Traffic Coordinator Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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What are the pros and cons of a career as a traffic coordinator? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary information to see if this career is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career As a Traffic Coordinator

As a traffic coordinator, you might record and track shipments or transfers, compile production and inventory reports, and check records for accuracy. Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of a career in this field.

Pros of a Career As a Traffic Coordinator
Potential to earn a median annual wage of about $30,000 without a degree**
May work in various industries*
Receive your training on the job*
Room for advancement to jobs like purchasing agent*

Cons of a Career As a Traffic Coordinator
May deal with high stress situations**
May involve considerable physical activity (lifting, climbing, balancing, walking and stooping)**
Very little job growth expected (-2% to 2% between 2012-2022)**
Work may involve repetitive tasks**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **O Net OnLine

Career Information

Job Duties

Traffic coordinators are also commonly known as shipping, receiving and traffic clerks, shipping coordinators, or traffic managers. You'd probably work in an office and might find employment with a variety of industries: manufacturing, telecommunications, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, or wholesale trade. Your job would probably be full-time, with Monday through Friday shifts. On occasion, you might have to work weekends, nights, or holidays. Job duties could include examining contents, checking records, preparing documents, choosing shipping methods, delivering or routing materials, preparing materials for shipping, conferring with others to fix problems, requisitioning supplies, contacting carriers and using a computer.

Salary and Job Growth Information

O*Net OnLine revealed a median annual wage for shipping, receiving and traffic clerks of approximately $29,930 in 2014. At that same time, the top paying industries for this occupation were postal service, Federal executive branch, telecommunications, water transportation and rail transportation. Top paying states were District of Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

According to the BLS, the shipping, receiving and traffic clerk field is not expected to grow between the 2012-2022 decade. The lack of growth is due to technology that allows packages to be automatically tracked using computers.

What Are the Requirements?

Training and Important Qualities

Most individuals who enter this occupation have a high school diploma or equivalent. A smaller number of these clerks have earned degrees or some college credits. You might learn many of your skills on the job from a supervisor or other experienced individual. It typically takes between a month and a year to become proficient. If you're interested in this career, you should have good clerical and communication skills. In addition, attention to detail is important, along with strong customer service skills.

What Employers Are Looking For

You might find employment without a college degree, especially if you have strong computer skills and previous traffic coordinator experience. Read the following excerpts from real job postings in April 2012 to see what employers are seeking.

  • A company in California was looking for a full-time traffic coordinator to perform database input, review contracts for accuracy and resolve problems. You'd also review advertising broadcast schedules, communicate with the sales department about clients and evaluate sold and scheduled inventory, to adjust commercial placement. This employer required great computer skills, attention to detail and strong customer service skills.
  • A steel company in Texas was looking for a full-time traffic coordinator to perform data input, assist in account reviews, manage accounts receivable, track inventory levels and prepare a variety of reports. This employer required a bachelor's degree and 3 years of relevant experience. Applicants should also have had excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to multi-task. Computer literacy was required and experience working with SAP (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing) was a plus.
  • A company in Tennessee advertised for a traffic clerk to facilitate the movement of their product through the shipping department. Your job duties would include scheduling trucks; preparing bills of lading, packing slips and labels; preparing daily lists of shipments; checking shipping instructions and preparing freight quotes. This employer required 1-2 years similar experience, in the absence of a degree.
  • A broadcasting company in New Jersey was looking for a traffic inventory coordinator to maintain and clear commercial inventory for multiple stations. You'd meet the station's daily traffic deadlines and communicate with station personnel. Requirements included computer literacy and knowledge of various office machines. This employer also preferred bilingual applicants (English and Spanish), a 4-year degree and previous broadcast traffic experience.

How to Stand Out

Employers might take notice of your application if you earn a degree or credits in business classes that focus on inventory. The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) offers online courses, conferences, seminars and webcasts, in topics such as inventory management and logistics. The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) also offers online lessons and certifications in areas of control basics and manufacturing device networks.

Other Related Careers

Information Clerk

If you'd like a career that involves maintaining records, but want a field with greater job growth, consider a career as an information clerk. These workers give clerical and administrative support in various settings. You might answer customers' questions, collect information and maintain records. You could secure employment with a high school diploma, but might have better options with some college credits. In May 2011, the BLS reported a mean annual wage of about $27,000 for receptionists and information clerks. Expected job growth from 2010-2020, according to the BLS, was slower than average, at 7%.

First-Line Supervisor of Office and Administrative Support

If you have skills related to managing and motivating others, you might want to consider pursuing a supervisory position. Job duties might include hiring and evaluating employees, implementing company policies and resolving customer complaints. The BLS reported a mean annual wage of about $52,000 in May 2011, with average job growth expected (14%) from 2010-2020.

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