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Occupation Profile for Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, costs, and production problems.


Significant Points

  • Production, planning, and expediting clerks work closely with supervisors who must approve production and work schedules.
  • Many production, planning, and expediting jobs are at the entry level and do not require more than a high school diploma.
  • Manufacturing firms and wholesale and retail trade establishments are the primary employers.
  • Slower-than-average employment growth is projected.


$38,620.00 Median Annual Wage 9,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
3.8 Average Unemployment Percentage 30.0 Percentage That Completed High School
293,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 39.7 Percentage That Had Some College
305,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 30.3 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Advertising Dispatch Clerk
Aircraft Log Clerk
Airplane Dispatch Clerk
Alterations Workroom Clerk
Assignment Agent
Assignment Clerk
Assistant, Production
Back Shoe Worker
Batch Records Clerk
Beef Tagger
Billet Recorder
Box Estimator
Car Clerk, Pullman
Checker In
Clerk, Television Production
Computer Processing Scheduler
Control Clerk
Control Clerk, Data Processing
Control Tower Operator
Copy Cutter
Crew Scheduler
Customer Services Coordinator
Cycle Counter
Detailer, School Photographs
Dispatcher Clerk
Dispatcher, Material
Dispatcher, Order
Dispatcher, Production
Document Control Specialist
Document Controller
Ends Breakage Clerk
Engineering Clerk
Engineering Document Control Clerk
Estimator, Jewelry
Estimator, Paperboard Boxes
Estimator, Printing
Expediter Clerk
Expediter, Service Order
Extension Clerk
Fabric and Accessories Estimator
Flight Information Expediter
Follow Up Clerk
Food and Beverage Analyst
Formula Clerk
Frequency Checker
Gas Flow Regulator
General Manager (GM)
Inventory Analyst
Inventory Auditor
Inventory Control Specialist
Inventory Controller
Inventory Coordinator
Inventory Management Specialist
Inventory Planner
Inventory Technician
Jacket Preparer
Job Checker
Job Estimator
Job Spotter
Job Tracer
Kit Planner
Labor Expediter
Line Up Worker
Load Planner
Locomotive Lubricating Systems Clerk
Logistics Clerk
Logistics Technician
Lot Worker
Lumber Estimator
Machine Stoppage Frequency Checker
Maintenance Data Analyst
Manufacturing Planner
Master Scheduler
Material Control Clerk
Material Controller
Material Coordinator
Material Expediter
Material Lister
Material Man
Material Planner
Material Requisitioner
Material Scheduler
Material Worker
Materials Clerk
Materials Coordinator
Materials Planner
Melter Clerk
Metal Checker
Metal Control Coordinator
Metal Flow Coordinator
Mill Order Scheduler
Mill Recorder
Mill Recorder, Computerized Mill
Millwork Estimator
Office Manager
Operations Agent
Order Detailer
Order Expediter
Order Planner
Order Schedule Clerk
Parts Cataloguer
Parts Expediter
Personnel Scheduler
Piece Goods Clerk
Planner Scheduler
Planning Specialist
Planning Technician
Plant Clerk
Print Traffic Manager
Procurement Cost Coordinator
Production Assistant
Production Associate
Production Checker
Production Clerk
Production Control Clerk
Production Control Coordinator
Production Control Expediter
Production Controller
Production Coordinator
Production Counter
Production Expediter
Production Man, Clerical
Production Manager
Production Planner
Production Planning Manager
Production Scheduler
Production Scheduler, Paperboard Products
Production Supervisor
Production Worker, Clerical
Progress Clerk
Railroad Maintenance Clerk
Relay Record Clerk
Repair Clerk
Repair Order Clerk
Reproduction Order Processor
Requisition Approver
Retort Load Expediter
Schedule Checker
Schedule Clerk
Schedule Maker
Scheduler, Maintenance
Scheduling Coordinator
Scheduling Manager
Service Control Operator
Service Liaison Representative
Shipping Coordinator
Shop Clerk
Shop Router
Stock Chaser
Television Schedule Coordinator
Ticket Scheduler
Tooling Coordinator, Production Engineering
Tower Operator
Traffic Clerk
Traffic Manager
Transportation Agent
Upholstery Estimator
Weave Defect Charting Clerk
Work Ticket Distributor
Yardage Control Clerk
Yardage Estimator

  • These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, pharmacy technicians, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
  • These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job-related course work. In some cases, an associate's or bachelor's degree could be needed.
  • Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience may be helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a teller might benefit from experience working directly with the public, but an inexperienced person could still learn to be a teller with little difficulty.
  • Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Training requirements for production, planning, and expediting clerks are limited. Usually a high school diploma is sufficient, although computer skills also are essential.

Education and training. Many production, planning, and expediting jobs are at the entry level and do not require more than a high school diploma. However, applicants who have taken business courses or have specific job-related experience may be preferred. Production, planning, and expediting clerks usually learn the job by doing routine tasks under close supervision. They learn how to count and mark stock, and then they start keeping records and taking inventory. Production, planning, and expediting clerks must learn both how their company operates and the company’s priorities before they can begin to write production and work schedules efficiently.

Other qualifications. Employers prefer to hire those familiar with computers and other electronic office and business equipment. Because communication with other people is an integral part of some jobs in the occupation, good oral and written communication skills are essential. Typing, filing, recordkeeping, and other clerical skills also are important. Strength, stamina, good eyesight, and an ability to work at repetitive tasks, sometimes under pressure, are other important characteristics that employers look for in prospective workers.

Advancement. Advancement opportunities for production, planning, and expediting clerks vary with the place of employment, but often require additional education.

Nature of Work

Production, planning, and expediting clerks coordinate and facilitate the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices. Most of their work is done according to production, work, or shipment schedules that are developed by supervisors who determine work progress and completion dates. Clerks compile reports on the progress of work and on production problems, and also may set worker schedules, estimate costs, schedule the shipment of parts, keep an inventory of materials, inspect and assemble materials, and write special orders for services and merchandise. In addition, they may route and deliver parts to ensure that production quotas are met and that merchandise is delivered on the date promised.

Production and planning clerks compile records and reports on various aspects of production, such as materials and parts used, products produced, machine and instrument readings, and frequency of defects. These workers prepare work tickets or other production guides and distribute them to other workers. Production and planning clerks coordinate, schedule, monitor, and chart production and its progress, either manually or electronically. They also gather information from customers’ orders or other specifications and use the information to prepare a detailed production sheet that serves as a guide in assembling or manufacturing the product.

Expediting clerks contact vendors and shippers to ensure that merchandise, supplies, and equipment are forwarded on the specified shipping dates. They communicate with transportation companies to prevent delays in transit, and they may arrange for the distribution of materials upon their arrival. They may even visit work areas of vendors and shippers to check the status of orders. Expediting clerks locate materials and distribute them to specified production areas. They may inspect products for quality and quantity to ensure their adherence to specifications. They also keep a chronological list of due dates and may move work that does not meet the production schedule to the top of the list.

Work environment. Although their offices or desks may be near a production plant or warehouse, production, planning, and expediting clerks generally work in clean and environmentally-controlled conditions. They spend most of their day either on the phone or on the computer while working closely with supervisors who must approve production and work schedules. The typical workweek is Monday through Friday.

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)

Median annual earnings of production, planning, and expediting clerks in May 2006 were $38,620. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,560 and $48,900. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $59,080.

These workers usually receive the same benefits as most other workers.

For the latest wage information:

The above wage data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, unless otherwise noted. For the latest National, State, and local earnings data, visit the following pages:

  • Production, planning, and expediting clerks
  • Job Outlook

    Employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks is expected to increase more slowly than average.

    Employment change.The number of production, planning, and expediting clerks is expected to grow by 4 percent from 2016 to 2016, slower than the average for all occupations. As a greater emphasis is placed on the timely delivery of goods and services throughout the economy, there will be increasing need for production, planning, and expediting clerks at all levels of the supply chain. However, the expected employment decline in manufacturing will limit the overall growth of this occupation. The work of production, planning, and expediting clerks is less likely to be automated than the work of many other administrative support occupations.

    Job prospects. In addition to openings due to employment growth, job openings will arise from the need to replace production, planning, and expediting clerks who leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations. Opportunities will be better in fields that are experiencing faster growth, such as wholesale trade and warehousing.


    Clerks engaged in production, planning, and expediting activities work in almost every sector of the economy, overseeing inventory control and assuring that schedules and deadlines are met. In 2006, production, planning, and expediting clerks held 293,000 jobs. Jobs in manufacturing made up 41 percent. Another 15 percent were in wholesale and retail trade establishments. Others worked in advertising firms and for telecommunications companies, among other places.

    • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
    • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
    • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
    • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
    • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
    • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
    • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
    • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
    • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
    • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
    • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
    • Core — Calculate figures such as required amounts of labor and materials, manufacturing costs, and wages, using pricing schedules, adding machines, calculators, or computers.
    • Core — Distribute production schedules and work orders to departments.
    • Core — Compile information, such as production rates and progress, materials inventories, materials used, and customer information, so that status reports can be completed.
    • Core — Arrange for delivery, assembly, and distribution of supplies and parts in order to expedite flow of materials and meet production schedules.
    • Core — Contact suppliers to verify shipment details.
    • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
    • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
    • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
    • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
    • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
    Related College Curriculum
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