Recycling

Packaging technologist

Packaging technologists design and develop packaging for different products.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Packaging technologist jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • producing sample packaging to try out different materials and designs
  • running production trials and tests to make sure the packaging works properly and is safe
  • meeting with production line engineers to work out the best way to make the packaging
  • working with graphic designers on the artwork, to make sure it fits in with the company’s marketing and branding schemes

You’ll need to consider:

  • how fragile the product is and how much protection it needs
  • possible reactions to light, moisture or materials within the packaging
  • the conditions it may be in during transportation, like high or low temperatures
  • legal requirements, like accurate labelling and safe packaging of hazardous materials
  • the environmental impact of packaging production, and its disposal once used
You’ll usually need a foundation degree, an HND or a degree in packaging or packaging design. Other relevant subjects include materials science, food technology, nutrition, physics or chemistry.

You could start as a packaging line operator and, with training, work your way up.

Packaging Futures and Creative Choices have more details about careers in packaging technology and industrial design.

£20,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £20,000 to £24,000

Experienced salary: £25,000 to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. If you work in manufacturing, you may occasionally have on-call duties.

You’ll work in an office, with some time spent in laboratories, testing materials. You’ll also monitor factory production line processes, where you’ll need to wear protective clothing.
With experience, you could move into areas like marketing and sales, development management or artwork design. 

You could go freelance as a packaging consultant.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • science and maths skills
  • communication and negotiating skills
  • excellent IT skills
  • attention to detail
  • budget management skills
  • the ability to work to deadlines
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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