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Career Profile: 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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 2,821,700 people employed as laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand in the United States. The median annual salary is $31,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $22,790 per year and senior employees earn approximately $48,650 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
2,821,700
Annual Openings:
411,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
9%
Annual Salary Range:
$22,790 - $48,650
Education Requirements:
Some high school