what is an order picker?

As an order picker, you select customers’ orders and package them for shipping. You ensure the products match each customer's requirements and are packed without damage or errors. You also prepare the paperwork and add their addresses to ensure that the items are shipped to the right customers.

Since you assist with inventory movement throughout the warehouse, you use material handling equipment, like an order picker or a forklift. You operate the machines to locate and retrieve items from storage areas and shelves. It is important to verify that you pick the correct items and place them on the proper pallets or carts for transport. When handling materials headed to companies, you ensure orders are processed correctly by double-checking the weight. You also keep the work environment safe and clean to ensure product quality.

As an order picker, you usually work in distribution centres and warehouses to supply raw materials and finished goods to customers. You also work in manufacturing companies, selling directly to customers and retail stores. For instance, you organize the distribution of finished products to wholesalers and retailers.

Would working as an order picker suit your organization and interpersonal skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an order picker role.

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average order picker salary

According to Job Bank, order pickers receive a salary of $33,574 per year. Companies that pay hourly rates offer a salary of roughly $17.22 per hour. Entry-level positions involve less complex skills and require minimal experience. Hence, your salary is as low as $30,225 annually. The most experienced order pickers often take home $40,658 yearly.

how to increase your salary as an order picker

As an order picker, you require minimal educational qualifications. That means having some qualifications can boost your earning potential. You also require extensive experience and skills in order to increase your earnings. You earn more after gaining years of experience in the warehouse environment.

The location also influences your earnings. Some areas have higher salaries due to high demand and high cost of living. For instance, working in British Columbia attracts an average annual salary of $36,191. In Quebec, it is $35,548 annually. Meanwhile, you earn $35,100 per year in Alberta. Regions like Nova Scotia have lower earnings, typically around $32,175 per year.

The industry and company size also influences your potential salary. Working in a large company earns you more than order pickers in smaller companies.

Would you like to know what an order picker earns? Where the highest salaries are paid for an order picker? Then download our Randstad salary guide and find out all about the salary of an order picker in Canada.


types of order pickers

The types of order pickers depend on the equipment they use. Some of the types of machines for picking orders include:

  • warehouse forklift: as an order picker, you can use a forklift to move high volumes of inventory around large facilities. Using forklifts, you manoeuvre items in the warehouse and load them onto delivery trucks. The forklifts are also useful in offloading trucks.
  • pallet jacks: as an order picker, you use transport pallet jacks to move palletized loads through a warehouse. They are ideal for moving items in tight spaces and are available in manual and electric options.
  • order picker: when using an order picker, you ride on a platform that raises the height of the stand. However, the order picker is designed to carry one or two units instead of a whole pallet of items. Order pickers improve efficiency in picking and handling items in warehouses.
Please use these images in the context of inclusion projects
Please use these images in the context of inclusion projects

working as an order picker

Order pickers hold the supply chain process together by ensuring the company delivers raw materials and finished products on time. Here are the tasks, work schedules and career opportunities of order pickers in Canada.


order picker skills and education

You don’t need any educational requirements to become an order picker. However, it helps to have the following qualifications:

secondary school education: you require a high school diploma to become an order picker in Canada. Most order picker jobs are trained in-house, and a few weeks of on-the-job training will prepare you for the role. You can also improve your skills by gaining certifications like forklift operations. Certifications improve your knowledge of operating machinery and performing maintenance tasks.

competencies and characteristics of order pickers

  • attention to detail: as an order picker, the company relies on you for accurate customer deliveries. Hence, you pick the correct items in the warehouse and ensure the quality matches the customer's requirements. Attention to detail helps you improve your order accuracy.
  • ability to use computers: as an order picker, you prepare the paperwork for every delivery and use computers to locate customer orders. Knowledge of computers and scanning technology is beneficial in the role.
  • time management and organization skills: as an order picker, you require organization skills to prioritize tasks and maintain production quotas. Time management skills also help you prepare the orders for timely delivery to avoid delays.
  • interpersonal skills: as an order picker, you work in retail and warehouse environments with various other professionals. Interpersonal skills help you excel within a team environment. For instance, communication skills help you relay information clearly, while active listening is useful when engaging with others or learning from their ideas.
  • physical strength: working as an order picker involves picking heavy items, arranging the warehouse and packaging goods. Your duties require physical strength since you move around and lift a lot of heavy items. Having good dexterity and eye-hand coordination also improves your safety in the work environment.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an order picker.


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