Warehouse operative

warehouse worker forklift driver dispatch assistant

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would handle the goods and products in warehouse or stockroom. It would be your job to to keep them safe and make sure they are delivered to customers on time.

Your role would be important in making sure customers are not disappointed by damaged items or late deliveries.

You could be based in a warehouse, retail store or factory.

Wherever you work, you would:

  • Receive deliveries of goods and supplies
  • Check for damaged or missing items
  • Store goods
  • Move stock around by hand, using lifting gear or a forklift truck
  • Pack orders
  • Load, and sometimes deliver, goods
  • Keep records of stock
  • Keep paperwork up to date
  • Clean work areas

Understanding and following health and safety rules would be essential in this job. 

Working conditions


You would work up to 40 hours a week, usually as part of a shift system covering five to seven days. Part-time work, temporary work and overtime are often available.


Most modern warehouses are large, light and airy. Some goods, for example food or chemicals, have to be stored in special conditions, so your working environment may be different. You would wear protective clothing like overalls and safety shoes, and an insulated jacket if you work in chilled storage areas.

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Being physically fit
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no formal qualifications, but some employers may ask for qualifications in English, maths, IT or forklift truck driving. 

You could get into this role through a Modern Apprenticeship in Freight Logistics (SCQF Level 6/7). 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • ICT subjects

You will also need

 To be physically fit.

Helpful to have

You might need IT skills. Some employers may also be looking for: 

  • a forklift truck licence
  • Scottish Vocational Qualification in Warehousing and Storage (SVQ level 2/3)

You may need normal colour vision if colour-coding systems are used to mark goods.