2 October 2023
What Is A Warehouse Manager?
Warehouse managers are a jack-of-all-trades. The big bosses of a warehouse, so to speak. They handle admin, coordinate warehouse activities and act as middlemen between departments, as well as the business and its customers.
As a warehouse manager apprentice, you’ll need to be incredibly organised and have great people skills. Got these down to a tee? If so, you’ll love working in warehouse management.
Read on to learn what a career in this industry is all about…
- What is the role of a warehouse manager?
- How to become a warehouse manager?
- What skills do you need to be a warehouse manager?
- Is it hard to be a warehouse manager?
- How much does a warehouse manager earn?
What is the role of a warehouse manager?
A warehouse manager has lots of roles and responsibilities.
Their main job is implementing warehouse management systems. Which is basically a tool that helps you manage daily warehouse operations – from picking to packing and shipping.
Warehouse management systems are there to ensure everything within the supply chain, distribution centres and warehouse runs smoothly, allowing you to plan your workflow, manage inventory levels and track performance metrics.
Hear what this warehouse worker had to say about their apprenticeship at Amazon:
“I am trained in several different departments. My job role can involve receiving deliveries from the receiving dock. Stowing the items on the shelves, picking the items for customer orders, packing customer orders, also dealing with problem solving within the customer returns and stow department, and driving the PPT.”
As a warehouse manager, you can expect to get stuck into other areas of the business too.
- Hiring and training employees
- Managing staff schedules
- Observing shipping schedules
- Dealing with problems (or questions) as they arise
- Monitoring real-time data reporting for accuracy
- Carrying out weekly planning sessions with staff
- Ensuring work meets industry policy and standards
- Completing emergency training and making sure employees follow it.
Warehouse managers need to know how a warehouse runs, so must have previous experience to know all the touch points. When something goes wrong, it’s up to them to fix it.
That’s a lot of responsibility. But it’s super rewarding and gives you a chance to make a meaningful impact on the business. And be remembered for it too..
Meet Megan – a management apprentice at UK heating and plumbing specialist BSS, who’s here to tell you all about her day in the life.
How do you become a warehouse manager?
You don’t actually need a degree to become a warehouse manager. Experience working in a warehouse is more than enough and you can always progress with an apprenticeship when you leave school. Isn’t that just great?
Apprenticeships are work/study programmes that allow you to split your time between working for a company and studying towards nationally recognised qualifications equivalent to GCSEs, A-Levels or a university degree.
You’ll get paid a proper salary too, just like all the other employees.
More and more students are choosing an apprenticeship to gain work experience and build invaluable skills fit for today’s job market. Employers love this as it shows the apprentice is work ready with years of knowledge and expertise to do their job well.
Apprenticeships come in four levels:
The level you do depends on your age and experience. If you’re 16 and just starting out, you’ll be on an intermediate level apprenticeship. These apprenticeships take around 12-18 months to complete and are equivalent to five GCSE passes graded at 9-4 (A*-C).
The more experience you have, the higher up the apprenticeship ladder you’ll climb until you reach the meaty degree apprenticeship. These allow you to work and study towards a university degree. You won’t even need to pay any tuition fees as your employer will cover it all.
Imagine graduating with no debt?!
“The apprenticeship has helped me develop my knowledge into Joinery having no previous experience in this field. It has also taught me how to handle, store, and organise items properly and safely while also giving me the ability to pass my forklift certification. Accuracy is a big part of the job and I have learnt to be more vigilant when handing out stock.”
What skills do you need to be a warehouse manager?
To become a warehouse manager, you’ll need a wide range of skills to run the business effectively. Any guesses which? Here are the key ones…
- Leadership and communication – motivating the team by providing coaching and feedback, so everyone feels inspired to do their best work
- Time management and organisation – prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines to avoid customer dissatisfaction and unnecessary costs
- Problem solving – identifying inventory shortages or equipment breakdowns and finding solutions that cause minimal disruption
- Interpersonal – building relationships with employees, clients and suppliers, and resolving any conflicts that might arise
- Analytical – interpreting shipping and inventory data and using these to make informed decisions about what steps to take
- Warehouse operations – knowing the different types of equipment, such as forklifts, conveyors and cranes and how to operate them
- Pallet rack safety – racking safety is a must, for your sake and your team. This includes checking load distribution, inspecting rack damages and ensuring a plan is in place to repair them before they become a health risk.
Want to do an apprenticeship, but stuck on what to put on your CV? Read our step-by-step guide to make sure you get in all those essentials.
Is it hard to be a warehouse manager?
Yes. Warehouse management is hard. You’re constantly having to meet demands under strict deadlines and changing conditions. So you’ll need a lot of stamina to see the work through.
On the one hand, you’re managing people and equipment. On the other, maintaining efficiency and safety. All while having a progressive mindset and staying up to date with market trends and the latest technology.
How much does a warehouse manager earn?
Warehouse managers make a juicy stash of cash. Sure – you’ll start on an average salary of £22,000 per year. But the more experienced you become, the more you’ll earn until you take home the big bucks. We’re talking £50,000 – £60,000. Wow!
National Minimum Wage
If you’ve finished your GCSEs and are thinking of doing a warehouse manager apprenticeship, you’ll still earn the National Minimum Wage – although some employers will pay you more. So make sure you check this information on the job description before applying.
So – what do you think? Itching to become a warehouse manager?
Give it a go. Wishing you all the luck!