Warehouse workers run the gamut from warehouse pickers to forklift operators, warehouse operations managers, and more. As is the case with most industries, the amount of money a warehouse worker earns depends on the specific position they hold. In this post, we’ll discuss the earnings of the typical non-management warehouse worker.
General Warehouse Worker Salaries
In general, warehouse workers earn an average of $28.979 per year, according to Glassdoor’s data. The median base salary for a warehouse worker, according to Salary.com, is $28,519, with a range of $24,467 to $32,808.
Screenshot via Glassdoor
Payscale breaks down the typical pay for a warehouse worker on an hourly basis, with the average hourly rate estimated at $12.62, with a range of $9.71 to $17.92 per hour. There are many things that can impact a warehouse worker’s earnings. In addition to the variations between specific warehouse roles, a warehouse worker’s pay may vary based on:
- Years of experience
- Specific skillsets
Indeed reports a slightly lower average hourly rate of $12.08, a figure based on anonymous reports from 149,958 warehouse workers and data collected from job postings on Indeed during the past 36 months. Entry-level warehouse workers, according to Indeed, can expect to earn an average of $11.52 per hour, while senior warehouse workers earn an average of $14.02 per hour.
Warehouse Worker Salaries by Company
Indeed also provides average salary data for warehouse workers at specific companies. Here are a few of the average salaries (per Indeed’s data) for some of the most well-known companies:
- Frito-Lay: $16.51/hour
- PepsiCo: $16.17/hour
- Target: $14.91/hour
- Coca-Cola: $13.84/hour
- Dollar General: $13.91/hour
At some major companies, growth in online sales has been a boon for the warehouse industry, leading to higher earnings for warehouse workers as warehouses face labor shortages. During the 2015 holiday shopping season, for instance, Target’s warehouse workers were earning an average of $18.23 per hour, while a job posting for a warehouse worker at Amazon’s Lexington, Kentucky facility promised up to $17 per hour.
How Warehouse Worker Earnings Vary by Location
Location is a big factor in how much a warehouse worker can expect to earn. Warehouse workers can generally expect to earn higher wages in areas with a heavy warehouse presence, typically in metropolitan areas where major enterprises base operations. As the heatmap from Salary.com below illustrates, salaries tend to be higher in the northwest (Seattle region), the east coast (Philadelphia-New Jersey area), and on the west coast (in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas).
Screenshot via Salary.com
Warehouse worker salaries in other regions, such as the Chicago and Houston areas, are slightly higher than the median, as well. Payscale’s data also reveals some interesting insights about how pay varies based on location. Here’s a look at some prominent locations and how warehouse worker salaries stack up:
- New York: $30,904 median pay (11% above national average)
- Indianapolis: $30,141 median pay (9% above national average)
- Phoenix: $28,515 median pay (3% above national average)
- Charlotte: $28,295 median pay (2% above national average)
- Atlanta: $27,418 median pay (1% below national average)
- Portland: $27,603 median pay (1% below national average)
- Columbus: $27,522 median pay (1% below national average)
- Houston: $27,185 median pay (2% below national average)
- Dallas: $27,025 median pay (3% below national average)
- San Diego: $27,022 (3% below national average)
A saturation of warehouses in a geographic location means it’s more difficult for warehouses to find qualified labor, so workers benefit from higher pay as warehouses compete for top talent.
Warehouse Worker Earnings for Different Roles and Skillsets
Based on the data above, most general warehouse workers can expect to earn somewhere in the range of roughly $10 to $18 per hour. More experienced workers can earn higher wages. According to Payscale, late-career warehouse workers typically earn 29% more than the national average, and experienced warehouse workers can earn 15% more than the national average. Mid-career warehouse workers earn slightly higher wages (6%) compared to the national average. Entry-level warehouse workers, on the other hand, may earn as much as 7% less than the national average until they acquire more experience.
Additional experience and skills can qualify warehouse workers for other roles within the warehouse, which can also mean higher earnings. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a warehouse material handler is about $31,000 per year, and a forklift operator earns an average of $30,000 per year.
Payscale also provides data on specific skills that can influence a warehouse worker’s earnings, such as:
- Team Leadership: 15% above national average
- Quality Assurance/Quality Control: 9% above national average
- Forklift Operation: 8% above national average
- Logistics: 7% above national average
- Machine Operation: 5% above national average
Other skills, such as inventory control, shipping, receiving, and picking, can also earn a warehouse worker higher wages. So, if you’re hoping to boost your earnings in the warehouse field, start building your skillset and working toward higher-level positions. And remember, the more years of experience you have in the warehouse industry, the higher your earnings potential.
While warehouse worker salaries vary based on experience, location, company, and other factors, dedicated warehouse workers who focus on building their skills and gaining experience can earn wages higher than the norm, particularly if they work in competitive geographic areas.