- Stock clerks average around $10 per hour.
- Jobs as a stock clerk offer decent job security.
- You'll need to be hard-working, physically fit and an independent worker.
What do stock clerks do?
Have you ever wondered how all the cans of green beans get on the shelves at the grocery store, or where store employees go when you ask them to "check in the back?" If you enjoy working behind the scenes, being a stock clerk just might be the perfect job for you.
A stock clerk is responsible for stocking shelves and maintaining the overall appearance of the store. That means you'll have to unload trucks and move the merchandise to the floor quickly and efficiently. You may be responsible for planograms (setting up the shelves according to company specifications), which means you'll need a good eye for detail. This is also the kind of job where your boss probably won't be looking over your shoulder. If you work well independently and you can motivate yourself to complete an assigned task from start to finish (without getting distracted), this will be perfect for you.
Some of these tasks can be completed when the store is open, but others have to happen early in the morning or late at night. Shifts are typically available around the clock, so this job offers is perfect for someone needing scheduling flexibility.
To be a stock clerk, you'll also need to physically be able to perform the tasks assigned to you. This means some heavy lifting, stooping, bending, and even climbing ladders. If you have a bad back, or if you're afraid of heights (10 to 20 feet), this probably isn't the job for you.
Employers will expect you to be hard-working and good with customers (especially if you work a day shift). You will be in the aisles stocking the shelves, so you'll be the very first person customers ask when they need to know what aisle the canned rutabaga is on (aisle 12, second shelf on the right).
How much do stock clerks make?
The average hourly pay for a stock clerk is usually around $10 per hour. This varies by industry, with warehouse and storage clerks making the most ($13.34 per hour) and department stores having the lowest hourly wage (around $9.29 per hour).
A high school diploma or GED is sufficient education for a stock clerk position. Most employers will offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn the job according to their specifications.
Career paths for stock clerks
Working in a large store (like a supermarket or department store) may lead to a wealth of growth opportunities in the store you work in and throughout the organization. Because each location consists of so many separate departments, there are lots of different management opportunities in each. For stocking positions there are typically shift supervisors and an operations or inventory manager assigning daily job functions. Each store will also have a general manager who oversees all aspects of the store; this position would likely require additional education (at least a bachelor's degree) and several years of job training.
The future of stock clerk jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of stock clerks is expected to grow a little more than 7 percent between 2008 and 2018. Grocery and retail clerk positions are expected to grow the most and are among the only types of clerk positions that expect substantial growth. The position offers job security and growth opportunities.
See all job descriptions