Do you like to have a balance between manual labor and working with people? You may be a great fit as a shipping specialist. Stay fit without being bored!
A shipping specialist most often will need to lift boxes up to 50 pounds and sometimes more. They also work with technology to weigh packages and run them through shipment systems such as UPS, FedEx or other freight carriers. In a manufacturing warehouse or larger corporation, a shipping specialist may also be required to use a forklift to aid moving large pallets. Special training will most likely be required if you need to run a forklift, but most companies will provide free training if you don't already have it.
Often, a shipping specialist is a company's go-to guy or gal for all inbound and outbound shipments. That means that you may work with co-workers and freight carriers to resolve any shipment problems. Attention to detail and working well with people are a must. Since this job usually has a smaller niche in the company, whenever anyone has a question about your department, they'll come to you as the expert.
In a larger company or manufacturing warehouse, a shipping specialist will likely be on the go almost all day long. You will balance between possibly picking up packages from different locations, processing packages through a shipment system, loading packages into a freight truck, answering any shipping-related questions, and working with delivery drivers picking up your shipments. You will also be required to know how to complete several different forms for shipping packages overseas or via special methods.
In a smaller company, the pace may be somewhat slower and you may be required to work in other areas such as packaging orders/requests and sending out smaller shipments as needed. You may also be required to manually sort the company's incoming and outbound mail and distribute accordingly. Smaller companies may also have you control inventory, which is usually a computer-based application to track supplies or other items.
Compensation for a shipping specialist varies, but you can expect to be paid fairly well as it is a manual labor job. Median salary for a shipping specialist is around $28,000 (via salary.com). If you think you're a fit, but are not sure, try taking an online Career Aptitude Test and see if a shipping specialist is one of your results.