California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks in California

May also be called: Expediters; Material Planning Clerks; Production Assistants; Production Control Clerks; Production Dispatchers; Production Scheduling Clerks; and Schedule Clerks

What Would I Do?

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks help arrange and promote the flow of work and materials within or between departments. They follow production, work, or shipment schedules developed by supervisors, team leaders or other higher level planners who determine work progress and completion dates. Production Clerks ensure enough material is on hand when and where it is needed, monitor the progress of work, identify problems, and take corrective action. For example, they may suggest substitute material, work with manufacturing or production management to adjust work schedules, or alert a supervisor to arrange for overtime to avoid production delays.

Production and Planning Clerks coordinate, schedule, monitor, and chart production and its progress, either manually or electronically. They may also gather information from the customer's order or specifications to prepare detailed production status reports that serve as a guide to set priorities.

Expediting Clerks work with shippers and suppliers to ensure merchandise, supplies, and equipment are forwarded or received on the specified date. They may visit work areas of shippers or suppliers to check the status of orders. Expediting Clerks locate materials and distribute them to specified production areas. They also keep a list of due dates, report status to supervision, and may assist in setting new priorities to move work that is behind schedule to the top of the list.

Computers, telephones, calculators, and scanners are the typical tools of the trade. Production Clerks usually use various types of software, such as accounting, analytical or scientific, calendar and scheduling, financial analysis, and planning logistics and supply chain.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Examine documents, materials, and products, and monitor work processes, in order to assess completeness, accuracy, and conformance to standards and specifications.Administration and Management
Review documents such as production schedules, work orders, and staffing tables to determine personnel and materials requirements, and material priorities.Written Comprehension
Confer with department supervisors and other personnel to assess progress and discuss needed changes.Oral Comprehension
Revise production schedules when required due to design changes, labor or material shortages, backlogs, or other interruptions, collaborating with management, marketing, sales, production, and engineering.Coordination
Confer with establishment personnel, vendors, and customers to coordinate production and shipping activities, and to resolve complaints or eliminate delays.Customer and Personal Service
Record production data, including volume produced, consumption of raw materials, and quality control measures.Written Expression
Requisition and maintain inventories of materials and supplies necessary to meet production demands.Production and Processing
Calculate figures such as required amounts of labor and materials, manufacturing costs, and wages, using pricing schedules, adding machines, calculators, or computers.Mathematics
Distribute production schedules and work orders to departments.Clerical
Compile information, such as production rates and progress, materials inventories, materials used, and customer information, so that status reports can be completed.Judgment and Decision Making
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Production Clerks generally work in clean and comfortable areas at a desk or in an office near a production plant or warehouse. Their day is typically spent between moving about the plant or warehouse, attending meetings, on the telephone or on the computer working closely with supervisors who must approve production and work schedules. However, they may also go off-site to monitor vendor production, shipping, or delivery. They typically work Monday through Friday. However, Production Clerks sometimes work overtime to meet deadlines, complete special orders, or deal with emergency production problems.

So far, there has been little or no unionization of Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks.

Will This Job Fit Me?

This occupation may appeal to those with conventional interests who like to follow set procedures and routines. There is usually a clear line of authority to follow and involves working more with data and details than ideas. Those who are decisive, organized, and good communicators will be good candidates for Production Clerk positions.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2021 for Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks in California was $54,086 annually, or $26.01 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Benefit packages may include vacation, holiday and sick leave; medical, dental, vision, and life insurance; and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most job openings will be created by the need to replace Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks who retire, transfer to supervisory or managerial positions, or leave the field for other reasons.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks is expected to grow at an average rate compared with the total for all occupations. Jobs for Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks are expected to increase by 8.7 percent, or 4,800 jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Total Job
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

A high school diploma is usually necessary to become an entry-level Production Clerk. Many Production Clerk jobs are entry level so workers learn the job by doing routine tasks under close supervision. They must learn how their company operates and the company's priorities before they can progress to higher levels with more responsibility within the organization. Higher education, more experience, certification, or additional training may be required depending on company size.

Early Career Planning

Those wanting to become Production Clerks should take English and high school business classes, such as keyboarding, accounting, math, and computers. Other helpful courses include those that teach software programs, such as spreadsheet, database, e-mail, and word processing; business machines; filing; and other clerical skills.

Work Study Programs

Various Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) offer basic business courses to provide a foundation for the Production Clerk. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.

Continuing Education

There are no continuing education requirements for Production Clerks. However, those who wish to keep up with the developing practices of the profession can take advantage of the educational opportunities a professional association offers, such as APICS the Association for Operations Management.


Voluntary certifications are available through the APICS and the American Society of Transportation & Logistics, Inc. The initial requirements to obtain the certifications include meeting the education or experience level, paying the appropriate fees, and passing the required tests. The five-year certificates are renewable by paying the appropriate fees and providing documentation of professional development activities such as completing continuing education courses. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Motion Picture and Video Industries5.5%
Management of Companies and Enterprises4.9%
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods4.8%
Employment Services4.4%
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods3.9%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job listings provide helpful local job leads. Private employers list vacancies on their Web sites as well. Trade associations offer opportunities to network with hiring managers. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks.

  • Aerospace
  • Alternative Energy
  • Electronic Industry
  • Manufacturing
  • Remanufacturing
  • Textile Manufacturing
  • Wholesale

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Advancement for Production Clerks may be in the form of increased salary or greater responsibility in a larger company. Production Clerks may also advance to managerial, supervisory, planner, planner-buyer, master scheduler, or senior-level positions, but often require additional education, such as an associate or bachelor's degree. Courses and voluntary certifications, such as those offered by APICS are considered desirable. The APICS has chapters in California which offer professional development opportunities.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks with links to more information.

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative AssistantsGuide
Order ClerksProfile
Procurement ClerksProfile
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic ClerksGuide
Stock Clerks and Order FillersGuide
Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, RecordkeepingProfile

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification43-5061
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks43-5061.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER