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Materials Controller Job Description

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A materials controller position is an occupation that works with the physical receipt, inspection, storage and delivery of products for a retail, distribution or warehouse operation. A materials controller is also responsible for processing information pertaining to items that could be stolen from a certain location and establishing special storage requirements for those items.

General Duties

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In a warehouse setting, material controllers may be assigned to different departments in one branch. Those departments are usually a receiving area, storage area, inspection area and pickup and delivery area. A materials controller uses a logistics or line-item information system to process items through the warehouse or distribution system. For example, an inbound shipment of items or goods must first be received and “in-checked” by a materials controller through the receiving area. Once the items are processed, they are released to the storage area or may have an immediate shipment code to be released to a customer.


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A materials controller must be able to lift items. With large items, material controllers are trained to use pallet jacks and forklifts and an assortment of material handling equipment. Most logistical operations have implemented logistical information systems, so knowledge of computers is a must.


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According to PayScale, the annual median salary for a materials controller with one to four years of experience is $39,663 to $52,608 as of 2010. In some organizations, the starting pay may be higher because of the specialties of the position. For a person seeking a position as a material controller, the most popular industry for employment is the health care industry.

Employment Outlook

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupation Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011, “Employment in material moving occupations is projected to decline by 1 percent between 2008 and 2018.” Most materials handling and controller jobs are automated. With the advent of automated warehouses and storage areas, not many workers are needed to process items and goods.

Educational Requirements

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The educational requirements for a materials controller position are a high school diploma or GED. A bachelor’s degree in logistics management can probably ensure an individual a supervisory or middle-management position as a material facilities coordinator or logistics management specialist.


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