Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

Manually move freight, stock, luggage, or other materials, or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

Sample of reported job titles: Dock Worker, Laborer, Line Tender, Loader, Material Handler, Merchandise Pick Up Associate, Receiver, Receiving Associate, Shipping and Receiving Materials Handler, Warehouse Worker

Also see: Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Move freight, stock, or other materials to and from storage or production areas, loading docks, delivery vehicles, ships, or containers, by hand or using trucks, tractors, or other equipment.
  • Sort cargo before loading and unloading.
  • Attach identifying tags to containers or mark them with identifying information.
  • Read work orders or receive oral instructions to determine work assignments or material or equipment needs.
  • Stack cargo in locations, such as transit sheds or in holds of ships as directed, using pallets or cargo boards.
  • Record numbers of units handled or moved, using daily production sheets or work tickets.
  • Install protective devices, such as bracing, padding, or strapping, to prevent shifting or damage to items being transported.
  • Direct spouts and position receptacles, such as bins, carts, or containers, so they can be loaded.
  • Attach slings, hooks, or other devices to lift cargo and guide loads.
  • Maintain equipment storage areas to ensure that inventory is protected.
  • Adjust controls to guide, position, or move equipment, such as cranes, booms, or cameras.
  • Guide loads being lifted to prevent swinging.
  • Wash out cargo containers or storage areas.
  • Pack containers and re-pack damaged containers.
  • Carry needed tools or supplies from storage or trucks and return them after use.
  • Shovel material, such as gravel, ice, or spilled concrete, into containers or bins or onto conveyors.
  • Connect electrical equipment to power sources so that it can be tested before use.
  • Carry out general yard duties, such as performing shunting on railway lines.
  • Rig or dismantle props or equipment, such as frames, scaffolding, platforms, or backdrops, using hand tools.
  • Adjust or replace equipment parts, such as rollers, belts, plugs, or caps, using hand tools.
  • Bundle and band material such as fodder or tobacco leaves, using banding machines.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 29% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Physical Proximity — 27% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 21% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Important results.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 30% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 31% responded “Less than 40 hours.”
  • Deal With External Customers
  • Exposed to Contaminants
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 46% responded “About half the time.”

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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
State licenses
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

No skills met the minimum score.

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Knowledge

No knowledge met the minimum score.

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Education

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

  • 70%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 19%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 5%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Interests

Interest code: R
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • 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

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • 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.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$15.02 hourly, $31,230 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
2,806,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
421,900
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “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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