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Is Packaged Foods a Good Career Path? Complete Guide

Food has been the primary source of human existence. The food-growing process for substances was one of the magnificent discoveries that changed our lives for the better. 

However, the growth of food processing companies took the development step forward. Also, the growing popularity of organic and natural foods attracts more people toward a career in the packaged food industry. 

Although the food industry offers great diversity, many people don’t know about the advantages of a food-packaged career path. People get confused about whether it’s a great path to walk on. Here in this article, we’ll try to answer the question, Is packaged foods a good career path?

What are Packaged Foods?

Packaged foods are basically foods that are covered entirely by permeable or impermeable wrapping. It helps food avoid direct contacts with the environment, such as light, humidity, and extreme temperature. 

These foods maintain high safety so that they can be sold at supermarkets and shops. Furthermore, packaged foods prevent leakage during transportation and storage and don’t create a mess. 

Significance of the Packaged Foods Career Path

The food packaging business is responsible for the safety measurements of all packaged foods like biscuits, chips, and many more that we consume every day. It ensures to deliver all these tasty treats to us fresh and crispy. 

All the boxes and display cases for different products that are used to transport food items also fall under the packaged food industry. Thus, packaging protects all small and large food items from direct external contact. Furthermore, attractive food packaging enriches the view of the shelve of various stores. 

Attractive packaging appears helpful, especially when brands fight to grab customers’ attention. Every food companies use cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, foam, and other materials to maintain a high-quality packaging of their products. 

Also, industries like bakeries use a specific temperature while packaging their products to maintain the flavor and aroma of their goods. 

Finally, it’s the responsibility of packaged food companies to ship their items to retail stores. From here, customers can buy those products. These companies even started to sell their products online in recent years. 

Educational Qualifications & Skills Needed for the Packaged Foods Industry

We’ve already mentioned the role of packaged foods in our daily lives. Now, it’s time to move forward. So, let’s learn what qualifications and skills are required to pursue a career in this field. 

At first, a bachelor’s degree in food packaging, food engineering, or food technology is needed. One can show a high school diploma or a certification in food packaging for entry-level positions. An engineering degree is a must to apply for senior positions. 

Essential Skills Needed in Packaging Industry

Educational qualifications only can help you to enter any field. But after a certain point, your skills and attitude mostly matter. Here are some skills that are needed to work in this profession. 

  • Good communication and written skills
  • Ability to work in a challenging and fast-paced atmosphere
  • Ability to pay attention to every detail
  • Good mechanical skills
  • Must be able to lift heavy objects
  • Should have a teamwork skill
  • Good stamina
  • Hand-eye coordination

Is a Career In Packaged Foods Industry Secure?

We all want to choose a career that will be lucrative and persist for a prolonged period. If we think deeply, the packaged foods industry has been with us for many years.  

But it was never as big as we see in the present day. This industry has become so large after the industrial revolution, entrepreneurial passion, and the most crucial part is customers have adopted it very quickly. 

As per a survey report in 2020, packaged foods companies in the United States get more than 996 billion USD. Another report in 2018 predicted that $2.70 trillion is the worth of packaged food industry market all over the world, and this market will grow to $3.86 trillion within 2026.

Moreover, the packaged foods industry is growing worldwide due to healthy packaged foods. Now it’s your choice whether or not you think it’s safe to start your career in the packaged foods sector. But we can assure you that this is a good career path and you won’t get disappointed. 

Job Opportunities Available in the Packaged Food Industry

We’ve mentioned various aspects of packaged food industry till now, along with the required educational qualifications and skills for this industry. 

Now we’re going to discuss the job opportunities in this industry. But before that, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of the packaged foods industry. Some of the typical duties of this industry are creating new products and recipes. Also, you need to taste the products that you’ve made. 

Additionally, people in this industry need to inspect the quality of the food products. It’s their responsibility to check all the machinery and supervise other workers as well. Apart from packaging products, they even need to work on the marketing and sales of the items. 

Packaging Experts 

Packaging experts are people who have excellent knowledge about all things related to packaging. These can be small things like the appropriate shape of a package or the kind of glue that is needed to use for packaging. 

It’s also the responsibility of packaging experts to make sure that the food doesn’t get damaged due to packaging. The average annual salary of a packaging expert is over $54,000. 

Packaging Engineer

This is someone who is associated with the packaging process from beginning to end. This packaging process includes package designing, checking the longevity, and shipping the products to stores. This role is convenient for people with a science background or who are interested in mathematics. 

This role has many other responsibilities, such as improving the current packaging designs, choosing the most inexpensive materials for packaging, and decreasing the cost of packaging manufacturing. Packaging engineers can annually earn up to $92,000 on average. 

Packaging Operator

The basic duties of a packaging operator are to examine the packaging tools and machinery. It’s also their responsibility to install new tools. This job role is appropriate for people who have more interest in the packaging process than the ultimate appearance of the packaged items. 

Moreover, packaging operators are responsible for developing the complete packing system. They even ensure that all the machines are working correctly and efficiently. The average earnings of packaging operators are over $35,000 every year. 

Packaging Designer

Packaging designers are mainly responsible for the look and impression of packaging. All the large and small companies depend on their packaging designers to make the packaging of their products attractive. A package design includes various components like colors, fonts, and graphics. 

People with a background in industrial design, marketing, or copywriting can apply for this job. Packaging engineers can make up to $58,000 every year on average. 

Customer Behavior Analyst

A customer behavior analyst must know the latest trends in the industry. He must have been aware of numerous findings via market research methods like focus groups, surveys, pilot launches, and more. 

This job role is appropriate for people who want to work in the background. A customer behavior analyst inspects the effect of logos, brand names, and colors based on buying decisions. This job role requires qualifications in statistics and research. The annual average salary of a consumer behavior analyst is $46,000. 

Packaging Line Supervisor

All packaged food companies recruit line supervisors to ensure flawless packaging and manufacturing. The primary responsibilities of a packaging line supervisor are to observe workers, prevent faulty packaging, ensure that all the workers follow health and safety regulations, and make an idea to manage daily workflow. The annual average salary of a packaging line supervisor is $54,962. 

Refrigeration Technician

Refrigeration systems are specially used by quick-growing frozen packaged foods companies. They recruit people as refrigeration technicians to complete their regular tasks without any inconvenience. This is because a simple fault in the cooling system can cause harm for the total production. 

Refrigeration technicians are mainly responsible for repairing and installing the cooling system and examining the complete refrigeration process daily. Refrigeration technicians make an average of $59,430 annually.  

Packaging Manager

The primary responsibilities of a packaging manager are to operate all the employees of the packaging department, make sure that enough people are working every day, and maintain all the equipment and function. It’s also his responsibility to ensure a sufficient amount of raw materials. 

Furthermore, packaging managers need to give direction to the other workers in some situations. Packaging managers can yearly earn more than $82,000 on average. 

What Industries are Included in Packaged Foods?

Everything that you can see around you falls under the packaged food industry. For example, things that you have stored in the refrigerator or that you use for cooking, you’ll find that almost everything you use in regular life comes either in polythene or paper packaging. 

Here are some packaged food industries that you can choose to work in:

  • Beverage 
  • Bakery 
  • Chips
  • Dairy 
  • Frozen Foods 
  • Health and beauty

Is Packaged Foods a Good Career Path?

The food packaging industry is very secure. Food is the basic need of people, so there will be a never-ending demand for packaged foods. 

Also, a career in the packaging industry is highly profitable as they provide various benefits and good salaries to its employees. It’s also important to mention that the food industry offers multiple opportunities to grow your career. 

However, there are also some disadvantages. One of the main possible issues is job burnout. It’s essential to be very passionate about a career in food packaging as you may need to do monotonous and repetitive work. 

You even need to be aware of the possible health risk related to a career in the packaged food industry. Most of these products use high salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats, so regular contact with them can affect your health.  There’ll also be a high risk of health hazards like dust, heat, and noise exposure. Moreover, you may face challenging working conditions as the job includes challenging shifts and stiff deadlines.

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