Loading Dock Worker

Load cargo onto trucks and railroad cars.
picture of Loading Dock Worker

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $38,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Loading Dock Workers do?

When cargo comes in on a truck, ship, or railroad car, it has to get from its bed to the next leg of its journey. As a Loading Dock Worker, you help with that journey by loading (or unloading) goods.

Loading Dock Worker is a job for the muscled ones since it involves working with goods in bulk. Before you start imagining yourself going all Popeye, though, remember there are machines that do most of the really heavy lifting for you. You use things like forklifts, pallet jacks, hand carts, and other pieces of equipment to make it easier to get goods from one area to another. Since safety is your biggest concern as a Loading Dock Worker, you need to know how to properly use these machines, and always have current operating certificates.

When a truck comes in to the loading area, you make sure it has a space clear of any boxes or debris. You help guide the truck into its place, and then start to unload. While you work, you look out for things like unstable boxes or broken equipment—anything that might make your job unsafe. You also look for broken boxes or missing goods, and promptly report anything wrong to your Supervisor.

This job takes a lot out of you physically. You work shifts that can start early in the morning or last until late at night. You might stand for hours, or squat, lift, or twist while unloading. But then again, that’s what those muscles are for.

Should I be a Loading Dock Worker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Dockworker, Loading Dock Hand, Load-Out Worker

    How to become a Loading Dock Worker

    Most Loading Dock Workers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9adaac&chl=no+college+%2890%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%285%25%29|||doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,90,90
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