What does a food packager do?

A food packager preps and packages different types of food, including beverages, meat, and pre-cooked meals. The responsibilities often involve placing the items into boxes and adding packaging tape or bubble wrap to secure the products and prevent damage as they're shipped. In addition, food packagers are responsible for weighing the food and packages, sealing the boxes, and adding labels. This role also involves stacking the items to ensure that they're ready to load into a truck. Food packagers are also responsible for cleaning containers, transporting the packages to different parts of the warehouse, and removing defective food products.

Daily requirements

As a food packager, you're expected to have good listening skills and the ability to work in a team setting with other employees. You can work in different settings that include packaging items on an assembly food line, tracking the inventory, and sealing packages. In addition, your ability to multi-task and perform repetitive tasks comes in handy.

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What is the average salary of a food packager?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of food packagers is $30,950. The pay range runs from $23,030 to $38,220 annually. The types of factors that influence the salary include experience and location. The highest-paying states are Alaska, New Jersey, and California. The District of Columbia also tops the list of highest-paying locations.

Experience and certifications affect pay

It's possible to earn a higher salary by gaining more experience and staying committed to one company for several years, which can lead to bonuses and promotions. Many companies provide food packagers with the opportunity to work overtime in the evenings or weekends. Obtaining forklift certification allows you to become more qualified to perform different types of tasks and earn a higher income.

food packager

Working as a food packager

When you're a food packager, there are many skills you must have to ensure you can remain productive and prepare different types of food products to ship to retailers and customers. There are a few main responsibilities that you also manage. Many employers will expect you to have certification or experience in using different types of tools and equipment. You're also required to undergo safety training and follow specific protocols while working around heavy machinery in a warehouse or facility.

Food packager job description

As a food packager, you're responsible for sorting and packaging food on an assembly line before labeling the packages with the weight and product information. You will identify which products are defective and remove them and stock your station with all the packaging materials. During the packaging process, you'll add extra packaging material to prevent damage to the items while they're in transit. Your responsibilities also include inspecting shipping containers to ensure they meet shipping regulations. Food packagers load pallets with the boxes and wrap them with packaging material to prepare the items for loading onto trucks.

What type of equipment do food packagers use? 

Food packagers often use forklifts to move and stack pallets stocked with packages before they're picked up and loaded into trucks. You will use hand trucks daily to move the boxes into warehouses and trucks. For smaller tasks, you will use dollies and carts throughout the warehouse. Box cutters are a common tool for cutting cardboard boxes and packaging tape. Food packagers also regularly handle packing tape dispensers to seal the boxes once they're packaged and ready to ship. You often use label printers to create labels for shipping, moving, and storing items correctly. 

What is the work environment of a food packager?

Food packagers work in factories and warehouses where heavy machinery and assembly lines are present. Working remotely is not an option in this industry. Food packagers spend most of their time on their feet and may wear a uniform, depending on the company and industry. Safety equipment is in use to avoid injuries while using different types of tools and equipment. Some settings may expose food packagers to hazardous chemicals, which requires wearing protective gear and clothing. The employer will provide all of the necessary safety gear to reduce the risk of injuries. While handling meat, food packagers must work in cold storage facilities and freezers. 

Who are your colleagues as a food packager?

When you're a food packager, your colleagues are other food packagers who are performing similar functions and are working together as a team. You will also work closely with supervisors who manage the work and ensure the employees are completing the tasks correctly. Forklift operators and loaders also spend time in the same setting and move and load pallets stacked with the packages. In addition, mechanics are often present in warehouses and perform maintenance and repairs on the assembly lines and on machines that are in use for industrial packaging. Cleaners also have a presence and must keep the work area clean throughout the day to ensure the space is hygienic for food production. 

What is the work schedule of a food packager?

Food packagers work part-time or full-time, from 20 to 40 hours each week. Some food packagers also work in the evenings or on the weekends, depending on the company. Overtime is available at most companies, which can affect the employee's work schedule and extend their hours during the week. Seasonal packagers work temporarily and may only work part-time for several months. This includes working weekends or on an as-needed basis.



What is the career outlook for a food packager?

According to recent projections, the global food packaging market will grow from $338.34 billion in 2021 to $478.18 billion by 2028. This means that food packaging jobs will become more available. Projections show that employees will fill 10,770 new food packager jobs by 2029. The top states where food packager positions will continue to increase and become available include:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Washington
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • New Jersey

This line of work is not likely to disappear in the future, even with many companies automating their packaging operations and systems.

Opportunities for growth

After working as a food packager, you can consider applying for a supervisor position with the right experience. After understanding the operations of the warehouse and facility, it's easy to get promoted to a higher position.

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a food packager?

Spherion is a leading recruiting and staffing enterprise in the U.S if you're searching for a food packager position. The company has connections in a variety of industries and fields and can submit your resume to various companies and organizations that are actively recruiting. Spherion has different opportunities for food packagers and will help you find the right job that matches your skill sets and interests. Additional benefits of working with Spherion include:

  • Many scheduling options
  • Working closely with a Spherion team member to have assistance with searching for the right job
  • Training opportunities to increase your skill set as a food packager
  • Receiving weekly pay
  • A wide variety of job opportunities in your area

What education do you need as a food packager?

Most employers only require food packagers to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. You don't need a lot of education or experience to land a position. Instead, your skills and ability to perform manual labor are highly valued. Some companies only hire food packagers who have experience in a related field and have basic shop skills. Strong communication skills are also necessary to ensure you have the ability to work on a team with other employees.

Food packager skills & competencies

The skills required to work as a food packager include following instructions, sorting and packing food on an assembly line, and labeling packages. You will also be responsible for following safety standards, maintaining a clean work area, and keeping records and inventory of the materials that you packaged. In addition, food packagers require skills in:

  • Properly packaging various food products 
  • Multi-tasking 
  • Identifying and disposing of any defective items 
  • Following company guidelines 
  • Communicating effectively with other people in the warehouse


Your work as a food packager puts food in stores, restaurants, and food service facilities across the world. Take a look at the following FAQs to learn more about your work in this role.

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