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

  • $900 Weekly Pay
  • 59,800 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 66.2% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 36.7 hours Average full-time
  • 37 years Average age
  • 56.8% female Gender Share

The number of Packers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
from 59,800 in 2017 to 62,000 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 42,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Packers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Administrative and Support Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (66.2%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 36.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 56.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200773100
200868500
200973400
201056000
201159600
201263400
201355300
201458000
201566800
201663000
201759800
202262000

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing45.1
Administrative and Support Services13.1
Retail Trade10.8
Wholesale Trade10.1
Other Industries20.9

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 2017, 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
NSW27.731.6
VIC36.926.2
QLD16.719.7
SA8.86.7
WA7.910.8
TAS1.52.0
NT0.21.1
ACT0.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-197.2-5.25.2
20-2411.1-9.99.9
25-3426.4-23.623.6
35-4420.3-21.721.7
45-5421.5-20.820.8
55-596.9-8.88.8
60-645.0-6.06.0
65 and Over1.6-4.04.0

Education Level

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 Certificate0-8.68.6
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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Food Processing VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9111.00 - Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9111.00 - Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders.

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