Inventory Controller: Job Duties, Requirements and Career Information
Inventory control is a component of business operations that ensures an appropriate amount of supply without excess. Inventory control is often a component of logistics, supply chain, or production management and may be overseen by these managers. However, positions as inventory specialists and clerks are available with a range of organizations, from factories to hospitals.
Inventory Control Specialist Job Duties
Inventory control specialists typically work in a warehouse. They collect data using a computerized system, which allows them to track various aspects of inventory. This data is used to calculate products and parts orders, to ensure that the proper amount of inventory is distributed at the right time. Additionally, specialists may track defective pieces of inventory, rates of return, rates of purchase, and rates of accuracy, in order to maintain and improve quality control. Inventory control specialists are also responsible for responding to sales inquiries, filing reports, managing employees, and providing creative solutions to discrepancies.
Many employers prefer to hire inventory control specialists who have a bachelor's degree in relevant areas, such as business or mathematics, though many positions are open to graduates with an associate's degree. Candidates are also required to be proficient in a computerized database or document system as well as office applications.
According to Payscale.com, in November 2013, the average salary for an inventory control supervisor was between $30,723 - $61,910 a year. Payscale.com also reported that inventory control managers earn between $29,945 - $76,394, as of November 2013. Individuals in these positions may advance to warehouse or operations managers as they accumulate experience.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2008, there were 160,550 industrial production manager jobs in the country, including inventory control specialist positions, many of which were in manufacturing industries. The BLS expected that the employment of industrial production manager positions would increase by about nine percent between 2010 and 2020.
Inventory Control Clerk Job Duties
Whereas internal control specialists have a hand in setting organizational procedures for inventory control, clerks are generally responsible for following them. Under the supervision of a manger, clerks record and maintain inventory lists, review paperwork and reports, check product codes, process shipping orders, and provide costumer service. Inventory control clerks also support their mangers by helping with administrative tasks, identifying discrepancies, and coming up solutions to problems.
Salary.com reports that inventory control clerks are typically required to hold a high school diploma to qualify for most jobs. Some employers may prefer candidates with an associate's degree in business operations and at least a year of professional experience. Depending on the type of inventory being handled, inventory clerk positions may require good physical fitness and the ability to lift or stand for long periods of time. With experience, clerks have the opportunity to advance into higher positions, which allow for more creativity.
As of November 2013, basic inventory control clerks earned an average annual salary of between $20,096 and $40,788, according to Payscale.com. Some industries in which inventory control clerks were employed included transportation and shipping, retail and wholesale, warehousing and logistics, and food manufacturing. The BLS projected that employment growth for stock clerks and order fillers, would experience slower-than-average growth of one percent between 2010-2020.
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