Material Handlers

(NOC 7452)

in All Trades and Transportation

Materials handlers handle, move, load and unload materials by hand or using a variety of material handling equipment. They work for transportation, storage and moving companies, and a variety of manufacturing and processing companies and retail and wholesale warehouses.

Job Outlook

average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 675 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Material Handlers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 48% of Material Handlers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,904. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$17.00

Median

$25.08

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,103

Minimum

$27,417

Median

$53,776

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Materials handlers handle, move, load and unload materials by hand or using a variety of material handling equipment. They work for transportation, storage and moving companies, and a variety of manufacturing and processing companies and retail and wholesale warehouses.

Job duties

Material handlers (manual):

  • Load, unload, and move products and materials by hand or using basic material handling equipment.
  • Move household appliances and furniture onto and off moving trucks or vans.
  • Carry out other material handling activities like counting, weighing, sorting, packing and unpacking.

Material handlers (equipment operators):

  • Use winches and other loading devices to load and unload materials onto and off trucks, railway cars and loading docks of warehouses and industrial shops.
  • Use industrial trucks, tractors, loaders, and other equipment to move materials to and from transportation vehicles and loading docks and to store and retrieve materials in warehouses.
  • Connect hoses or pipes and use equipment to load and unload liquid petroleum, chemical or other products into or from tank cars, tank trucks or storage tanks.
  • Use equipment to dump materials like coal, ore, and grain into or to remove materials from railway cars, trucks, or other vehicles.
  • Use conveyors and equipment to transfer grain or other materials from transportation vehicles to elevators, bins, or other storage areas.
  • May perform other activities like opening containers and crates, filling warehouse orders, assisting in taking inventory and weighing and checking materials.

Sample job titles

  • forklift operator
  • freight handler (except air transport)
  • furniture mover
  • lumber handler - building supplies
  • material handler - manufacturing and warehousing
  • railway car loader
  • truck loader
  • warehouse worker - material handling
  • warehouseperson

Skills

  • You should have good health, physical stamina, and strength for material handlers who work with heavy materials. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Some high school education may be required.

Other considerations

  • Materials handlers often work shifts and are on their feet most of the time.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,300

employed in 2016

75.8%

employed full-time

1.6%

self employed

9.9%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
90.1%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.9

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

43.1%

Halifax

$25,615 median annual income
22.4%

North Shore

$34,342 median annual income
15.9%

Annapolis Valley

$29,050 median annual income
10.1%

Southern

$31,983 median annual income
8.4%

Cape Breton

$23,639 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

23.7%

Manufacturing

21.3%

Retail trade

21.0%

Transportation and warehousing

17.5%

Wholesale trade

3.7%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

What is the age of Employment?

24.0%

15-24

20.0%

25-34

19.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

15.0%

35-44

3.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

47.3%

High school

$27,879 median annual income
27.2%

Less than high school

$22,387 median annual income
13.0%

College Diploma

$29,780 median annual income
8.0%

Trade Certification

$30,027 median annual income
3.4%

Bachelor

$23,262 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Ground Transportation - Other

College or Trades Program

This includes any program not listed elsewhere that relates to Ground Transportation.

Institutions providing this program

Commercial Safety College

Truro, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

No contacts were found under this occupation profile

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.