Packers weigh, wrap, seal and label chocolate, fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and other products.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Years 11 and 10 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • obtaining supplies of products and assembling bags, package folders and cartons
  • packing containers and bags with products, and counting, weighing and measuring amounts and adjusting quantities
  • wrapping protective material around products, sealing bags and containers, and attaching pre-printed labels
  • counting and placing bags and packages onto trays and racks, and into shipping cartons
  • recording information such as numbers, weight, times and dates
  • monitoring the filling of containers and adjusting machines to maintain volume and seal quality
  • monitoring the supply and quality of containers and contents of holding tanks
  • checking the cleanliness and operation of machines, equipment and containers

Job Titles

  • Chocolate Packer
  • Container Filler
  • Fruit and Vegetable Packer
  • Meat Packer
  • Seafood Packer
  • Other Packers
  • Chocolate Packer

    Weighs, wraps, seals and labels chocolate products.

  • Container Filler

    Fills and seals containers with products, such as food, beverages, paints, oils and lotions, and packages the filled containers.

    Specialisations: Bottling Attendant, Cannery Worker, Labelling Machine Operator

  • Fruit and Vegetable Packer

    Weighs, wraps, seals and labels fruit and vegetables.

  • Meat Packer

    Weighs, wraps, seals and labels meat and meat products.

  • Seafood Packer

    Weighs, wraps, seals and labels seafood products.

  • Other Packers

    Includes Biscuit Packer, Bread Packer, Cheese Packer, Egg Packer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $900 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    65,300
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    45.6%
  • Female Share

    54.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    60.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 65,300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Packers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Administrative and Support Services.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.4 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200577200
200667700
200771100
200875000
200962500
201057900
201159300
201263500
201353100
201457900
201565300
202064000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPackersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPackersAll Jobs Average
Full-time60.968.4
Part-time39.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.440.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing46.2
Retail Trade13.1
Administrative and Support Services10.2
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing8.8
Other Industries21.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePackersAll Jobs Average
NSW29.331.8
VIC32.125.5
QLD19.019.8
SA9.16.8
WA8.711.2
TAS1.32.0
NT0.11.1
ACT0.31.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPackersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-196.8-5.45.4
20-2410.1-9.99.9
25-3422.9-23.423.4
35-4420.7-21.721.7
45-5422.7-21.121.1
55-599.3-8.78.7
60-644.5-5.95.9
65 and Over3.1-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPackersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males45.6Males53.6
Females54.4Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPackersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree8.2-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.5-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV15.2-18.918.9
Year 1227.6-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1035.3-17.717.7
Below Year 109.2-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Years 11 and 10 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Packers who are reliable, hardworking and can work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    61% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Mechanical

    56% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. English Language

    55% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Mathematics

    55% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    49% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    86% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Handling and Moving Objects

    78% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    77% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  4. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    77% Important

    Checking objects, actions, or events, keeping an eye out for problems.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    71% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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