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Working as a Packer

What Does a Packer Do

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

Duties

Hand laborers and material movers typically do the following:

  • Manually move material from one place to another
  • Pack or wrap products by hand
  • Keep a record of the material they move
  • Signal machine operators who help move material
  • Clean cars, equipment, and workplaces

In warehouses and wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, where they load material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment wash automobiles and other vehicles, as well as storage tanks, pipelines, and related machinery. They use cleaning products, vacuums, hoses, and brushes. Most of these workers clean cars at a car wash, an automobile dealership, or a rental agency. Some clean industrial equipment at manufacturing firms. Some—for example, those who work at a car wash—interact with customers.

Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers move materials to and from storage and production areas, loading docks, delivery trucks, ships, and containers. Although their specific duties may vary, most of these movers, often called pickers, work in warehouses. Some workers retrieve products from storage and move them to loading areas. Other workers load and unload cargo from a truck. When moving a package, pickers keep track of the package number, sometimes with a hand-held scanner, to ensure proper delivery. Sometimes they open containers and sort the material.

Hand packers and packagers package a variety of materials by hand. They may label cartons, inspect items for defects, and keep records of items packed. Some of these workers pack materials for shipment and move them to a loading dock. Many hand packers are employed by grocery stores, where they bag groceries for customers at checkout.

Machine feeders and offbearers process materials by feeding them into equipment or by removing them from equipment. The equipment is generally operated by other workers, such as material moving machine operators. Machine feeders and offbearers help the operator if the machine becomes jammed or needs minor repairs. Machine feeders track the amount of material they process during a shift.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Many collectors lift garbage cans by hand and empty them into their truck. Some collectors drive the garbage or recycling truck along a scheduled route. When collecting materials from a dumpster, drivers use a hydraulic lift to empty the contents of the dumpster into their truck.

How To Become a Packer

Formal education is not usually required to become a hand laborer or material mover. Employers typically require only that applicants be physically able to perform the work.

Education

There are no formal education requirements to become a hand laborer or material mover.

Training

Most positions for hand laborers and material movers require less than 1 month of on-the-job training. Some workers need only a few days of training, and most training is done by a supervisor or a more experienced worker who decides when trainees are ready to work on their own.

Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Refuse and recyclable material collectors who drive trucks that exceed a certain capacity—such as vehicles with the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo exceeding 26,000 pounds—must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Obtaining a CDL requires passing written, skill, and vision tests.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Hand laborers and material movers who work with the public, such as grocery baggers or car wash attendants, must be pleasant and courteous to customers.

Hand–eye coordination. Most hand laborers and material movers use their arms and hands to manipulate objects or move objects into specific positions.

Listening skills. Hand laborers and material movers follow instructions that a supervisor gives them.

Physical stamina. Hand laborers and material movers need the endurance to perform strenuous tasks, such as moving or cleaning objects, throughout the day.

Physical strength. Some workers must be able to lift and carry heavy objects.

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Average Salary$23,735
Job Growth Rate4%

Packer Jobs

Packer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Packer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Packer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Packer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Packer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Packer

Cashier
28.3%

Top Careers After Packer

Cashier
19.5%

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Packer

Packers in America make an average salary of $23,735 per year or $11 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $27,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$23,735

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range24k - 31k$28k$27,786
Salary Range23k - 28k$26k$26,161
Salary Range22k - 29k$26k$25,753
Salary Range22k - 28k$25k$25,301
Salary Range22k - 27k$25k$24,828
Salary Range22k - 27k$25k$24,755
$18k
$31k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Production Packers (Hp#324119)
Production Packers (Hp#324119)
Barton Staffing Solutions
Barton Staffing Solutions
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$28,17510/30/2020
$28,175
Choice Staffing
Overnight-Packer (Near WW White)
Overnight-Packer (Near WW White)
Choice Staffing
Choice Staffing
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$23,66710/30/2020
$23,667
Packer
Two Men and a Truck
Two Men and a Truck
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$27,13110/30/2020
$27,131
Packer
Packer
The Reserves Network
The Reserves Network
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$29,21810/30/2020
$29,218
Cup Packer
Cup Packer
Graphic Packaging International
Graphic Packaging International
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$31,20110/30/2020
$31,201
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Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Packer Demographics

Gender

female

53.2%

male

42.0%

unknown

4.7%

Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

13.2%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

84.8%

French

4.5%

Portuguese

1.1%
See More Demographics

Packer Education

Majors

Degrees

High School Diploma

58.3%

Diploma

13.9%

Associate

11.4%

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Packer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Packer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.1% of packers listed defective products on their resume, but soft skills such as listening skills and physical stamina are important as well.

  • Defective Products, 17.1%
  • Communication, 7.4%
  • Assembly Line, 6.6%
  • Safety Standards, 5.8%
  • Pallet Jack, 5.4%
  • Other Skills, 57.7%
  • See All Packer Skills

Best States For a Packer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a packer. The best states for people in this position are Pennsylvania, New York, Hawaii, and California. Packers make the most in Pennsylvania with an average salary of $27,920. Whereas in New York and Hawaii, they would average $26,534 and $26,244, respectively. While packers would only make an average of $26,049 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Pennsylvania

Total Packer Jobs:
160
Highest 10% Earn:
$35,000
Location Quotient:
2.45
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. North Dakota

Total Packer Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$30,000
Location Quotient:
1.86
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. South Dakota

Total Packer Jobs:
9
Highest 10% Earn:
$29,000
Location Quotient:
2.56
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Packer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a packer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless packer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Packer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless packer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Packer Employers

1. Amazon
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$44,668
Packers Hired: 
4,421+
2. Frito-Lay
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$37,995
Packers Hired: 
652+
3. Macy's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,321
Packers Hired: 
619+
4. Pactiv
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,832
Packers Hired: 
574+
5. ManpowerGroup
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,043
Packers Hired: 
469+
6. Adecco Staffing, USA
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$29,178
Packers Hired: 
454+

Packer Videos

Recently Added Packer Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020