what is a warehouse associate?

As a warehouse associate, you work in a company warehouse. Your duties typically involve organizing and preparing items, merchandise or company supplies for shipping. You also take delivery of incoming supplies or goods and arrange them in the storage facilities. The work is physically demanding since you lift various items to and from delivery trucks. Organizing the warehouse and logging entries to keep the company's inventory information up to date is also part of your duties.

As a warehouse associate, your day-to-day activities include receiving and processing company goods or materials. Depending on the industry, this may include organizing and retrieving stock, checking, packing and shipping orders or managing other employees.

Warehouse associates are essential in any industry dealing with shipping and receiving goods. Companies that ship clothing or construction equipment employ warehouse associates to manage inventory. You also work in retail warehouses or manufacturing industries. Your job always involves assisting with shipping, receiving and handling heavy loads in all industries.

Would working as a warehouse associate suit your interest in working in a fast-paced environment? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a warehouse associate role.

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average warehouse associate salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a warehouse associate in Canada is $35,100 per year, which translates to an hourly rate of $18. You earn $31,200 annually in an entry-level position, while most experienced workers take home over $44,850 annually.

what factors affect your salary as a warehouse associate?

The earnings of a warehouse associate vary depending on various factors. Your experience and qualifications determine your starting salary. In an entry-level position, you require minimal experience, and your earnings are lower than warehouse associates with years of experience. While you don't require educational qualifications to work in the role, they improve your salary prospects.

Where you work also influences your earnings. For instance, a warehouse associate in New Brunswick receives a higher salary of $37,830 per year, Quebec salaries average $36,075 annually, and Ontario pays $34,068 yearly. Locations with a high demand for warehouse associates pay more than areas with lower demand. The size of your employer also influences your earnings. Working for a large company guarantees a higher salary due to the unlimited resources available.

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types of warehouse associates

Some of the types of warehouse associates include:

  • warehouse loaders: as a warehouse loader, you pack goods in a warehouse into shipping containers and delivery trucks. You ensure the items are safe during transit by packing them in sturdy packaging. You also track the shipments from dispatch to delivery at the destination.
  • warehouse clerks: warehouse associates record orders and supervise processing to ensure customers receive their orders. The role involves receiving phone calls and preparing shipping invoices for customers.
  • forklift operators: your job is to move inventory around the warehouse using a forklift. Sometimes, you load and offload goods from containers or delivery trucks.
two people having a conversation in a warehouse
two people having a conversation in a warehouse

working as a warehouse associate

Warehouse associates coordinate with manufacturers to ensure products reach customers. If you are interested in the role, explore warehouse associates' daily activities, work environments and schedules.


warehouse associate skills and education

Some of the employment requirements to become a warehouse associate include:

  • high school diploma: the minimum educational qualification for becoming a warehouse associate is a high school diploma. Ensure you get good grades and take relevant classes — like physical education and English — to develop the skills necessary for the role.
  • experience: a warehouse associate role is an entry-level position, but job experience gives you an advantage. Consider volunteer opportunities in retail and warehouse environments. Most employers offer on-the-job training to help you become familiar with the warehouse equipment and company policies.

competencies and characteristics of warehouse associates

For warehouse work, you need the skills outlined below to succeed:

  • interpersonal skills: people skills determine how well you work alongside a team. To collaborate with your co-workers, you require good communication skills. Possessing active listening skills also helps you follow instructions to avoid mistakes.
  • organizational skills: your organizational skills determine how well you use your time, strength and mental energy to accomplish the tasks at hand. It also refers to how organized you are with your physical space. Organizational skills determine how you leverage your space to make it ideal for productivity, letting you focus on the quality of your output.
  • technical skills: working in a warehouse requires maths and computer-centric skills. As a warehouse associate, you use basic maths to count inventory and track shipments. Computer skills are also useful when updating the log and inventory records. Proficiency in various programs, like Microsoft Excel or customer relationship management (CRM) systems, also proves useful in this line of work.
  • time management: warehouses are fast-paced and operate on strict schedules as shipments proceed daily. You should keep up with the fast environment without lowering the quality of your work.
  • mechanical skills: basic mechanical skills in operating equipment and vehicles are useful when applying for a warehouse associate job. The skills help in equipment maintenance, reducing the need for repairs.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a warehouse associate.


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