customers find products, answering questions, and providing assistance. In addition, they can also use these skills to improve the overall customer experience, which can lead to increased loyalty and sales.

How to Become a Stock Clerk

A career as a stock clerk can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the retail industry. As a stock clerk, you’ll learn about different products and how they’re sold, which will help you when you move on to other jobs within the industry. You’ll also develop important customer service skills that will serve you well no matter what job you have.

As you progress in your career, you may want to consider becoming a supervisor or manager. This can be a great way to further your career in retail and gain more experience working with people.

Related: How to Write a Stock Clerk Resume

Advancement Prospects

Stock clerks and order fillers typically start out performing simple tasks and then are given more responsibility as they demonstrate their abilities. With experience, stock clerks may advance to supervisory or lead positions in which they oversee the activities of other workers. Some may eventually move into management positions.

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