Career Development

What Does a Packer Do?

Find out what a packer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a packer.

Packers are responsible for ensuring that products and materials are safely packed into boxes, crates, or other containers before they’re shipped to their final destination. This may include placing items in plastic wrap or foam padding, affixing labels to packaging, etc. Packers must be careful, diligent, and attentive to detail in order to ensure that nothing is damaged during transit.

Packer Job Duties

Packers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Inspecting materials to ensure that they meet quality standards before packing them into boxes or other containers for shipping
  • Moving materials from one location to another using forklifts, hand trucks, conveyor belts, or other equipment
  • Loading and unloading trucks, railcars, barges, ships, or planes with cargo for transport
  • Preparing containers for shipment by adding materials such as cushioning, packing peanuts, etc.
  • Packaging items in boxes or crates for shipping or storage
  • Loading products into boxes or other shipping containers using wrapping materials such as paper, plastic film, or bubble wrap
  • Moving materials between workstations or departments within a warehouse or plant
  • Transporting, unpacking, and storing merchandise in warehouses or retail stores
  • Inspecting incoming products to ensure they meet company standards before they are stored in inventory

Packer Salary & Outlook

Packers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of packers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the food manufacturing industry, which is projected to grow over the decade as consumer demand for convenience foods increases. However, automation and technological improvements are expected to limit employment growth in some areas of the food manufacturing industry.

Packer Job Requirements

Packers may need to meet the following requirements:

Education: Entry-level packers are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as logistics, warehouse management or business administration.

Training & Experience: Packers receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced workers. They may learn how to use the equipment and perform the specific tasks required for their role. They may also learn how to safely lift and move heavy items.

Certifications & Licenses: Packers don’t need any certifications or licenses to perform their job. However, some states require licensed professionals to undergo recertification every few years to keep their license active. If a licensed professional wants to gain additional expertise in their field, they may pursue post-licensing certifications.

Packer Skills

Packers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Packing requires precise attention to detail. You need to ensure that you place items in the right boxes and that you don’t miss any items. This skill can help you save time and money by ensuring that you don’t send an order with missing items. It can also help you ensure that you don’t send an order with the wrong items.

Time management: Packing orders is a fast-paced job that requires the ability to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently. Packing orders is a fast-paced job that requires the ability to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently. You may be responsible for packing multiple orders at once, so it’s important to prioritize tasks and manage your time accordingly.

Physical stamina: Physical stamina refers to the ability to sustain physical activity for long periods of time. As a packer, you may need to lift heavy boxes and materials, move them to a truck or convey them to a storage unit. Having strong physical stamina can help you complete these tasks efficiently.

Communication: Packing requires teamwork, so it’s important for packers to be able to communicate effectively with their coworkers. They often work with other members of the shipping team to ensure that the truck is properly packed and that all of the boxes are labeled correctly. They also need to be able to communicate with the truck drivers to ensure that the truck is loaded and unloaded properly.

Problem-solving: As a packer, you may encounter challenges while completing your duties. For example, you may have to find a way to fit a large item into a small space. Being able to solve problems quickly and efficiently can help you complete your tasks on time and with minimal errors.

Packer Work Environment

Packers typically work in large warehouses where they receive and store products. They use a variety of machines to move and stack the products, and they may be required to lift heavy boxes and containers. The work can be physically demanding, and packers may be required to stand for long periods of time. The work can also be repetitive and may require workers to perform the same task over and over again. Packers typically work the day shift, but they may be required to work nights and weekends to meet the demands of the job.

Packer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how Packers work. Packers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Automation

The growth of automation is a trend that is quickly changing the workforce as we know it. As machines become more sophisticated, they are able to do tasks that were once thought to be too complex for them. This has led to an increased use of automation in many industries, including shipping and packing.

As automation becomes more common, packers will need to learn how to work with these machines in order to stay competitive. They will also need to be familiar with the latest technologies in order to keep up with the latest trends.

More Focus on Sustainability

The focus on sustainability is a trend that is seeing increasing popularity among businesses. This is due to the fact that it can help companies to reduce their environmental impact while also saving money.

Packers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in sustainable packaging solutions. This includes learning about materials that are both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. In addition, packers can also focus on developing systems that make it easier for businesses to track their sustainability efforts.

Greater Demand for Collaborative Work Spaces

The demand for collaborative work spaces is growing rapidly as more and more businesses realize the benefits of having employees work together.

This trend is especially true for packers, who often have to work with other members of the team to get jobs done. By learning how to collaborate effectively, packers can become more valuable members of their teams and improve their chances of being promoted.

How to Become a Packer

A career as a packer can be a great way to get started in the shipping industry. As a packer, you’ll learn how to prepare packages for shipment and ensure they are safe to transport. You’ll also gain experience working with different types of freight and learning about shipping regulations.

As you progress in your career, you may want to specialize in a particular area of packing. There are many specializations available, including parcel packing, freight packing, and warehouse packing. You could also move into supervisory or management roles.

Related: How to Write a Packer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Packers may advance to lead packer positions, in which they would oversee a team of packers. They may also advance to positions such as production supervisor or quality control manager. With experience, packers may also move into other areas of food production, such as food safety or product development.

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