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Warehouse Manager Career Guide

A career as a warehouse manager one that offers a great amount of meaning, contribution and autonomy. There are no formal educational requirements to become a warehouse manager. However, as a bare minimum, warehouse managers should have a high school diploma. They will also have the best employment and progression opportunities if they have a degree in a related field. Warehouse managers will receive on-the-job training, which teaches them the fundamentals of managing people, organizing goods distribution and the software needed.

I think some people see a warehouse associate job as ‘bottom of the barrel’ because it’s entry level, but it is one of the most important positions within our industry. Without our warehouse associates we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

Koren Coulter

Warehouse Manager Career Ratings

Income

Career
Growth

Personal Growth

Contribution

Influence

Job Profiles

Real-Life Warehouse Manager Job Profiles

Below is a list of links to anonymous job profiles of REAL PEOPLE who have filled out our survey and offered to share their insights with our users about their job in the Warehouse Manager field.
ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33922 Supervisor Female 23 $17,000 New Berlin, NY 01/01/2010
33770 Store Keeper Male 23 $13,000 Kissimmee, FL 01/01/2010
33775 Warehouse Technician 2 Female 26 $45,000 DeKalb, NY 01/01/2010
33514 Dept Head Male 36 $57,000 st johnsville, NY 01/01/2010
33145 Warehouse Male 34 $35,000 mount washington, KY 01/01/2010

Overview

What a warehouse manager actually does

A warehouse manager is responsible for providing material, equipment, and supplies to businesses or customers. Their main objective is to ensure that the right product gets to the right place at the right time. They do this by planning, directing and coordinating storage and distribution within a company and supervising worker activity. They can work in warehouses of varying sizes and in different industries. However, the typical duties and responsibilities of a warehouse manager include:

  • Receiving, storing, testing, and shipping items
  • Implementing warehouse safety programs
  • Inspecting the physical condition of the warehouse
  • In some cases (typically at smaller firms), a warehouse manager may have responsibility over purchasing inventory
  • Dealing with customer questions and complaints
  • Reviewing work orders to determine forecasts so that you can make plans for peak delivery periods
  • Maintaining accurate inventory levels
  • Creating working schedules for pickups and deliveries
  • Keeping up to date with, and following, federal, state, and local requirements when handling materials and shipping your goods
  • Supervising staff and provide them with training on all aspects of the operation
  • Working to develop an efficient warehouse layout to maximize storage space and ease of movement within the facility

Why they are needed

Warehouse managers play one of the most underrated roles in the chain of sales and distribution. They are, undoubtably, one of the most important people in the supply chain. Anyone who has ever ordered a product or shopped in a store has relied on the efficiency of a warehouse manager. They are need to control the flow of goods throughout the distribution chain and ensure the entirety of the warehouse staff are working efficiently and productively.

In the end, warehouse managers are the one who makes sure that goods get safely received and shipped. When someone receives a package in the mail swiftly, they can thank a warehouse manager. In fact, warehouse managers are often responsible to make sure the goods are available to begin with and are therefore essential in the supply chain.

Pros and cons of a career as a warehouse manager

Pros:

  • There is a high sense of job satisfaction, as warehouse managers are capable of saving the company they work for a great deal of money
  • It is a very important role, as business cannot run without effective distribution (and thus, warehouse managers)
  • No two days are the same. Warehouse managers are always on the move, combating different tasks and working with different employee, which means its never boring
  • The hours are normally good (regular business hours). However, some warehouse require off-hour work
  • You have a lot of responsibility and control over your decisions

Cons:

  • Like lots of jobs, there are some tedious and mundane tasks. For instance, warehouse manager will certainly have their share of paperwork and data entry to complete
  • Warehouse managers may face staffing challenges and conflicts
  • It can be a stressful job, as warehouse managers may sometimes stretch themselves thin as they wear many hats and address all aspects of the company’s warehouse acquisition and distribution
  • Depending on the warehouse, they may have to work shifts, out of business hours or long days

Employability

Job market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of ‘transportation, storage and distribution managers’ is expected to grow 1% from 2019 to 2029, which is slow than the average for all occupations.

This slow growth employment growth is expected due to technology allowing for greater productivity, and therefore reducing the number of managers needed. However, because warehouse managers do the important job of coordinating and motivating workhouse workers and increasing their productivity (which machines cannot yet do), there is still expected to be some demand for warehouse workers over the coming years.

Career paths

Although there are no official educational requirements to becoming a warehouse manager, a vast majority of operations require that, as the absolute bare minimum warehouse managers have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

An increasing amount of warehouse managers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as supply chain management, logistics, business or administration. This is because this teaches them the skills and expertise they need to effectively manage, direct and distribute goods and staff and ensures that they stand out.

The career path to becoming a warehouse manager begins in a lower position in the field, as warehouse managers need to have at least two years experience in the field before entering a management position. Once they secure their first management position, they will receive on-the-job training. During this, they will learn about health and safety, the software involved, how to manage other people and the key tasks. Warehouse managers then have the freedom to decide what kind of warehouses they would like to work in, and it what industry.

Example Job Titles for Warehouse Manager

Below is a list of common job titles in the Warehouse Manager field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a warehouse manager is $92,460. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,300 per annum and the highest 10 percent earned more than $156,710.

The highest paying industry was ‘securities, commodity, contracts and other financial investment and related activities’, where the annual median salary was $159,240. Natural gas distribution was the second highest paying industry, where the annual median salary was $142,870. The third highest paying industry was the aerospace product and parts manufacturing, where the annual median salary is $139,260.

Autonomy and Flexibility

As warehouse managers are up there as some of the most senior people in the warehouse, they do have a high sense of autonomy and flexibility. For the most part, they will be in charge of decisions regarding staff schedules, distribution schedules and the ordering of new supplies. They are also likely to have the control and flexibility to decide how they break up their day. However, they too will have a superior who will give them specific instructions on targets to meet and what tasks must be done.

Locations and commute

According to Zippia, the best states to be a warehouse manager, based on average annual salary and the number of jobs available, are:

  1. Oregon, where the average annual salary is $90,002
  2. Washington, where the average annual salary is $85,790
  3. Idaho, where the average annual salary is $75,581
  4. Pennsylvania, where the average annual salary is $69,049
  5. Wisconsin, where the average annual salary is $66,051

The worst states, according to Zippia, are Louisiana, District of Columbia, Illinois, Florida and Hawaii.

Work environment

Warehouse managers a likely to split their time between the warehouse floor and a nearby office. They will need to wear protective gear, such as a helmet or safety goggles when on the warehouse floor.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Warehouse Manager careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Warehouse Manager career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Warehouse Manager.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

  • None

Big Five (OCEAN)

  • None

DISC

  • None

Enneagram

  • None

Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Personality types

It is likely that warehouse managers will be ENTP personality types. ENTP’s, or otherwise known as ‘the visionary’ are passionate, enthusiastic, and an idea generator. They pick up new skills quickly and can solve problems by connecting the dots. They are motivated, open-minded and want to influence others, which are all things that will make a successful warehouse manager, who is capable of leading a team.

Accomplishment and mastery

As there are no formal education requirements, it is easy to feel a high sense of accomplishment and mastery once you have secured a position as a warehouse manager. On top of this, warehouse managers continued to develop their skills and knowledge throughout the entirety of their career. Therefore, the sense of accomplishment and mastery remains high throughout their entire career.

Meaning and contribution

Warehouse managers play one of the most important roles in the chain of sales and distribution. Anyone on the planet, who has ever ordered a product or shopped in a store, has relied on the organization, efficiency and productivity of a warehouse manager. Warehouse managers are the one who ensures that goods get safely shipped and received across the world and therefore, their work has a high meaning and contribution to society.

Life fit

Most warehouse managers will work full time. Depending on where they work/who they work for, they may work more than 40 hours per week. In some facilities, warehouse managers may work night or weekend shifts. They may also be on call to deal with emergencies at any time. So, the life fit of a warehouse manager depends on what facility the work in – some warehouse managers will have plenty of free time in the evenings and on the weekends to spend with their family and friends. Whereas others may have to be at work during this time.

Who will thrive in this career?

If you are an incredibly organized person, then you will do well as a warehouse manager. You should enjoy (and be good at) leading teams and you will thrive if you are able to make quick and effective decisions. A good business mindset will help you to thrive as a warehouse manager, as this means you will always be working with productivity and efficiency at the forefront of your mind. A good eye for numbers will also allow you to thrive as a warehouse manager, since you will need to develop budgets, track inventory, and analyze information. Typically, a quantitate mind, enthusiasm to learn and attention to detail will allow you to thrive as a warehouse manager. This is because warehouse managers will need to notice small problems and  learn about all aspects of shipping and logistics as a whole.

Who will struggle in this career?

Those who have the opposite skills as to what is mentioned above may struggle as a warehouse manager. Those who do not have the confidence or desire to lead a team may struggle with the leadership and management aspect of being a warehouse manager. Similarly, those with no enthusiasm for education and continuous leaning may struggle as warehouse managers are expected to keep up to date with shipping and distribution guidelines. Finally, those who do not pay attention to detail or who cannot work with productivity at the forefront of their mind may struggle with the constant pressure to meet deadlines and work efficiently.

Requirements

Skills and talents

As well as adequate experience in the field, warehouse managers will need skills and talents such as:

  • Organization skills, as warehouse managers will be responsible for handling a wide range of tasks and overseeing facilities
  • Leadership skills, are warehouse managers oversee teams of other warehouse workers and must be able to successful lead, motivate and manage them
  • Problem-solving skills, as warehouse managers will be faced with problems every single day (e.g., delayed deliveries, staff sickness) and they must be able to resolve these issues and ensure that production is kept efficient
  • Customer service skills, as warehouse managers will need the interpersonal skills to interact and communicate with clients regularly
  • Teamwork skills, as warehouse managers will need to work in small teams, with other managers or warehouse workers, a build a sense of cohesion, trust and open communication

Education

Although there are no official educational requirements to becoming a warehouse manager, a vast majority of operations require that warehouse managers have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, as the absolute bare minimum.

An increasing amount of warehouse managers have a bachelor’s degree. in a related field, such as supply chain management, logistics, business or administration. This is because this teaches them the skills and expertise they need to effectively manage, direct and distribute goods and staff. Once they secure their first management position, they will receive on-the-job training.

Certifications

Although there are no official certifications requires to be a warehouse manager, in many cases, warehouse managers will need certifications to operate heavy equipment, such as forklifts and aerial lifts.

How to Become

Summary

A career as a warehouse manager one that offers a great amount of meaning, contribution and autonomy, with little formal educational requirements.

Immediate action

Typically, warehouse managers progress from other warehouse roles. So, if becoming a warehouse manager appeals to you, we recommend gathering experience in a warehouse and ‘getting your foot in the door’.

Education and learning

There are no formal educational requirements to become a warehouse manager. However, as a bare minimum, warehouse managers should have a high school diploma. They will also have the best employment and progression opportunities if they have a degree in a related field.

Skill development

Warehouse managers receive on-the-job training, which teaches them the fundamentals of managing people, organizing goods distribution and the software needed. They are also expected to keep on top of industry trends and regulations, which means that their skills and knowledge will constantly develop throughout their career.

FAQs

Ask a Question

Have a question about Warehouse Manager careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33922 Supervisor Female 23 $17,000 New Berlin, NY 01/01/2010
33770 Store Keeper Male 23 $13,000 Kissimmee, FL 01/01/2010
33775 Warehouse Technician 2 Female 26 $45,000 DeKalb, NY 01/01/2010
33514 Dept Head Male 36 $57,000 st johnsville, NY 01/01/2010
33145 Warehouse Male 34 $35,000 mount washington, KY 01/01/2010

Resources