A packer packs goods by hand or using machines, often on a production line, to prevent damage to goods and products during transport and delivery.
You could be:
- putting items into containers such as boxes, crates, sacks and trays
- using a forklift truck to lift heavy items
- checking items for faults
- using a shrink-wrapping machine to cover containers with plastic or protecting heavy or fragile goods with bubble wrap, polystyrene or cardboard
- sealing packages with glue, tape or staples
- labelling and stacking the containers
- marking up orders on the computer and emailing the customer that the goods are on their way
- cleaning up work areas and ensuring health and safety rules are followed.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of 1 April 2017 the National Minimum Wage is £4.05 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £5.60 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £7.05 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24. The National Living Wage is £7.50 for workers aged 25 and over. Recent posts have advertised hourly rates between £10.00 and £12.00 per hour. There may be a chance to boost income through overtime and bonuses.
- You will work in a factory, warehouse or store, where it may be dusty and noisy.
- You will usually work 37-40 hours a week. This often includes shifts with additional hours for overtime.
- You normally have to work very quickly.
- You would normally work in one place for most of the day working at a conveyer belt.
- Work may include lifting heavy objects.
- The work can be repetitive where you do the same thing over and over.
- You may have to wear protective clothing such as goggles, masks, gloves and overalls.
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- You do not need formal qualifications.
- Some employers will ask you to take a practical test to show how well you can work with your hands.
Most jobs are with manufacturing companies, mail order firms and large shops, although more packing jobs are now being done by machinery. Removal firms, antique dealers and export companies use specialist packers and there will continue to be a demand for them. Jobs are advertised on recruitment websites, including the Universal Jobmatch website, and in local papers.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You should have:
- a practical approach
- good hand skills
- strength and fitness
- awareness of health and safety procedures.
You should be able to:
- work quickly, neatly and carefully
- concentrate well
- work alone and as part of a team.
- follow instructions.
- Training is usually on the job.
- You would complete short in-house training courses such as health and safety, manual handling and packing procedures.
- After you gain experience, you may be able to become a specialist packer.
- You may be promoted to be a supervisor, chargehand or inspector.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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