Career paths in the packaging industry

Have you ever thought about a career in the packaging industry? Possibly not, but there is a whole range of career opportunities available. With our current lifestyles, packaging is here to stay and will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. 

Most items have some form of packaging, from small containers, for example for medical items such as pills, right up to corrugated cases used by Jaguar Cars to ship spare engines and gearboxes around the world.

You can become a part of this exciting and fast developing industry. You can enter the career ladder at any point, depending on your level of qualifications, from School Leaver to Graduates.

Many of the leading packaging organisations have very good training programmes in place which will help you progress through their organisation. There are opportunities for Production, Technical, Engineering, Electrical, Sales and Marketing, Graphic Design, Finance and Management, to name a few!

Our objective at the Packaging Society (part of IOM3) is to support you throughout your career in packaging. First, though, we want to give you an idea of how that career could progress.

That is why we have produced the Career Paths illustrations, to show you just a snapshot of the possibilities available in the UK and Worldwide.

At IOM3 we have a dedicated person who is there to help you with information, especially for school leavers. Her name is Dr Diane Aston. If you like what you have seen, or are interested to find out more, then please give her a call. She can be contacted at IOM3, details as follows:

Dr Diane Aston
Training and Education Executive
The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining
Grantham Centre
The Boilerhouse
Springfield Business Park
Caunt Road
Grantham
Lincs NG31 7FZ 
E diane.aston@iom3.org
T 01476 513882 01476 513882

We look forward to helping you.

Ian Davis

Chair, Training and Education Advisory Committee. 
Chair, The Packaging Society.

 

Job profiles

Packaging Technician

Salary: £15,000 to £20,000+

Job Description:
Working in a Packaging Research and Development Department carrying out routine tests.

Entry Level Qualifications:
School leaver ~18 years old. GCSE’s in at least Maths and English plus an A-Level in a relevant science subject.

Personal Requirements:
Good attention to detail.
Good communication skills.
Good IT Skills

Get here from:
School Leaver.

What’s Next:
NVQ Level 3 Technical Certificate in Packaging. Move up to become a Packaging Technologist.

Packaging Technologist

Salary: £20,000 to £35,000+

Job Description:

Working in a Packaging Research and Development Department responsible for running trials and developing new products.
Entry Level Qualifications:
NVQ Level 3 Technical Certificate in Packaging.

Personal Requirements:

Good practical skills.
Ability to work with machinery.
Problem-solving skills.
Good hand-eye co-ordination.
Good teamwork and initiative.
Get here from:
Experience as a Packaging Technician or other relevant industry experience.

What’s Next:

Level 5 Packaging Diploma, 5 to 10 years experience, then move up to become a Packaging Manager.


Packaging Manager

Salary: £30,000 to £65,000+

Job Description:
Responsible for running a Packaging Research and Development Department introducing new packaging and products for the company.
Entry Level Qualifications:
Level 5 Packaging Diploma, experience as a Packaging Technologist, or, relevant industry experience.
Personal Requirements:
Planning and Organisational Skills.
Leadership and Management Skills.
Problem-solving skills.
Ability to work under pressure in a logical and systematic manner.
Strong communication skills.
Get here from:
Level 5 Packaging Diploma, experience as a Packaging Technologist, or, relevant industry experience.
What’s Next:
Senior management roles, such as Packaging Director.

 

Line Operator

Salary: £10,000 to £15,000+

Job Description:

Working on a packing line putting product into boxes, cartons or bags.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Relevant work experience and portfolio of evidence.

GCSE’s in at least English and Maths.

Or, Level 2 City and Guilds Manufacturing NVQ.

 

Personal Requirements:

Good attention to detail.

Good communication skills.

Ability to work with machinery.

 

Get here from:

School Leaver.

 

What’s Next:

NVQ Level 2 in Packing Operations, or, Apprenticeship, Technical Certificate, Level 2 in packing Operations.

 

Line Setter

Salary: £15,000 to £18,000+

Job Description:

Setting up a packing line to put different product into varying boxes, cartons or bags.

Entry Level Qualifications:

NVQ Level 2 in Packing Operations, or, Apprenticeship, Technical Certificate, Level 2 in packing Operations.

 

Personal Requirements:

Good practical skills.

Ability to work with machinery.

Problem-solving skills.

Good hand-eye co-ordination.

Good teamwork and initiative.

 

Get here from:

Apprenticeship, Technical Certificate, Level 2 in packing Operations.

 

What’s Next:

Level 3 C&G Manufacturing NVQ, then move up to be a Team Leader.

 

Team Leader

Salary: £18,000 to £25,000+

Job Description:

Responsible for running a packing line which can put different product into varying boxes, cartons or bags.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Level 3 C&G Manufacturing NVQ and relevant industry experience.

Personal Requirements:

Self motivation.

Good practical skills.

Ability to work with machinery.

Problem-solving skills.

Good teamwork and initiative.

Strong communication skills.

 

Get here from:

Level 3 C&G Manufacturing NVQ and experience as a Line Setter or other related experience

What’s Next:

Level 4 C&G Manufacturing NVQ, then move up to be a Packing Lines Supervisor.

 

Supervisor

Salary: £25,000 to £35,000+

Job Description:

Responsible for running a packing line department, including planning and maintenance programmes.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Level 4 C&G Manufacturing NVQ and relevant industry experience with Management Skills.

Personal Requirements:

Planning and Organisational Skills.

Self motivation.

Problem-solving skills.

Ability to work under pressure.

Strong communication skills.

 

Get here from:

Level 4 C&G Manufacturing NVQ and experience as a Packing Line Team Leader or other related experience

What’s Next:

3 to 5 years as a Supervisor, gaining Management Skills and Experience, then move up to be a Packing Operations Manager.

 

Packing Ops. Mgr.

Salary: £35,000 to £65,000+

Job Description:

Overall Responsibility for the efficient running of a packing line operation, including the investment programme.

Entry Level Qualifications:

3 to 5 years as a Packing Line Supervisor and QCF Level 3 in Business Improvement techniques, or, Equivalent Industry or Management Experience.

Personal Requirements:

Planning and Organisational Skills.

Leadership and Management Skills.

Problem-solving skills.

Ability to work under pressure in a logical and systematic manner.

Strong communication skills.

Get here from:

3 to 5 years as a Packing Line Supervisor, or, Equivalent Industry or Management Experience.

What’s Next:

Senior management roles such as Operations Director.

 

Line Operator

(may involve shift work)

Press / Die cutter Setter

(may involve shift work)

Team Leader

(may involve shift work)

Supervisor /

Unit Manager

Operations Manager

Salary: £10,000 to £15,000 +

Salary: £15,000 to £20,000 +

Salary: £18,000 to £30,000 +

Salary: £25,000 to £35,000 +

Salary: £35,000 to £65,000 +

Job Description:

Working on a packing production line to manufacture packaging materials.

Job Description:

Setting up and/or operating a packing production line to manufacture packaging materials.

Job Description:

Responsible for running one or more packing production lines. Responsible for line efficiency and quality, development and training of staff (operators).

Job Description:

Responsible for running a number of packing production lines. Responsible for line efficiency and quality, development and training of staff.

Job Description:

Overall responsibility for the production site.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Relevant work experience and portfolio of evidence. 

Qualification in English and Maths. 

Or Level 2 Manufacturing NVQ.

Entry Level Qualifications:

NVQ Level 3 in Manufacturing Operations.

Or Apprenticeship / Technical Certificate.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Level 4 Manufacturing NVQ and relevant industry experience.

Evidence of leadership skills.

Entry Level Qualifications:

Level 4 Manufacturing NVQ and relevant industry experience with management skills.

Entry Level Qualifications:

3 to 5 years as a Packing Line Supervisor and suitable management experience / qualification.

 

Personal Requirements:

Good attention to detail.

Good communication skills.

Ability to work with machinery.

Personal Requirements:

Good practical skills.

Ability to work with machinery.

Problem-solving skills.

Good teamwork and initiative.

Personal Requirements:

Self-motivation.

Good leadership and management skills.

Good teamwork and initiative.

Good communication skills.

Personal Requirements:

Planning and organisational skills.

Evidence of strong leadership and management skills.

 

Personal Requirements:

Excellent planning and organisational skills.

Ability to work in demanding situations in a logical and systematic manner.

Excellent communication skills.

Get here from:

School leaver.

Get here from:

Apprenticeship.

Level 2 Technical Certificate.

Get here from:

Level 3 Manufacturing NVQ and experience as a Line Setter or other related experience.

Get here from:

Level 4 Manufacturing NVQ and experience as a Packing Line Team Leader or other related experience.

Get here from:

3 to 5 years as a Packing Line Supervisor, or, equivalent industry or management experience.

What’s Next:

Apprenticeship /

Level 2 Technical Certificate

What’s Next:

Level 3 Manufacturing NVQ, then move up to be a Team Leader.

What’s Next:

Level 4 Manufacturing NVQ, then move up to be a Supervisor.

What’s Next:

3 to 5 years as a Supervisor, gaining management skills and experience, then move up to be a Packing Operations Manager.

What’s Next:

Senior management roles such as Operations Director.