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Career profile Packer

Also known as Bagger, Crater and Packer, Mini Shifter, Pack Out Operator, Packager, Packaging Specialist, Packer, Picker and Packer, Sacker, Selector Packer


Also known as Bagger, Crater and Packer, Mini Shifter

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$20,630 - $39,580 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Examine and inspect containers, materials, or products to ensure that product quality and packing specifications are met.
  • Measure, weigh, and count products and materials.
  • Remove completed or defective products or materials, placing them on moving equipment, such as conveyors, or in specified areas, such as loading docks.
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What does a Packer do?

Packers pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials.

What kind of tasks does a Packer perform regularly?

Packers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Examine and inspect containers, materials, or products to ensure that product quality and packing specifications are met.
  • Measure, weigh, and count products and materials.
  • Record product, packaging, and order information on specified forms and records.
  • Seal containers or materials, using glues, fasteners, nails, and hand tools.
  • Assemble, line, and pad cartons, crates, and containers, using hand tools.
  • Obtain, move, and sort products, materials, containers, and orders, using hand tools.
  • Mark and label containers, container tags, or products, using marking tools.
  • Clean containers, materials, supplies, or work areas, using cleaning solutions and hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Packers. More generally, Packers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Packer salary?

The median salary for a Packer is $28,050, and the average salary is $29,270. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Packer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Packers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Packers earn less than $20,630 per year, 25% earn less than $24,180, 75% earn less than $32,920, and 90% earn less than $39,580.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Packers is expected to change by 0.2%, and there should be roughly 82,900 open positions for Packers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$20,630 - $39,580
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Packers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Packer are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Packers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Packer tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Packers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Packers somewhat value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Packers very slightly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Packers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Packers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Packers need?

Working as a Packer usually requires a high school diploma.

Packers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Packers

  • 30.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 41.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.6% completed some college coursework
  • 5.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Packers

Packers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, customer and personal service, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Packers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Packers

Packers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Packers need abilities such as near vision, problem sensitivity, and trunk strength in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Packers, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Packers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Packers frequently use skills like monitoring, active listening, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Packers, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.