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Inventory Control Specialist Job Description

Inventory control is vital to the success and cost effectiveness of any business and the effects of poorly managed inventory control policies can result in failure. The volume of merchandise and supplies shipped in and out of a warehouse in a single day can be staggering. Inventory control specialists not only have to keep track of constant movement of items, but also must control and monitor orders, deliveries and shipments in advance to keep the operations flowing smoothly.

Education Requirements

According to, inventory control specialists positions typically requires a bachelor's degree in mathematics, business or engineering. However, an associate's degree may be acceptable for individuals with sufficient experience and proficiency. Completion of certifications programs in inventory management may increase an applicant's potential for employment, especially considering the continuing advances in computer automated inventory control systems. Supplemental knowledge and skills in computer operation, record-keeping, typing, filing and business equipment operations will also increase an applicant's possibility for employment.

Parts and supplies stored in a warehouse

Job Duties

Inventory control specialists are responsible for the accurate monitoring, ordering and storage of inventory. Companies that deal with high volumes of prescriptions drugs, jewelry or alcohol to require inventory control specialists to be bonded. Specialists supervise inventory control clerks and work with the shipping and receiving department managers to ensure necessary items are in stock. In an effort to reduce warehousing costs, many companies have implemented inventory control procedures for just-in-time shipments and deliveries. Inventory control specialists develop, implement and maintain comprehensive policies and procedures for inventory control to manage the flow of supplies and merchandise.

Inventory control specialists rush to maintain necessary flow of goods

Working Environment

According to, inventory control specialists typically work in a warehouse environment. These specialists may work in small offices or at workstations on the warehouse floor. Automated inventory management equipment such as computer software programs, scanners and photoelectric controlled conveyor belt networks aid the inventory control specialists in maintaining accurate records of materials staged for shipment and received from delivery. Many larger companies have implemented the use of hand-held scanning devices to assistant in accountability and inventory control.

Large inventories require more warehouse space.


Income for inventory control specialists may vary sufficiently from industry to industry depending on the value placed on the goods produced by a specific company. Companies with large inventories of expensive merchandise may pay higher wages, but experience, education and expertise are also contributing factors influencing potential income and benefits. According to, in 2009, an inventory control specialist's annual salary ranged from $63,547 to $90,247. The median annual wage was $75,896.

Every item must be accurately recorded.

Related Occupations

One occupation that is nearly identical to the inventory control specialist is the procurement clerks. Other occupations requiring similar skills include purchasing agents, order clerks, purchasing managers and buyers. Also included in the list are stock clerks and order filers.

Just-in-time inventory management saves warehousing expenses.

Employment Outlook

Due mainly to the increased use of advanced, computerized inventory control systems, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a less-than-average growth rate of approximately 6 percent from 2008 to 2018 for procurement clerks. There is no specific data available from the agency for inventory control specialists, however, the employment growth rates should fall closely in line with those of procurement clerks.

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