Industrial jobs are great for people who like variety in their work and want to get involved in a hands-on industry working in a team environment. A warehouse operative, otherwise called a picker packer or factory worker, is in charge of stock from the moment it enters a warehouse, right down to its departure for delivery. The specific duties can vary from stacking products, either by hand or using a forklift, taking inventory, checking for damages and picking and packing products for dispatch. The job can be great for those who enjoy working within a team in a hands-on goal-oriented setting.
Being a warehouse worker is much more about mindset, experience and personality characteristics than it is about qualifications, however, there are definitely some standard qualities that will make an employer look favourably at an application.
It isn’t qualifications that create a successful warehouse operative, rather their ability to work hard and excel within the warehouse setting. This means the job is accessible for a wide variety of people, from those just out of school to individuals looking for a change of occupation.
While there are no set qualification requirements, having a few GCSEs, particularly if these are in Maths, English, and ICT will always help an application.
One of the most sought-after qualifications to have for this role does not come from traditional education. And that makes it a great entry-level job for those who have no formal training or qualifications. Maybe your skills don't lie in academics or test taking - and that's not a problem for this kind of role. That being said, relevant training is always a good thing, and candidates who can show a prospective employer a forklift license will have the edge over the competition.
Practical people, team players, and candidates filled with common sense make the perfect warehouse operatives. The ability to work both safely and quickly, while still paying attention to detail and accuracy are a warehouse recruiters’ dream combination. Being able to demonstrate verbal communication skills and excellent time management will only solidify the prospect as the perfect candidate.
It is also important to note the physical element of this job. The hands-on aspect of the role means that employers will be looking for a candidate who is fit enough to lift heavy objects and operate heavy machinery safely. It’s likely you’ll be asked about your skills in your interview - take a look at our warehouse operative interview questions and answers to help you prepare.
While there is no set amount of experience required for the role, having some similar working experience will demonstrate that an applicant has a relevant skill set and is familiar with this style of working environment. Generally speaking your experience could include receiving goods and materials, checking for any damaged or missing items, moving stock around the warehouse (in some cases using a forklift), storing items safely, wrapping, packing and shipping, loading, keeping track of stock and warehouse cleaning.
Any experience you do have will definitely give you an edge over other applicants and this is something you should be including in your CV. If you need help with creating a perfect CV, take a look at our warehouse operative CV template.
The salary of a warehouse operative will vary on their level of experience, from £16,000 for those starting out to £25,000 for more experienced employees, the average pay for is £19,216 a year. This pay is for those working as warehouse workers full time, which means between 35 to 40 hours per week.
Most warehouses operate on a rotational pattern of shift work, which means that while the number of hours will remain pretty constant, the times of day one works is open to change. This can take some getting used to but is preferable to those who enjoy this style of flexibility.
Being a warehouse operative can be highly rewarding, and perfect for people with lots of focus. If you’re interested in becoming a Warehouse operative, browse our jobs.