2024 Packaging Careers Salaries and Duties

2024 Packaging Careers Salaries and Duties

The packaging industry provides job opportunities across various fields and skill levels. Whether you're seeking roles in manual labor, product inspection, design, or management, a career in packaging can cater to all your professional aspirations.


Why packaging as a career?

A packaging career encompasses roles related to packing, wrapping, shipping, designing, organizing, and displaying items. Beyond traditional packing and shipping roles, the packaging industry provides unique opportunities for employees. It can serve as a creative outlet for individuals interested in curating shopping displays or designing distinctive and durable packaging solutions.

Average salary and job outlook for a packaging operator

According to data from Indeed, packaging operators in the United States typically earn approximately $30,000 per year. However, this figure can vary based on several factors such as geographical location, experience level, and industry. Roles requiring higher levels of technical expertise or responsibilities may command higher salaries. Regarding job outlook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a slight decline of about 4% in job opportunities for all production occupations, including packaging operators, from 2019 to 2029. However, the outlook may vary depending on the industry and region. Industries such as food processing and pharmaceuticals, where packaging is essential, may experience steady demand for skilled workers.

How to Get Started in a career in Packaging

There are three primary paths to pursue a career in packaging: Obtaining a degree or post-degree qualification in a related packaging discipline. Completing an apprenticeship in packaging. Starting in production and progressing through the ranks. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual circumstances. For instance, if you are transitioning careers and have financial obligations, committing to a 3-4 year degree program in packaging design may not be feasible. In contrast, an apprenticeship offers the opportunity to earn while gaining practical skills for a technical packaging role, making it a more viable option in such situations.

What Sectors Can Your Work In?

Packaging encompasses a broad spectrum of sectors. Essentially, any product requiring sale, storage, delivery, or transportation necessitates packaging. Therefore, skills and expertise in packaging are highly sought after across various industries. Here are just a few sectors where packaging skills are in high demand:

Retail and eCommerce Agricultural Packaging Food Manufacturing Industrial Pharmaceutical Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Is it hard to become a packaging operator?

Becoming a packaging operator doesn't typically involve complex requirements, but it does demand attention to detail and efficiency in a fast-paced setting. Generally, candidates are expected to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some roles may prefer an associate's degree, particularly in fields like mechanics or electronics. Previous experience in manufacturing or warehouse environments is often desirable, if not essential. Many companies provide on-the-job training to familiarize employees with their processes and ensure adherence to safety protocols.