Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
43-5061.00

Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, costs, and production problems.

Sample of reported job titles: Expeditor, Inventory Control Specialist, Material Requirements Planner (MRP), Materials Coordinator, Materials Planner, Production Assistant, Production Clerk, Production Controller, Production Planner, Production Scheduler

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Distribute production schedules or work orders to departments.
  • Revise production schedules when required due to design changes, labor or material shortages, backlogs, or other interruptions, collaborating with management, marketing, sales, production, or engineering.
  • Review documents, such as production schedules, work orders, or staffing tables, to determine personnel or materials requirements or material priorities.
  • Arrange for delivery, assembly, or distribution of supplies or parts to expedite flow of materials and meet production schedules.
  • Confer with establishment personnel, vendors, or customers to coordinate production or shipping activities and to resolve complaints or eliminate delays.
  • Requisition and maintain inventories of materials or supplies necessary to meet production demands.
  • Confer with department supervisors or other personnel to assess progress and discuss needed changes.
  • Plan production commitments or timetables for business units, specific programs, or jobs, using sales forecasts.
  • Compile information, such as production rates and progress, materials inventories, materials used, or customer information, so that status reports can be completed.
  • Examine documents, materials, or products and monitor work processes to assess completeness, accuracy, and conformance to standards and specifications.
  • Compile and prepare documentation related to production sequences, transportation, personnel schedules, or purchase, maintenance, or repair orders.
  • Calculate figures, such as required amounts of labor or materials, manufacturing costs, or wages, using pricing schedules, adding machines, calculators, or computers.
  • Contact suppliers to verify shipment details.
  • Record production data, including volume produced, consumption of raw materials, or quality control measures.
  • Establish and prepare product construction directions and locations and information on required tools, materials, equipment, numbers of workers needed, and cost projections.
  • Maintain files, such as maintenance records, bills of lading, or cost reports.
  • Provide documentation and information to account for delays, difficulties, or changes to cost estimates.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Fund accounting software; Intuit QuickBooks Hot technology ; Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting for Manufacturing
  • Analytical or scientific software — KAPES; Micro Estimating FabPlan; MTI Systems Costimator JS
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Workbrain Employee Scheduling
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Google Drive Hot technology
  • Data base reporting software — Inetsoft; SAP Crystal Reports Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Airtable; Database software Hot technology ; Oracle software Hot technology ; Structured query language SQL Hot technology ; 4 more
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology ; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — Microsoft Dynamics GP Hot technology ; NetSuite ERP Hot technology ; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Hot technology ; Oracle PeopleSoft Hot technology ; 14 more
  • Financial analysis software — Cost estimating software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology
  • Human resources software — Questek Humanis
  • Industrial control software — Honeywell Wintress PACNet
  • Inventory management software — Accvision ABMIS; iCode Everest; Rytech Software Small Business Inventory Control
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Bill of lading software; Ingenious ProPlan; Oracle Flow Manufacturing; Waterloo Hydrogeologic TACTIC; 27 more
  • Medical software — Medical condition coding software Hot technology ; Medical procedure coding software; MEDITECH software Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Procurement software — Aestiva Purchase Order
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Systems
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Time accounting software — Work Technology WorkTech Time; Workbrain Time and Attendance
  • Word processing software — Google Docs Hot technology ; Microsoft OneNote; Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 92% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 66% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 71% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 65% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 47% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Very important results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 26% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Letters and Memos — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 37%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 21%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info
  • 19%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Interests

Interest code: CE
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$23.10 hourly, $48,040 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
365,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
41,000
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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