Jobs in Demand: Packaging and Filling Machine Operators

packaging and filling machine worker

With the onset of COVID-19 and people increasing their online shopping, E-commerce has been a growing presence in the world.  With that, there is always the risk that ordered items may come damaged due to poor packaging, making the role of packaging and filling machine operators an even more important position in today’s ever-changing market.  There is much more going on with packaging and filling machine operators though, as they are responsible for a wide variety of tasks including attaching identification labels to packages; sorting, grading, weighing and inspecting products; observing machine operations to ensure quality and conformity standards are met, as well as the operation of the filling machines that package the products.  

Many of the jobs as packaging and filling machine operators can be gained with a high school diploma or less, while on-the-job training is also a critical element for many of these positions.  In fact, almost 20% of the most recent job vacancies for packaging and filling machine operators require one or more years of experience.  There are also several skills and abilities that successful packaging and filling machine operators have, including technical knowledge in areas such as label making software and Microsoft Office, as well as skills and abilities in active listening, coordination, control precision, and perceptual speed.   

Fifty percent of those employed as packaging and filling machine operators earn hourly wages between $14.11 and $21.34 in Minnesota, while entry-level workers can expect wages closer to $12 per hour and more advanced operators could earn closer to $25 hourly.  These wages vary some by region.  For example, half of all packaging and filling machine operators in Southeast Minnesota earn between $16.79 and $23.40 per hour. 

Not surprisingly, manufacturing is the leading industry that employs packaging and filling machine operators.  Other industries that also employ these workers include natural resources and mining, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, as well as professional and business services. 

There is significant need for packaging and filling machine operators in the state, with this occupation showing higher than average demand according to DEED’s Occupations in Demand data.  This occupation is also expected to see demand for workers in the future, with DEED’s Employment Outlook data showing that this occupation is expected to grow by 2.4% from 2018 to 2028, as well as see a significant need for future workers due to labor force exits, resulting in almost 4,700 openings due to current incumbents retiring or leaving the labor force for other reasons in the next 10 years.  

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Packaging and Filling Machine Operator, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

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