How to become an order picker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You may be able to do an intermediate apprenticeship for warehouse operatives, depending on where you work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

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Direct Application

You can apply directly for order picking jobs. Some employers may ask for GCSEs in maths and English, or you might have to do a short test at interview to check your practical skills.

Computer skills will also be useful for using online sales systems and stock control scanners.

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Career tips

You may find it useful for some jobs if you've done forklift truck training.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • selecting items to match the customer’s order sheet
  • using voice-activated picking machines and scanners
  • requesting freshly made items from in-house departments like bakeries
  • checking product quality
  • choosing suitable replacements where stock has sold out
  • packing items ready for despatch
  • updating customer records on computer systems
  • helping customers if working in-store

Working environment

You could work in a warehouse.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and cold.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a shift supervisor then move into section or warehouse management.

You could also become a delivery driver if you work for a supermarket. 

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Warehouse Operative

  • Wage: £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Wolverhampton

Warehouse, Production, Storage and distribution Apprentice

  • Wage: To be agreed upon appointment Unspecified
  • Location: Witham

Courses In England

Certificate in Warehousing and Storage

  • Start date: 01 July 2021
  • Location:

Warehousing and Storage

  • Start date: 02 November 2020
  • Location: Gloucester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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