Packer

Production line staff
Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would pack products safely in boxes or other containers, ready to be sent to shops, homes or businesses.

You might pack products by hand, operate a packing machine or look after packaging materials and labels.

You would:

  • Pack goods with padding and protection such as bubble wrap or polystyrene
  • Seal containers using glue, staples or shrink-wrap
  • Weigh and clearly label packaged goods ready to be sent out
  • Clean work areas
  • Report any problems during the shift to supervisors

In the case of heavy goods, such as washing machines or vehicle parts, you would use loading and lifting gear. You might also use a forklift truck to move goods to storage areas.

You would need to be able to carry out repetitive tasks quickly and carefully. This would mean following health and safety rules closely, particularly when working with dangerous materials.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work between 35 and 42 hours a week. This could include shift work and may cover weekends or nights. Part-time work is common and there may be overtime.

Environment

You would be based in a factory or warehouse, and would spend most of your time sitting or standing at a packing machine or conveyor line. Some jobs, such as packing medicines, are done in sterile conditions. Meat packing would take place in a chilled environment.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Accuracy
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role.

You will also need

  • To not be prone to dust or chemical allergies
  • A forklift truck licence for certain jobs.

You may have to sit an entry test to assess your practical skills.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show practical and employability skills such as SQA  Employability Award (SCQF level 3/4).