What does a Dock Worker do?

Dockworkers load and unload cargo and prepare docks for incoming ships. They moor and unmoor ships upon their arrival and departure and maintain accurate records of damaged or misplaced cargo. They follow loading and unloading plans and participate in all company training programs. They install gangways to receive incoming ships and ensure the ship’s spill containment boom is in proper working order. They safely load and unload cargo using suitable material handling equipment, including forklifts, hand trucks, pallet jacks, cranes, and grain trimmers.

Dockworkers inspect unloaded cargo for damages or irregularities and track the unloaded shipment by inputting information using spreadsheets and documents required by management. They communicate with colleagues to ensure the safe loading and unloading of cargo continues and ensure the dock areas are clean and free of debris to prevent accidents or injury. Dockworkers need a high-school diploma or equivalency including the GED and a valid forklift license as well as an ability to operate heavy machinery.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Dock Worker Salaries

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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Dock Worker Career Path

Learn how to become a Dock Worker, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Dock Worker
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Dock Worker Supervisor
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Staff Dock Worker
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Dock Worker Insights

Read what Dock Worker professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Olsträd EngineeringOlsträd Engineering
Part Time
25 Aug 2020

“knit community within the company makes it a great and enjoyable place to work each day. ”

Canadian Property StarsCanadian Property Stars
Part Time
4 Oct 2020

“You pick the days you work and it is a good community to work in.”

Outbound Dock Worker
15 Jan 2022

“The pay is pretty good compared to most companies at the time I was hired.”

Christie LitesChristie Lites
Dock Worker
30 Jul 2021

“If you have a good manager running your shop it can be a really good place to work.”

Part Time
3 Jun 2021

“Everyone was very nice and great to work with”

Part Time
25 Oct 2021

“Fun work and good for part time”

Drake InternationalDrake International
13 Oct 2021

“Rude and terrible management.”

FedEx FreightFedEx Freight
Dock Worker
28 Jan 2021

“Good good good good good”

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Dock Worker Interviews

Related Careers

25% skills overlap
Material Handler
25% skills overlap
Forklift Operator
38% skills overlap
Warehouse Worker
25% skills overlap

Dock Worker jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a dock worker

When working as a dock worker, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are English Language, Bilingual, Excellent Communication, As400 and IN Spanish.

The most similar professions to dock worker are:
  • Packer
  • Material Handler
  • Forklift Operator
  • Warehouse Worker

The most common qualifications to become a dock worker is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.