Traffic clerks verify and keep records of ingoing and outgoing shipments for companies, including where freight is going and coming from, weights and shipping rates. A traffic clerk typically is an entry level position. A high school diploma or equivalent usually is required if you want to become a traffic clerk. Good computer skills, including knowledge of databases and data entry software, can be important in this position because the work often is computerized. Knowing how to operate a variety of equipment, including photocopiers, calculators, 10-keys, hand-held scanners and other equipment also is helpful.
In smaller companies, the position of traffic clerk very often is combined with that of shipping and receiving clerk. Even if the positions are separate, some organizations might require that someone hired into the role of traffic clerk also be able to provide backup support to shipping and receiving personnel. Many of the skills needed to perform all three of these roles are similar, such as the ability to keep records, track packages and use computers. Having coordination and organizational skills to schedule trucks for picking up or dropping off goods and some leadership capability to direct the loading of trucks can be helpful in this role. Having more advanced experience, such as knowing how to operate a forklift and having certification, almost certainly will make you more attractive to employers.
Many traffic, shipping and receiving clerks learn on the job. To become a traffic clerk, an ability to learn new things quickly and come up to speed on the particular computer software being used is important. Good communication skills to work with other company departments in tracking freight will help you if you want to become a traffic clerk. Being physically able to stand for long periods of time and walk from place to place often is necessary if you become a traffic clerk. The ability to lift packages and boxes also is important.
To find employment in this field, prepare a résumé that is well-written and free of grammatical and typographical errors. Highlight any computer experience you have, whether from classes you have taken in high school or in previous jobs. If you have any background working in a warehouse environment, include that on your résumé. Past experience working in mail rooms, stocking products and similar roles can make your résumé stand out. Being detail-oriented, being able to work at repetitive tasks while maintaining a high quality of work and working well under pressure are characteristics that will help you when you become a traffic clerk.