Packers weigh, wrap, seal and label chocolate, fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and other products.
obtaining supplies of products and assembling bags, package folders and cartons
packing containers and bags with products, and counting, weighing and measuring amounts and adjusting quantities
wrapping protective material around products, sealing bags and containers, and attaching pre-printed labels
counting and placing bags and packages onto trays and racks, and into shipping cartons
recording information such as numbers, weight, times and dates
monitoring the filling of containers and adjusting machines to maintain volume and seal quality
monitoring the supply and quality of containers and contents of holding tanks
checking the cleanliness and operation of machines, equipment and containers
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 68,300 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 55% of people employed as Packers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 11 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,045 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $935
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,254
Median hourly earnings are $26, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Packers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Packers||All Jobs Average|
Around 62% of Packers live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - South East
- Sydney - South West
- Melbourne - West
- Sydney - Parramatta
- Sydney - Inner South West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Packers is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 59% of the workforce. This is 11 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Packers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Packer.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Food Processing VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Packers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||33.2||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Packers who are reliable, hardworking and can work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
43%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
41%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Reading work related information.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
36%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Fixing machines or systems.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
41%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
28%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
26%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
22%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
20%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
20%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
18%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
11%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
10%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
9%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
8%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Communicate by speaking.
45%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Tell the difference between sounds.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
41%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
80%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
72%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
56%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
53%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
52%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
50%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
48%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
48%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
47%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
47%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
45%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
45%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
45%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
44%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
41%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
40%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
40%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
36%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
36%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
36%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
97%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Talk with people face-to-face.
87%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
85%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
85%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
85%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
83%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
82%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
75%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work to strict deadlines.
73%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
72%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
72%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
69%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
69%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
66%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
66%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
64%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9111.00 - Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders.