Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
- Many production, planning, and expediting jobs are at the
entry level and do not require more than a high school diploma.
- Manufacturing firms and wholesale and retail trade establishments
are the primary employers.
- Production, planning, and expediting clerks work closely with
supervisors who must approve production and work schedules.
Production, planning, and expediting clerks coordinate and expedite
the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices.
Most of their work is done according to production, work, or shipment
schedules that are devised by supervisors who determine work progress
and completion dates. Production, planning, and expediting clerks
compile reports on the progress of work and on production problems.
They also may schedule workers, estimate costs, schedule the shipment
of parts, keep an inventory of materials, inspect and assemble
materials, and write special orders for services and merchandise.
In addition, they may route and deliver parts to ensure that production
quotas are met and that merchandise is delivered on the date promised.
Production and planning clerks compile records and reports
on various aspects of production, such as materials and parts
used, products produced, machine and instrument readings, and
frequency of defects. These workers prepare work tickets or other
production guides and distribute them to other workers. Production
and planning clerks coordinate, schedule, monitor, and chart production
and its progress, either manually or with electronic equipment.
They also gather information from customers’ orders or other specifications
and use the information to prepare a detailed production sheet
that serves as a guide in assembling or manufacturing the product.
Expediting clerks contact vendors and shippers to ensure
that merchandise, supplies, and equipment are forwarded on the
specified shipping dates. They communicate with transportation
companies to prevent delays in transit, and they may arrange for
the distribution of materials upon their arrival. They may even
visit work areas of vendors and shippers to check the status of
orders. Expediting clerks locate and distribute materials to specified
production areas. They may inspect products for quality and quantity
to ensure their adherence to specifications. They also keep a
chronological list of due dates and may move work that does not
meet the production schedule to the top of the list.
Production, planning, and expediting clerks work closely with
supervisors who must approve production and work schedules. The
typical workweek is Monday through Friday.
|Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Many production, planning, and expediting jobs are at the entry
level and do not require more than a high school diploma. Employers,
however, prefer to hire those familiar with computers and other
electronic office and business equipment. Applicants who have
taken business courses or have specific job-related experience
may be preferred. Because communication with other people is an
integral part of some jobs in the occupation, good oral and written
communication skills are essential. Typing, filing, recordkeeping,
and other clerical skills also are important.
Production, planning, and expediting clerks usually learn the
job by doing routine tasks under close supervision. They learn
how to count and mark stock, and then they start keeping records
and taking inventory. Strength, stamina, good eyesight, and an
ability to work at repetitive tasks, sometimes under pressure,
are important characteristics. Production, planning, and expediting
clerks must learn both how their company operates and the company’s
priorities before they can begin to write production and work
Advancement opportunities for production, planning, and expediting
clerks vary with the place of employment.
In 2004, production, planning, and expediting clerks held 292,000
jobs. Jobs in manufacturing made up 42 percent. Another 14 percent
were in wholesale and retail trade establishments.
As increasing pressure is put on firms to manufacture and deliver
their goods more quickly and efficiently, the need for production,
planning, and expediting clerks will grow, although the expected
decline in overall employment in manufacturing will result in
slower than average employment growth for production, planning,
and expediting clerks through 2014. The work of production, planning,
and expediting clerks is less likely to be automated than the
work of many other administrative support occupations. In addition
to openings due to employment growth, job openings will arise
from the need to replace production, planning, and expediting
clerks who leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations.
Median annual earnings of production, planning, and expediting
clerks in May 2004 were $36,340. The middle 50 percent earned
between $27,690 and $45,880. The lowest 10 percent earned less
than $21,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,850.
These workers usually receive the same benefits as most other
workers. If uniforms are required, employers generally provide
them or offer an allowance to purchase them.
Other workers who coordinate the flow of information to assist
the production process include cargo and freight agents; shipping,
receiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers;
and weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping.
|Sources of Additional Information
Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local
employers and from local offices of the State employment service.
Source: Bureau of
Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational
Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition