Job Description for a Tally Clerk

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Tally clerks, also known as shipping clerks, examine and count cargo at airports, loading docks, warehouses and wharves. They work for airlines, shipping contractors and loading dock companies.

Job Requirements

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Tally clerks need a high school diploma. Computer literacy and the ability to use automated equipment are beneficial.


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Tally clerks count goods and match them with shipping invoices and packing orders to ensure the accuracy of incoming and outgoing shipments. They record weights, measurements and dimensions of cargo. Tally clerks calculate storage, damage, shipping and receiving fees.

Work Environment

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Tally clerks work outdoors and indoors in a variety of weather conditions. They must be able to bend, lift, stretch and stand for long periods of time. Tally clerks must have stamina, strength and good communication skills. They need detail-orientation and numerical aptitude to process a large number of daily shipments.


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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shipping clerks earned an average hourly wage of $14.35 and an average annual salary of $29,840, as of May 2009. They had annual salary ranges from a low of $18,680 to a high of $43,980.


About the Author

Steve Amoia is a writer, book reviewer and translator from Washington, D.C. He began his writing career as a software technical writer. Amoia focuses on career-related themes, Chinese martial/healing arts and international soccer journalism.