cheif pointing at place where storage boxes are to go

Warehouse Operatives – What Do They Do?


Are you looking for a rewarding and meaningful career? Are you motivated, reliable, and organised? If so, then a Warehouse Operative role may be the perfect fit for you.

Working as a Warehouse Operative provides an excellent opportunity to learn the ins and outs of supply chain management. In addition to providing valuable experience with supply chain management processes, working in a warehouse can also teach key life skills such as problem-solving and communication, and it can be an enjoyable and satisfying job.

Read on for more insight into what it’s like to work as a Warehouse Operative, from responsibilities and qualifications to salaries and work hours…

What is a Warehouse Operative’s Role?

Warehouse Operatives are responsible for managing and carrying out various tasks in a warehouse environment. Generally speaking, they maintain and organise the storage areas of warehouses, stock shelves with products, and manage inventory systems. In addition to these core duties, they often move products using forklifts or other equipment, compile orders from customers or suppliers, monitor shipments in transit, and manage returns and exchanges.

How Do You Get a Job as a Warehouse Operative?

A job as a Warehouse Operative requires physical fitness, basic maths skills, organisational abilities, and an understanding of UK health and safety regulations. Previous experience in a warehouse setting is beneficial but not always required. Most employers will provide on-the-job training to help you learn the necessary skills for the job.

When considering applicant qualifications for job positions within this field it’s important to remember that employers look beyond just basic skills – they want workers who possess the following traits:

  • Punctuality
  • Good organisation skills (especially when it comes to inventory) 
  • Physical strength (for manual labour)
  • Computer literacy (to handle time tracking processes)
  • Effective communication (explaining instructions effectively)

All of these help make candidates more attractive in the eyes of potential employers when interviewing for open positions within this industry sector. If you’re between jobs or considering a career move, taking steps to upskill yourself is a great way of ensuring you get a head start.

You will need to include a CV and cover letter outlining your skills and experience as well as any qualifications you may have. Most jobs require that applicants are at least 18 years of age and have the right to work in the UK. You will also need to pass any necessary background checks and assessments.

What Can I Expect In A Warehouse Operative Interview?

There is no feeling like it when you feel prepared for your interview. The video below, created by, will walk you through the typical questions asked in a Warehouse Operative interview and the best ways to answer them.  For more help, you can see the typical questions asked in an interview for this role and 4 top tips to ace the interview.  

Remember research and preparation are key, so invest this time to help you feel confident and ready to master your interview.

Is the Job of a Warehouse Operative Difficult?

The job of a Warehouse Operative can be physically demanding as it requires standing, walking and lifting for long periods. However, with some dedication and hard work, the job can often become easier. There is also usually a team working together which makes the workload more manageable. Overall, while the job may not be easy, there are plenty of rewards to be gained from the experience. It’s a great way to gain valuable work experience and can lead to other positions within the warehouse or even in other parts of the business.

Do Warehouse Operatives Get Promotions?

Yes, Warehouse Operatives are often eligible for promotion to higher positions within the company. This could involve taking on additional responsibilities such as managing stock and inventory, supervising other staff members, or training new employees. In order to be considered for a promotion, you will need to demonstrate a good level of job performance in addition to having the right qualifications and experience.

How Do You Progress as a Warehouse Operative?

There are a few different ways you can progress as a Warehouse Operative. The most common is by gaining experience and knowledge in the role, which could lead to promotions or even a managerial role. You can also pursue further education and qualifications, such as NVQs or apprenticeships. These will equip you with the skills needed to progress in the field and open up more opportunities for advancement. Additionally, you can look into specialisations within the warehouse industry such as logistics or inventory management, which will allow you to develop your skills further.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn as a Warehouse Operative?

The average salary for a Warehouse Operative in the UK is around £20,000 per year. This can vary depending on experience and location, but most Warehouse Operatives earn between £16,000 and £24,000 per year. Additionally, there are often opportunities for overtime or bonuses which can add to your overall earnings.

What are a Warehouse Operative’s Responsibilities?

The primary responsibilities of a Warehouse Operative are to maintain and organise the storage areas of warehouses, stock shelves with products, and manage inventory systems. This may involve organising shelves and racks, ensuring that items are stored safely and securely, keeping track of stock levels, packing orders for shipping or delivery, operating equipment such as forklifts or pallet jacks, and loading packages onto delivery vehicles. They may also be responsible for monitoring shipments in transit, dealing with customer orders or queries, and any returns and exchanges.

How Many Hours Do They Work?

Typically, Warehouse Operatives work between 8 and 10 hours a day, with most shifts ranging between 6-12 hours. Hours of work can depend on the size of the organisation and the type of work they do. Overtime may also be required in some cases, so it’s important to be prepared for a flexible working schedule.


For those looking to enjoy the benefits of working in a fast-paced environment while gaining valuable work experience, consider applying for a job as a Warehouse Operative today. With plenty of openings available across many industries such as manufacturing, shipping & receiving, retail stores & outlets, automotive parts warehouses, etc., there’s sure to be an ideal position that best fits your needs and interests. 

See all ‘Warehouse Operative’ jobs on The BIG Jobsite here