Packaging associates are skilled employees who are responsible for wrapping material around consumer items. This serves to protect and clean products, making them marketable. These associates must perform maintenance on the packaging equipment to ensure that they are running efficiently with minimal downtime. They must inspect completed products for defects and abnormalities to satisfy their customers. Packaging associates must also communicate with technicians and supervisors to rectify problems and ensure that the products are with standards and following their customers' requirements.

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Packaging Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real packaging associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the receipt and tracking of control substances as well as the DEA biennial inspection.
  • Assemble sterile syringes for shipping.
  • Collect required samples for QA testing.
  • Pack customers' groceries in a neat and orderly fashion.
  • Train many employees on various lines adhering to FDA /DEA prodigal.
  • Assist with cleaning and servicing operations in a DEA and FDA regulate.
  • Follow GMP's and all other require guidelines for a control industry.
  • Sack customer groceries, gather carts, keep registers stock, clean, do put backs
  • Conduct selection of designs for all packaging to ensure stakeholders acceptance to TGA and GMP requirements.
  • Demonstrate accuracy in packaging and handling medications for shipping according to DEA standards and the latest QA audit process.
  • Attach identification labels to pallets.
  • Organize packages by loading shipments onto pallets before delivery.
  • Feed freestanding inserts efficiently into inserting or collating machinery.
  • Ensure the packaging machinery run efficiently with minimal downtime.
  • Maintain warehouse records in accordance with inventory accuracy and ISO certification.

Packaging Associate Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a packaging associate does, you may be wondering, "should I become a packaging associate?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, packaging associates have a growth rate described as "decline" at -18% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of packaging associate opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -100,900.

On average, the packaging associate annual salary is $31,519 per year, which translates to $15.15 an hour. Generally speaking, packaging associates earn anywhere from $25,000 to $39,000 a year, which means that the top-earning packaging associates make $13,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a packaging associate. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a cell operator, relief operator, filler operator, and inspector packer.

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Packaging Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Packaging Associates are proficient in Pallets, Defective Products, and Basic Math. They’re also known for soft skills such as Dexterity, Mechanical skills, and Technical skills.

We break down the percentage of Packaging Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Pallets, 8%

    Organized packages by loading shipments onto pallets before delivery.

  • Defective Products, 7%

    Assisted with shipment of new product receiving as well as shipping out of defective product.

  • Basic Math, 6%

    Performed basic math calculations and used a calculator.

  • Safety Standards, 6%

    Followed standard work procedures; complied with safety standards; excelled at efficiency ratings.

  • Quality Issues, 5%

    Investigate and facilitate resolutions of quality issues and process deviations.

  • Quality Products, 5%

    Perform thorough and proper handling/packaging of product to ensure high quality products for consumers.

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Most packaging associates list "pallets," "defective products," and "basic math" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important packaging associate responsibilities here:

  • Dexterity can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a packaging associate to have. According to a packaging associate resume, "quality control inspectors must quickly remove sample parts or products during the manufacturing process." Packaging associates are able to use dexterity in the following example we gathered from a resume: "execute tasks such as manual lifting, packaging, taping, labeling operations and sorting, and have basic mathematical skills. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform packaging associate duties is the following: mechanical skills. According to a packaging associate resume, "quality control inspectors use specialized tools and machinery when testing products." Check out this example of how packaging associates use mechanical skills: "operated and troubleshot 14 pieces of high-speed electro-mechanical packaging equipment to ensure daily production goals and quality standards achieved. "
  • Packaging associates are also known for technical skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a packaging associate resume: "quality control inspectors must understand blueprints, technical documents, and manuals, which help ensure that products and parts meet quality standards." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "worked within team environment ensuring operations followed all gmp, e3, safety, environmental and technical guidelines. "
  • A packaging associate responsibilities sometimes require "math skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "knowledge of basic math and computer skills are important because measuring, calibrating, and calculating specifications are major parts of quality control testing." This resume example shows how this skill is used by packaging associates: "perform mathematical calculations to determine accurate amounts of batteries per pallet, per order. "
  • As part of the packaging associate description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "physical strength." A packaging associate resume included this snippet: "because workers sometimes lift heavy objects, inspectors should be in good physical condition." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "performed facilities management, material management processes and procedures applicable to the protection of material from deterioration and/or physical damage. "
  • See the full list of packaging associate skills.

    We've found that 28.8% of packaging associates have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 3.0% earned their master's degrees before becoming a packaging associate. While it's true that some packaging associates have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every three packaging associates did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The packaging associates who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and general studies, while a small population of packaging associates studied criminal justice and psychology.

    When you're ready to become a packaging associate, you might wonder which companies hire packaging associates. According to our research through packaging associate resumes, packaging associates are mostly hired by Walmart, FedEx, and Ascend Wellness. Now is a good time to apply as Walmart has 589 packaging associates job openings, and there are 565 at FedEx and 15 at Ascend Wellness.

    If you're interested in companies where packaging associates make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at PepsiCo, Mars, and Rich Products. We found that at PepsiCo, the average packaging associate salary is $40,465. Whereas at Mars, packaging associates earn roughly $40,078. And at Rich Products, they make an average salary of $39,915.

    View more details on packaging associate salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire packaging associates from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Amazon, Frito-Lay, and Kelly Services.

    The industries that packaging associates fulfill the most roles in are the transportation and retail industries. But the highest packaging associate annual salary is in the pharmaceutical industry, averaging $36,252. In the media industry they make $36,112 and average about $33,502 in the manufacturing industry. In conclusion, packaging associates who work in the pharmaceutical industry earn a 9.4% higher salary than packaging associates in the professional industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious packaging associates are:

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    What Cell Operators Do

    A Cell Operator is someone who handles a production cell in a company or factory. This position ensures that a cell unit of the production functions properly and efficiently. The position also does other miscellaneous tasks related to production, such as inspection, sorting, and other assembly operations, depending on the type of company, business, or manufactured product. This person generally has strong organizational and problem-solving skills and has a knack for troubleshooting.

    We looked at the average packaging associate annual salary and compared it with the average of a cell operator. Generally speaking, cell operators receive $6,347 higher pay than packaging associates per year.

    Even though packaging associates and cell operators have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require quality checks, quality standards, and safety procedures in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a packaging associate responsibilities require skills like "pallets," "defective products," "minor maintenance," and "basic math." Meanwhile a typical cell operator has skills in areas such as "hand tools," "math," "cnc," and "calipers." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Cell operators receive the highest salaries in the technology industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $41,770. But packaging associates are paid more in the pharmaceutical industry with an average salary of $36,252.

    The education levels that cell operators earn is a bit different than that of packaging associates. In particular, cell operators are 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a packaging associate. Additionally, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Relief Operator?

    A relief operator job depends on the institution or organization. Their main jobs include examining, measuring, and weighing materials or products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring devices such as rulers, micrometers, or scales. Their additional responsibilities include maintaining regular contact and communication with customers to resolve concerns, issues, and complaints.

    Next up, we have the relief operator profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a packaging associate annual salary. In fact, relief operators salary difference is $11,174 higher than the salary of packaging associates per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of packaging associates and relief operators are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "basic math," "safety standards," and "quality products. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that packaging associate responsibilities requires skills like "pallets," "defective products," "minor maintenance," and "quality issues." But a relief operator might use skills, such as, "food safety," "cip," "ppe," and "cdl."

    On average, relief operators earn a higher salary than packaging associates. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, relief operators earn the most pay in the energy industry with an average salary of $46,955. Whereas, packaging associates have higher paychecks in the pharmaceutical industry where they earn an average of $36,252.

    On the topic of education, relief operators earn similar levels of education than packaging associates. In general, they're 2.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Filler Operator Compares

    A filler operator works with the packaging end of a production line. The filler's task is to fill containers with the required number of products before packaging and shipping. The filler also operates filling machines and makes the necessary adjustments to ensure consistency. They are also responsible for inventory and maintenance of filling process equipment. They must work well under pressure and be scrupulously accurate.

    Let's now take a look at the filler operator profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than packaging associates with a $6,210 difference per year.

    By looking over several packaging associates and filler operators resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "pallets," "defective products," and "basic math." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from packaging associate resumes include skills like "minor maintenance," "safety standards," "cleanliness," and "osha," whereas a filler operator might be skilled in "food safety," "math," "restraints," and "ppe. "

    Filler operators make a very good living in the health care industry with an average annual salary of $41,472. Whereas packaging associates are paid the highest salary in the pharmaceutical industry with the average being $36,252.

    Filler operators typically study at similar levels compared with packaging associates. For example, they're 2.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Inspector Packer

    An inspector packer is an employee who works in the warehouse to stack and pile goods into their correct containers and prepare them for shipment using various equipment. Inspector packers must ensure that the packing of goods follows a specific set of instructions while inspecting the boxes are damage free. They keep track of their inventory by maintaining a database of packages; however, they manually fill out forms and papers to record measurement, wealth, and products. They also are required to remove defective products or materials so that they can avoid delivery delays.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than packaging associates. On average, inspector packers earn a difference of $174 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, packaging associates and inspector packers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "pallets," "defective products," and "safety standards. "

    Each job requires different skills like "minor maintenance," "basic math," "quality issues," and "quality products," which might show up on a packaging associate resume. Whereas inspector packer might include skills like "inspect products," "product quality," "coats," and "plastic bottles."

    Inspector packers earn a higher salary in the automotive industry with an average of $33,404. Whereas, packaging associates earn the highest salary in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Inspector packers reach similar levels of education when compared to packaging associates. The difference is that they're 2.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.