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Working as an order picker in Dutch e-commerce centre. Order picking in Jumbo warehouse.

Working as an order picker – what does one of the most popular jobs in the Netherlands entail?

27 September, 2022

If you’re looking for a job in the Netherlands, you’ll have come across job offers for order pickers. What does working as an order picker in Dutch e-commerce centres actually look like? Who is this occupation recommended for and how much can it earn you?

Who’s an order picker?

An order picker is a warehouse worker responsible for picking goods.

The order picking process comprises a few stages:

  • collecting goods from the warehouse where they were stored;
  • transporting them to the packing station;
  • preparing the right quantity of goods according to the order;
  • inspecting the goods’ quality;
  • securing and then transporting them to the storage place;
  • preparing the order for collection or dispatch to the customer.
Nowadays, most warehouses in the Netherlands have modern picking and order picking and pre-dispatch completion systems. An order picker uses a scanner or a headphone system to find specific products in the warehouse space.

The most popular ways to pick orders in Dutch warehouses:
  • Manual scanner — the display shows the exact location of the product and the number of products to be picked.
  • Headset (voice picking, picking by voice) – the worker receives a voice message about the quantity and location of the goods in the warehouse.

Working as an order picker in the Netherlands – what does it look like?

Most order pickers find employment in companies operating in the food industry (large supermarket chains) as well as the electronics, automotive, and clothing sectors. Depending on the type of goods, they work in warm (+15°C) or cool (-2/+4°C) halls and sometimes in freezers. They move around the warehouse on foot and use trolleys to transport goods from one place to another.
The work of an order picker involves preparing orders placed online. Using a handheld scanner or headset, they pick orders to be dispatched in a logical and orderly manner. They then inspect the picked products for quality and/or best-before date and transport them on trolleys. Packed orders are collected by the customer at a pick-up point or delivered directly to their home.

Order picker — who is this job for?

Staff employed in a warehouse as order pickers must be physically fit. Dutch distribution centres usually have a large floor area, and order picking requires the employee to move on from one task to another in the shortest possible time. They can cover a distance of up to 20 km during a single shift. At the same time, order pickers must be meticulous and focused so as not to miss any goods on the list. Despite appearances, order picking is also a job for women. It doesn’t involve carrying heavy parcels, so employers are keen to hire couples.

Importantly, most companies require at least a basic knowledge of English or Dutch for this position. Due to the induction period of several weeks, order picker jobs are intended for people who plan a longer stay in the Netherlands. Some companies also require an EPT or forklift licence for this position. If you don’t have one, there’s nothing to be worried about! The Dutch often make it possible for their employees to obtain such qualifications on their arrival at work.

How much does an order picker earn in the Netherlands?

The earnings of an order picker working in the Netherlands depend on several factors. One of these is order picking conditions. As far as work in cold and freezer rooms is concerned, employees receive a higher base hourly rate or a special allowance. What’s more, some employers provide them with hot meals free of charge.
The second factor affecting the wages of an order picker is whether they have a licence for EPT or forklift trucks.
Another one is the worker’s age. In some warehouses, the minimum wage per age system is still in place. People aged under 21 earn less than their older counterparts. However, this is not the rule.

The basic gross hourly wage for an order picker in the Netherlands ranges between €11 and €14. However, numerous bonuses are added to these amounts, e.g. for weekend and holiday work and night shifts, and employees are entitled to a holiday allowance.

If you think order picking is the job for you – check out the current offers!