Education, Experience, and Licensing Requirements:

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • 6 months retail or customer service experience preferred
  • Forklift Certification within 90 days of job entry date
  • Familiarity with Radio Frequency (RF) equipment preferred

Food Packer Salary and Outlook

Food packers are typically paid by the hour and make a median wage of $10.64 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Food packers in the top 10 percent can make upwards of $17.02 per hour, while food packers in the bottom 10 percent make as little as $8.56 per hour. Full-time food packers usually get benefits from their employer, including health, vision, and dental insurance, along with vacation and sick time. Depending on overall company performance, food packers may also receive seasonal bonuses.

Food Packer Duties and Responsibilities

A food packer’s specific role may vary depending on the type of food or drink they package, but most food packers perform a few core tasks regardless of their employer or product:

Assemble Containers and Packaging

Food packers are responsible for assembling food product containers and packaging in the correct manner before sending them down the production line.

Place Product in Containers

Food packers place the food or drink product into the appropriate containers in an efficient and timely manner. They appropriately package the food to minimize breakage and movement during shipping.

Inspect Containers

Containers and other types of packaging may be damaged or unclean. It is the food packer’s responsibility to ensure the integrity and cleanliness of the containers before they are shipped out to retailers.

Examine and inspect containers, materials, and products in order to ensure that packing specifications are met.

Record product, packaging, and order information on specified forms and records.

Remove completed or defective products or materials, placing them on moving equipment such as conveyors or in specified areas such as loading docks.

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