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The role and responsibilities of an order picker

The role and responsibilities of an order picker

Considering a career in warehousing, logistics and distribution? One of the most in-demand roles is an order picker, also known as a warehouse operative.

But what exactly does an order picker do, and what skills and experience do you need to become one? We’ll run through everything you need to know below, starting with the key responsibilities of the job.

Key responsibilities of order pickers

The day-to-day work of an order picker involves preparing orders for shipment and delivery. This could be in a warehouse or storage depot, or fulfilling online orders for a retailer or supermarket.

Order pickers locate, pick and pack items according to order fulfilment requirements. But they also have a wide range of other responsibilities, depending on the warehouse environment. This includes:

  • Using barcode scanners and other technology to locate items for shipment
  • Ensuring the accurate management of inventory, including stock checks
  • Using forklift or other machinery to safely pick orders from shelves
  • Manage invoicing and paperwork so that orders can be tracked efficiently
  • Unloading deliveries and distributing goods to the correct storage area
  • Restocking shelves to ensure full inventories at all times
  • Warehouse cleaning tasks as required.

Order pickers often have speed and efficiency targets to meet, so that the warehouse can function at maximum productivity.

What skills and experience do you need to become an order picker?

To land yourself this critical warehousing role, you’ll usually need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be in good physical shape, capable of standing for long hours and lifting at least 20kg safely
  • Have good written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrate good attention to detail
  • Have a working knowledge warehouse health and safety procedures
  • Have a forklift driving licence (plus a full UK driving licence)
  • Be familiar with order tracking software and order fulfilment databases.

When advertising warehouse operative roles, employers often ask for at least one year’s experience working in a busy warehouse, order fulfilment, distribution or logistics. Relevant experience within a storage depot or supermarket stock room may also be sufficient.

A formal education isn’t usually required to secure an order picker role. However, training and qualifications relating to using forklift, picking and other warehouse machinery is likely to give you a competitive edge over other candidates. It can also help to have health and safety training.

In many cases though, employers will offer full training on the job. This means that it’s possible to get an entry level or trainee job as a warehouse operative with limited or no experience.

How to find and apply for order picker roles

If you feel you’d be a great fit for a warehouse operative/order picker role, start your search with Quest Employment.

We work closely with major employers within the warehouse, manufacturing and food and drink production sectors across the UK. This means we have lots of fantastic opportunities in multiple locations, with a range of shift patterns and working patterns available.

To start your search, register with Quest and take a look at our latest UK vacancies here


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