How to Become a Warehouse Supervisor – (2023)

How to Become a Warehouse Supervisor – (1)

Warehouse supervising is an exciting and diverse career path. It combines managerial tasks with operational goals.

You can become a warehouse supervisor without a degree and only by securing the right skills for the job. These skills include strong communication, organization, and leadership skills. As a warehouse supervisor, you will need to be an all-rounder.

Warehouse supervisors get their positions by either applying for the job from outside the company or being promoted from within.

Many companies prefer promoting entry-level employees already working in the warehouse to the supervisor position.

(Video) How I Got Started: Warehouse Supervisor - Zeus Walker

Roles and responsibilities of a warehouse supervisor

As a warehouse supervisor, you’ll be overseeing daily operations in the warehouse as well as managing its staff. A warehouse supervisor’s roles and responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining and storing product inventory.
  • Training new warehouse staff.
  • Measuring worker performance.
  • Tracking incoming and outgoing goods.
  • Maintaining warehouse machinery.
  • Maintaining a tidy, organized workspace.
  • Recording shipping documentation, receipts, and other data.
  • Ensuring the proper packaging, placement, and transportation of goods.
  • Fostering good relationships with vendors so you fulfill orders on time.
  • Supervising workers’ daily tasks, such as loading, picking, receiving, and forklifting.

Tips for being a good warehouse supervisor

Working as a warehouse supervisor can be stressful. You have to juggle various demanding tasks every day. By following a few tips and practices you can improve your chances of becoming a successful warehouse supervisor as well as climbing the corporate ladder.

1. Be organized to prevent obstacles

Being organized ensures you maintain a clean, tidy warehouse that’s easy to manage. And, it’s essential to be organized when recording and maintaining inventory, as this will prevent problems such as delivery delays.

2. Stay informed about the latest trends in operations

By staying on top of industry trends, you can keep an eye out for any operations that can be improved. For example, by learning new data collection methods, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of inventory inaccuracies and thereby make your job easier.

3. Be open to feedbackand communication

How to Become a Warehouse Supervisor – (2)

It’s always good to check in with co-workers, subordinates and other industry professionals about your performance so you can continue learning and improving your skills.

You should also be open to feedback from your staff and customers to improve the way you work.

Learn to delegate and you will quickly find that members of your team have a lot to offer. Having a team on your side will lead to success.

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4. Nurture self-confidence

Self-confidence will ensure you can positively and effectively communicate with customers, truck drivers, and your team, for whom you have to be a motivating leader.

Courses and certifications for warehouse supervisors

To be a successful warehouse supervisor, experience of working in the field is essential. In most organizations this is viewed as more important than having qualifications.

However, educational courses and certifications will show potential employers that you’re qualified for the job and could help you advance your career.

Many warehouse jobs require a degree or several years of experience. A degree can be a bachelor’s degree in logistics, business administration, or management. An associate degree in engineering or business is also favorable, as Indeed reports.

Keep in mind that supply chain management (SCM) degrees were rather obscure until recently.

If you already have an undergraduate degree in any field, a Master’s in SCM would be the obvious transition. However, this may not always be possible due to factors like cost or family circumstances.

That’s where certifications come in. ASCM (Association for Supply Chain Management) certificates such as APICS CLTD, CPIM and CSCP are particularly popular and recognizable within the warehousing industry.

(Video) Top 10 Warehouse Management Online courses and certifications

How to Become a Warehouse Supervisor – (3)

Others like CPSM will also make you stand out in the eyes of employers.

Courses in RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification) and Automated Data Collection are also important as they help enhance your knowledge in making warehouse operations run smoother.

Another valuable certification to take is forklift certification. This is important as you need the same physical skills as people in your team who will be using the equipment. You’ll also need to train your staff to use this equipment safely and correctly.

Most warehouses and distribution centers offer forklift training and certification in-house so you don’t have to go to school for it.

A management course can also come in handy because, as a warehouse supervisor, you’ll require some managerial skills, so you should have training that blends operational and managerial elements, as Graziadio Business Review reports.

Skills needed to become an effective warehouse supervisor

Since you’ll be engaged in operational and managerial tasks, you will need a wide range of skills. These include the following:

  • Verbal and written communication skills. These ensure you can train and supervise workers effectively.
  • Leadership skills. You have to lead your team and motivate its members to achieve your warehouse goals and deadlines.
  • Problem-solving skills. You’ll face many challenges as a warehouse supervisor, such as inaccurate inventories and failed deliveries. So, you have to anticipate the issues and find solutions quickly and efficiently.
  • Tech-savviness. You will need to be computer literate, e.g., when it comes to data entry and using inventory software.
  • Time management skills. You must meet deadlines and ensure your team is meeting them.
  • Trucking skills. Trucking is one of the top 10 skills required by warehouse supervisors, as Zip Recruiter reports. Warehouse supervisors play an important role in the trucking industry as they manage the flow of inventory and conduct other tasks, such as packing trucks and overseeing deliveries.

Qualities of a good warehouse supervisor

How to Become a Warehouse Supervisor – (4)

While you might have the right skills to become a successful warehouse supervisor, you also need a few important qualities if you want to work well with others and run the warehouse efficiently. Examples of these important qualities include:

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Being passionate about learning about warehousing

Regularly learning about the industry and how you can enhance your skills in different areas of the job will help you become better at what you do. Take online courses from time to time so you can work on any problem areas you have, or read books about logistics management to increase your knowledge.

Valuing honesty in your work

This is an essential part of the career as you’ll be handling a lot of inventory. You must also be an honest person and have integrity so that your employers will trust you.

You have to monitor your team members to identify and eliminate theft and other issues that degrade the quality of your warehouse’s service.

Keeping a clear head in stressful situations

Stressful situations and problems will arise in the warehouse, such as delivery issues, so you need to remain calm in the face of stress and impending deadlines. This is especially important because you will need to lead by example.

Career progression for a warehouse supervisor

Once you become a warehouse supervisor, you will have opportunities to progress in your career. For example, you could become a warehouse manager, enabling you to have more responsibilities, such as goal setting and strategic planning.

You could also become a supply chain manager responsible for helping companies make, store, and ship their goods. For this job, you’ll need several years of experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Other management positions available to warehouse supervisors include:

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  • Production Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Facilities Manager

Pros and cons of being a warehouse supervisor

There are many advantages to becoming a warehouse supervisor, but also some drawbacks of which you should be aware.


  • You don’t necessarily need education. For many warehouse supervisor jobs, a high-school diploma is all that’s required. Experience also counts in your favor when applying for jobs.
  • Your job is varied. Being a warehouse supervisor gives you the chance to work in many areas, such as training employees and maintaining inventory.
  • You have many learning opportunities. You can continue learning throughout your career to boost your skills and get promoted. Many warehouse supervisor jobs include training.
  • You have the chance to earn a good salary. On average, in the U.S., a warehouse supervisor earns between $48, 597 and $63, 266, as Climb the Ladder reports. The amount varies depending on factors such as location and experience.


  • You have to be physically fit. Working as a warehouse supervisor can involve lots of physical work, such as carrying heavy objects.
  • Your working hours can vary. You sometimes have to work overnight shifts and extended hours to meet your deadlines.


What qualifications do I need to be a warehouse manager? ›

You'll need:
  • business management skills.
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits.
  • maths knowledge.
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail.
  • leadership skills.
  • customer service skills.
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
  • administration skills.

Is it hard to be a warehouse supervisor? ›

Warehouse supervisors ensure every day goes by smoothly and efficiently. That means you're looking over ways to improve the way you receive and store goods, as well as manage the warehouse inventory level. It may sound like a tough job, but it's rewarding, especially when your team accomplishes their goals.

How do you move up in a warehouse job? ›

How to Move Up the Career Ladder in Warehouse Jobs
  1. Career Development Tips for Warehouse Employees. ...
  2. Start with the Right Mindset. ...
  3. Demonstrate Your Good Record. ...
  4. Ask for Promotion. ...
  5. Set a Path for Promotion with Your Boss. ...
  6. Do More. ...
  7. Find Your Promotion Elsewhere. ...
  8. Are You Ready for Promotion in Warehouse Jobs?
22 Feb 2021

How long does it take to become warehouse manager? ›

It can take 2 years as an entry-level Warehouse Manager to progress to the senior warehouse manager position. Each advanced Warehouse Manager position requires approximately 8 years of experience at each level to advance in your Warehouse Manager career path.

What are the three 3 most important skills that a warehouse worker should have? ›

Dependable, Flexible, and Punctual

These three traits are common among many positions, but they're especially desirable in warehouse settings. Dependable workers are those who show up and give it their all for every shift. Punctual workers arrive on time, and they also complete tasks by appointed deadlines.

How do I become a supervisor with no experience? ›

There are lots of ways to demonstrate that you are ready to make the step up to a management position.
  1. Act as a mentor to inexperienced staff.
  2. Manage individual projects.
  3. Come up with new ideas.
  4. Show leadership within your team.
  5. Leading a group & planning events.
  6. Overseeing finances.
  7. Speak up & get involved.
2 Nov 2021

Is warehouse supervisor a good career? ›

A warehouse supervisor is always an in-demand career because it's a job found in multiple industries. Warehouse supervisors are necessary for managing shipments in the clothing, medical, food and technology industries, just to name a few.

What is the basic salary of a supervisor? ›

The average supervisor salary in South Africa is R 270 000 per year or R 138 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 180 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 2 352 564 per year.

What are the 5 roles of a supervisor? ›

The five key supervisory roles include Educator, Sponsor, Coach, Counselor, and Director. Each is described below. Note that in your role as a supervisor, you will be using these five roles, in some combination, simultaneously, depending on the needs of the team members.

What are the three skills required as a supervisor? ›

An effective supervisor needs to possess a certain set of skills. They should be confident leaders who can successfully motivate their teams.
  • Written and verbal communication. ...
  • Decision-making. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Conflict resolution. ...
  • Cooperation. ...
  • Mentorship.

What does a warehouse supervisor need to know? ›

Competency and confidence are two necessary qualities, as a warehouse supervisor must understand a company's policies and procedures as well as clerical and operating responsibilities. A warehouse can also be quite large, and a warehouse supervisor must be comfortable managing a large number of employees.

What is the highest paying job in a warehouse? ›

The highest paying job in most warehouses belongs to the production manager. These individuals typically oversee all aspects of the warehouse and make an average of approximately $76,000 a year. Production managers oversee other warehouse managers such as shipping, receiving, and quality assurance.

What is a fast mover in a warehouse? ›

Fast-moving items are goods or products with a high turnover rate and are sold within a short period of time. Due to the fastness in selling the goods, the fast-moving items are not store or take space for long.

How do you get promoted at a warehouse? ›

  1. 5 Ways to Prove You're Ready for a Warehouse Promotion. HMG Success. ...
  2. Be a “Go To” Employee. If you want to make an impression, be the employee that solves problems. ...
  3. Take (Temporary) Leadership Roles. ...
  4. Assist Your Supervisor. ...
  5. Improve Your Skills in Relevant Ways. ...
  6. Ask for a Promotion.
14 Oct 2016

Is being a warehouse manager stressful? ›

The stress and strain of running an entire warehouse does not stop there, though—far from it! Warehouse manager also need to constantly review schedules, plans, budgets, preventative maintenance initiatives, IT threats, system vulnerabilities, and audit findings, among other daily, monthly, and quarterly requirements.

What does a warehouse supervisor do? ›

Warehouse Supervisors are professionals who are responsible for overseeing the general operations of a warehouse and its staff. They handle the recording and maintaining of inventory, advising the imports received and items exported.

How do people survive working in a warehouse? ›

Here are ten tips I wrote based on my own experience to make the transition into this job a little easier.
  1. Wear Appropriate Clothing. ...
  2. Take Care of Your Diet. ...
  3. Save Your Money. ...
  4. Don't Overstrain Yourself. ...
  5. Use Proper Lifting Techniques. ...
  6. Stay Hydrated While Working. ...
  7. Get to Work Early. ...
  8. Make Friends at the Warehouse.
26 May 2021

How can I improve my warehouse management skills? ›

Management & leadership tips
  1. Introduce incentive pay. “ ...
  2. Invest in quality training processes. “ ...
  3. Prioritize safety. “ ...
  4. Cultivate effective front-line leadership. “ ...
  5. Establish a culture that promotes productivity. “ ...
  6. Listen to employees. ...
  7. Maintain good relationships with suppliers. ...
  8. Cross-train your warehouse workforce. “
25 Aug 2022

How do I become a first time supervisor? ›

Tips for new supervisors
  1. Meet with your employees individually to get to know them. ...
  2. Review existing performance records and employee files. ...
  3. Maintain routine communication with your manager. ...
  4. Be the first to arrive and the last to leave. ...
  5. Use the beginning of the workday to review company policies and procedures.
1 Mar 2021

What is the minimum qualification for supervisor? ›

Supervisors are required to have a high school education or GED. Many have advanced degrees in management or a related field. A supervisor in specialized industries will also be required to possess certifications relevant to the field.

What makes a poor supervisor? ›

Micromanagement is one of the most-often-cited characteristics of a bad manager. Instead of giving staff the time, space, and autonomy to perform, micromanagers over-observe and dictate every part of the process. These bosses demand constant updates that can further delay the result and make the work tedious.

What pays more manager or supervisor? ›

Employees with a managerial job title tend to have a higher salary than a supervisor at a company. Managers have more responsibilities than supervisors, so they earn higher wages for their work.

What is the best job in warehouse? ›

According to Indeed, some of the highest-paying warehouse jobs are warehouse process engineer, production manager, shipping supervisor, and quality assurance manager. These are managerial positions that require formal education and experience.

Do supervisors make more than managers? ›

In general, managers earn more than supervisors do. This is because managers generally have more responsibility, which gives them a higher level of authority. They have more responsibilities because of their role as strategic planners for the company. Managers in the U.S. earn an average of $55,342 per year.

What does a supervisor do all day? ›

The supervisor's overall role is to communicate organizational needs, oversee employees' performance, provide guidance, support, identify development needs, and manage the reciprocal relationship between staff and the organization so that each is successful.

What is a level 1 supervisor? ›

SUPERVISOR LEVEL 1: Provides immediate supervision to a unit or group of operational or technical employees. A portion of time may be spent performing individual tasks related to the unit; however, supervisory activities must constitute a primary part of the job.

Do you get paid more to be a supervisor? ›

A supervisor can also assign tasks to employees and monitor their performance. Higher salaries: When compared to other front-line employees, managers and supervisors both earn higher remuneration.

Can supervisor fire you? ›

Of course they can. People get fired for all sorts of reasons everyday, and most people in America don't have any recourse when it happens. But human resources rarely leads the way in firing someone. The decision to terminate an employee nearly always comes from their manager or supervisor.

How do I know if I am ready to be a supervisor? ›

Like I mentioned earlier, managers need to act as resources for other people—particularly those who work directly under them. If you're already looked at as that go-to guide within your company, that's a solid indicator that you're ready to take on some more formal leadership duties.

What questions will be asked in a supervisor interview? ›

Some of these types of questions may include:
  • How would you describe your management or leadership style?
  • What are your strengths as a supervisor?
  • When evaluating a team member's performance, what factors do you consider?
  • Describe your planning process.
  • In what work environment have you achieved the most success?

What training do supervisors need? ›

In addition to training on various laws, supervisors should receive training on managing employees, including how to: Conduct performance reviews. Discipline employees. Handle challenging employees.

How do you become a supervisor at work? ›

How to become a good supervisor
  1. Step 1: Get to know your employees. Make an effort to really understand your employees. ...
  2. Step 2: Treat employees as people. And be a person back to them. ...
  3. Step 3: Believe you are a leader. People put their trust in confidence. ...
  4. Step 4: Sit back and listen. ...
  5. Step 5: Feedback is your friend.
18 Feb 2019

What are the 3 basic roles of a supervisor? ›

Supervisor responsibilities include:
  • Setting goals for performance and deadlines in ways that comply with company's plans and vision.
  • Organizing workflow and ensuring that employees understand their duties or delegated tasks.
  • Monitoring employee productivity and providing constructive feedback and coaching.

How should I dress for a warehouse supervisor interview? ›

A shirt and tie is acceptable, but a suit is probably too formal. For women, business casual means a nice shirt or blouse and dress pants. A dress or skirt can be appropriate, as long as it isn't too flamboyant or too revealing.

What are KPI for warehouse supervisor? ›

Popular inventory KPIs include inventory accuracy, shrinkage, carrying cost of inventory, inventory turnover, and inventory to sales ratio.

Can you make 100k in a warehouse? ›

No, you cannot make $100,000 per year as a warehouse worker.

It is highly unlikely to earn over $100k because the average annual salary for a warehouse worker is $31,519. Even warehouse workers in higher-paid positions do not typically earn more than $38,000 per year.

What's the easiest warehouse to work for? ›

However, most entry-level warehouse jobs can be quite exhausting.
1. Sanitation Worker
  • Tyson Foods.
  • Warehouse sanitation associate at UNFI.
  • Amazon fulfillment centers contracts cleaning services to a company called KBS from where you can apply for a janitorial job.
  • Gordon Food Service– search for “warehouse custodian”
10 Dec 2021

What job pays the most without a degree? ›

25 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require a Four-Year Degree
  1. Air Traffic Controller. Median salary: $129,750.
  2. Elevator Installer and Repairer. ...
  3. Nuclear Technician. ...
  4. Web Developer. ...
  5. Dental Hygienist. ...
  6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers/Cardiovascular Technologists. ...
  7. Aerospace Technician. ...
  8. Police Officers and Detectives. ...
14 Oct 2022

How do you pick things up faster in a warehouse? ›

Warehouse Order Picking Tips
  1. Store popular SKUs together. ...
  2. Pay close attention to product slotting. ...
  3. Batch single-line orders. ...
  4. Balance restocking and picking to ensure the items are there. ...
  5. Make sure the right paperwork is associated with the right order. ...
  6. Structure pick lists for efficient packing. ...
  7. Maximize hit density.
14 Jul 2021

How can I make my warehouse work faster? ›

How to be a faster warehouse picker?
  1. 1 – Be smart about where you put your best selling items. ...
  2. 2 – Batching up multiple orders for the same item. ...
  3. 3 – Divide your warehouse into zones. ...
  4. 4 – Maximise your pickface. ...
  5. 5 – Separate similar looking items. ...
  6. 6 – Easy to follow app. ...
  7. 7 – Pick and sort as you go. ...
  8. 8 – Gamify your work.
6 Jan 2022

What is a dolly in warehouse? ›

A dolly is a compact equipment with wheels used to move pallets, goods or containers without the help of a tractor. A dolly is normally used in warehouses.

Can you move up as a warehouse worker? ›

Moving up in a warehouse can be difficult since entry level jobs are usually in a lot of demand. This makes the employer not very invested in employees' career growth as they are seen as replaceable.

Do warehouse jobs get you in shape? ›

Keeps You In Shape

All warehouse positions require some kind of constant movement, whether you're picking, loading, or packaging. The walking and lifting definitely gives you your workout for the day. This definitely saves you time as you won't have to hit the gym or do a home workout once you're off.

What is expected of a warehouse manager? ›

Warehouse managers are responsible for organising the safe and efficient receipt, storage and despatch of warehoused goods. Early applications are advisable for logistics and distribution training scheme vacancies – especially for those with major employers.

What should I study to work in a warehouse? ›

In particular, it would be helpful to learn database management, supplies procurement, scheduling, barcode and personnel management software. Teamwork: Being able to work as part of a team is essential to being an effective warehouse worker.

What are the 5 reports every warehouse manager should be using? ›

5 Reports Every Warehouse Manager Should be Using
  • #1 History By Supplier Report. ...
  • #2 Vendor/Supplier Report. ...
  • #3 Inventory On Hand Report. ...
  • #4 Empty Bin Report. ...
  • #5 Expense Control Report. ...
  • Warehouse Management with DEAR Systems.
28 Jan 2022

What is the most challenging part of being a warehouse manager? ›

Picking is where a majority of warehouse management problems occur. According to Conveyco, walking and manually picking orders can account for more than 50% of the time associated with picking. Where tasks are done in a hurry, errors that cost time and money will disrupt your inventory control systems.

Can you get in shape working in a warehouse? ›

Keeps You In Shape

All warehouse positions require some kind of constant movement, whether you're picking, loading, or packaging. The walking and lifting definitely gives you your workout for the day. This definitely saves you time as you won't have to hit the gym or do a home workout once you're off.


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