A stock clerk typically works in a grocery store, department store, or larger "big box" store, and is considered an entry-level worker in retail. To become a stock clerk, it is often necessary to simply fill out an application and complete an interview successfully. Many stock clerks are still in high school, and a high school diploma is typically not a requirement.
Before you decide to become a stock clerk, realistically assess the type of work you want to do and if it is a good fit. Stocking merchandise is a physically demanding job that requires a lot of bending and heavy lifting. Many stock clerks must first unload merchandise from trucks, distribute it onto pallets, and verify that it is all accounted for.
Next, a stock clerk may take inventory of the various locations in the store, determining where stock is needed. Extra merchandise that does not need to be put on display must be organized neatly in the stock room. Some stock clerks may need to drive machinery, such as a forklift, which will require training for a special license.
To become a stock clerk, call or visit various retail establishments in your area to determine which ones are hiring. Fill out an application neatly and legibly, and if positions are available, a hiring manager will likely call you to schedule an interview. When you go to the interview, dress neatly, be enthusiastic, and be respectful and polite to the hiring manager.
If the manager offers you a job, it may be on condition of a drug test. To become a stock clerk, you will likely need to complete a drug test within one day of being offered the job, and sometimes immediately upon the job offer. This is because it is very easy for people to get injured or even killed in large warehouses or stock rooms, if someone is not paying close attention or is impaired due to drugs or alcohol.
Once hired, a new stock clerk must demonstrate the ability to be a hard worker, to arrive at work on time, and to obey workplace rules. Stock clerks may occasionally interact with customers, and it is important to be polite and provide good customer service. If you decide to become a stock clerk, keep in mind that performing well in the entry-level position may lead to promotions into supervisory or managerial positions later on, which will mean an increase in pay.