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Warehousing and distribution

Getting a job in warehousing and distribution means you’ll play a vital role in keeping the country going – packing up online orders, making sure food is on our supermarket shelves and getting goods to where they’re needed. A career in this sector is perfect if you enjoy being active, working behind the scenes and seek a varied, but rewarding role.

Types of roles

There are a range of jobs in the sector – working with stock, packing orders and driving forklift trucks. Whether you’re picking, packing, sorting or scanning, there could be a perfect job for you.

Roles can include:

  • receiving goods and storing them
  • checking for damaged or missing items
  • moving stock by hand or with equipment and/or machinery
  • packing and wrapping goods
  • loading goods for dispatch
  • keeping stock records
  • cleaning and tidying the warehouse

The average salary is around £21,000 per year.

5 Reasons to Work in Warehousing

Why work in warehousing?

If you like the idea of a fast-paced, dynamic environment with opportunities to build your skills and progress – working in warehousing has plenty to offer.

Here are 5 reasons the sector could be right for you:

  1. It’s a big industry
  • The warehouse sector is continuously expanding, which means they are always recruiting to keep up with demand. So if you’re looking for work quickly, a warehouse position could be a good option.
  • And because they are busy, there may be plenty of opportunities to earn more money with overtime if you’re open to working extra hours.
  1. You can start without specific qualifications, and build your skills from there
  • A lot of warehousing roles are entry-level jobs, which means you don’t need previous experience or technical skills. But you can often progress from there; you may receive on the job training to develop skills like forklift driving or other machine operating skills, which may also lead to higher pay.
  • The sector can be quite hi-tech, so you could also learn more advanced technical skills.
  1. It can be a great stepping stone to a management career
  • If you want to work your way up the management ladder, warehousing could also be for you. Businesses in the industry often promote from within rather than recruiting externally for higher positions. As you gain experience, you could see opportunities for higher pay and responsibility.
  1. Flexibility and variety
  • Warehouses usually operate around the clock, so they tend to have multiple shift patterns to choose from – if you’re looking for a job you can fit around your life, warehousing could be perfect for you.
  • Warehousing jobs vary more than you might think – within one warehouse, you can find jobs best suited to physically active people and another that suits people with great soft skills. So whatever your natural talents, there might be a warehouse job for you.
  1. It’s perfect if you don’t want an office job
  • If you like being active, and don’t love the idea of a desk job, you can find work in a warehouse that’s dynamic and fast-paced, where you’ll be on the move much of the day.
Man driving a forklift in a warehouse

Desirable skills

There are a range of different skills that you might need for warehouse jobs or which could be a real advantage when you are applying for one. These include attention to detail, working well in teams, quick thinking and good communication. You might already have developed those skills from other jobs or life experience.

You do not necessarily need formal qualifications, but some employers ask for GCSEs at grade 4 (C) in English and Maths, or equivalent qualifications. You may also require some basic IT skills.

Learn more about skills for work options.

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