The best paying jobs in packaged foods include food decorator, baker, and packaging technician. The packaged food industry is quite lucrative, thus creating a high demand for jobs in the sector. Also, there is a variety of career paths in this sector.
Professionals in this sector can either start their businesses or work for multinational corporations. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the packaged food industry may see increased employment.
What Do Packaged Food Jobs Pay?
Salaries in the packaged food industry are quite lucrative. Although, salaries will differ depending on the work and area. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food tasters and bakers have an annual salary of $35,121. Food and Beverage managers are the highest paid in the sector, with an annual salary of over $50,000.
It should be noted that some packaged food jobs may necessitate specialized skills or education. It follows that professionals with higher skill sets will definitely get better wages.
20 of the Best Paying Jobs in Packaged Foods
1. Packaging procurement manager
Average Annual Salary: $95,188
The term “procurement” refers to the process of acquiring new products. A package procurement manager thus searches for packaging materials all across the world.
Most packaging procurement managers have a bachelor’s degree in supply management. Also, most of them possess analytical and project management skills. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 3% increase in job growth for packaging procurement managers.
2. Packaging developer
Average Annual Salary: $84,681
A packaging developer creates novel packaging designs for food and beverages. Packaging developers with expertise in new materials, automation, and sustainability may be in higher demand.
Most packaging developers have a bachelor’s degree in packaging design, communication, and writing skills. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 3% increase in job growth for packaging developers.
3. Food manager
Average Annual Salary: $75,539
The role of a food manager is one of the highest-paying jobs in packaged goods. A food manager oversees the daily operations and food preparations to ensure that all food is properly prepared.
You can become a food manager with the necessary qualifications and skills. For instance, a food manager needs at least a high school diploma and 5-6 years of experience. Although, most employers tend to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 1% increase in job growth for food managers.
4. Packaging hygiene manager
Average Annual Salary: $69,660
A packaging hygiene manager oversees production processes. They also make certain that all plastics and food are in good condition. They are used by large food firms and enterprises that manufacture plastics.
To become a professional hygiene manager, you must have a bachelor’s degree in industrial hygiene, with good communication and leadership abilities. A master’s degree is preferable but not essential for professionals in this field. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for packaging hygiene managers.
5. Packaging technician
Average Annual Salary: $68,608
A packing technician handles and manufactures food packets. They also supply packaging material design. Large food enterprises or specialized firms typically employ them.
To work as a packaging technician, you must have a high school diploma and at least 2-3 years of experience. You should also learn design and communication skills if you want to have the edge over other candidates. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 3% increase in job growth for packaging technicians.
6. Design manager
Average Annual Salary: $64,012
A design manager supervises the actions of the staff. They also brainstorm ideas for the design brand of their next product. They are also in charge of counseling and motivating employees.
To work as a packaging design manager, you must have a bachelor’s degree in packaging design and a few years of experience. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 10% increase in job growth for packaging design managers.
7. Executive chef
Average Annual Salary: $63,755
An executive chef oversees the day-to-day operations of a kitchen. An executive chef is the head chef in a kitchen who oversees food preparation and trains new employees.
To become an executive chef, you must have 5-8 years of experience, a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, and 3-4 years of training. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 9% increase in job growth for executive chefs.
8. Packaging specialist
Average Annual Salary: $59,383
A packaging specialist specializes in the development of novel low-cost, and visually appealing packaging materials.
A bachelor’s degree in food science or design is required for a packaging specialist. Many years of experience and strong technical skills are required too. The job outlook for packaging specialists is positive, with a growth rate of 4% over the next ten years.
9. Pastry chef
Average Annual Salary: $58,415
A pastry chef, sometimes known as a dessert chef, is a skilled baker who specializes in pastries, bread, cakes, pancakes, and other baked goods.
You must have good cooking or culinary skills to operate as a pastry chef. Most pastry chefs do not require any formal degree. A pastry chef must possess years of experience with solid knowledge of ingredients and recipes is essential. The job outlook for a pastry chef is positive, with a growth rate of 4% over the next ten years.
10. Beverage manager
Average Annual Salary: $51,398
A beverage manager is a professional that controls all daily beverage operations and preparations. They make sure that all beverages are in great working order. A beverage manager ensures that all new staff is appropriately trained and skilled.
A vocational or associate’s degree in culinary arts is required to become a beverage manager. In addition to the educational qualification, most employers will hire candidates with 2-4 years of relevant experience. The job outlook for the beverage manager role is positive, with a growth rate of 1% over the next ten years.
11. Shift manager
Average Annual Salary: $48,443
Shift managers are in charge of assigning assignments to employees and managing business activities.
A high school diploma, 3-5 years of experience, and great communication skills are required to become a shift manager. However, some packaging food industries may demand an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The job outlook for shift managers is positive, with a growth rate of 2% over the next ten years.
12. Packaged food team leader
Average Annual Salary: $48,282
The packaged food team leader coordinates and oversees a packing team. They provide guidance and motivation to their staff.
A bachelor’s degree in packaging or a high school diploma is required for this role. Employers also look out for experience level and strong leadership abilities. The job outlook for packaged food team leaders is positive, with a growth rate of 10% over the next ten years.
13. Nutrition assistant
Average Annual Salary: $40,470.
A nutrition assistant works in a hospital or healthcare setting to educate patients or clients on the importance of eating healthy and nutritious foods. A nutrition assistant also inspects their customers’ meals to ensure it is wholesome and properly cooked.
To work as a nutrition assistant, you must have an associate degree in nutrition and 2-3 years of experience. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 1% increase in job growth for nutrition assistants.
Average Annual Salary: $40,000
A caterer is a food professional who works in restaurants, hospitals, companies, or events and specializes in providing and cooking food.
A caterer does not require an educational degree. However, a food safety certificate is necessary, as also 3-4 years of experience. The job outlook for the caterer role is positive, with a growth rate of 1% over the next ten years.
15. Sushi chef
Average Annual Salary: $38,880
A sushi chef is a specialist who makes or prepares sushi, rice, and other Japanese foods.
A sushi chef often needs a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, and a few years of experience. They must also possess excellent leadership and cooking skills. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 9% increase in job growth for sushi chefs.
16. Food Taster
Average Annual Salary: $36,136
A food tester’s job is to taste food or drink prepared by someone else to ensure that all sauce, flavor, and ingredients are there. They then provide feedback to the company.
Food testers have a degree in food science with prerequisite training. The job outlook for the food taster role is positive, with a growth rate of 5% over the next ten years.
Average Annual Salary: $35,121
A baker uses flour to create cookies, cakes, bread, pies, and pastries. Various industries employ bakers, including restaurants, grocery stores, and specialty food shops.
Most bakers do not bother with formal education. Due to the practical nature of the job, most employees will only hire candidates with years of experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5.5% increase in job growth for bakers.
Average Annual Salary: $32,900
A butcher slaughters and dresses animals’ flesh, then packages and distributes it to consumers.
There is no school requirement to become a butcher; simply be an expert in your profession. Nonetheless, many employers require a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in meat science. The job outlook for packaged butcher is positive, with a growth rate of 2% over the next ten years.
19. Cake decorator
Average Annual Salary: $28,880
A cake decorator is a professional expert who specializes in decorating cakes for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. Cakes are typically decorated with icing, flowers, or frosting. Food shops or retail bakeries hire these professionals.
A cake decorator is not required to have a formal education. Most employees will prefer at least five years of experience and training. The job outlook for the cake decorator role is positive, with a growth rate of 5% over the next ten years.
20. Packaging operator
Average Annual Salary: $20,028
A packaging operator is someone who carefully packages items and sells or distributes them to businesses. They also inspect all machines utilized in the manufacture of packaging materials.
Before applying for this job, a package operator must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Most packaging operators possess good communication skills and a sense of creativity or design. The job outlook for packaging operators is positive, with a growth rate of 3% over the next ten years.
5 Best Paying Entry-Level Packaged Food Jobs
One of the advantages of the packaged food industry is that there are thousands of entry-level opportunities available.
Here are five of the best paying entry-level packaged food jobs:
1. Food Scientist
Average Annual Salary: $57,000
Food scientists investigate and develop novel food products and improve existing ones. They could work in quality control or product development. The job outlook for food scientists is positive, with a growth rate of 4% over the next ten years.
2. Packaging Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $57,000
Packaging engineers create and develop food packaging solutions. They may work with various materials, including plastics, metals, and paper. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for packaging engineers.
3. Production Supervisor
Average Annual Salary: $48,000
In an industrial context, production supervisors supervise people and equipment. They ensure that items are created on time, within budget, and to high-quality standards. The job outlook for production supervisors is positive, with a growth rate of 3% over the next ten years.
4. Research and Development Technologist
Average Annual Salary: $43,000
R&D technologists collaborate with food scientists to develop new food items and improve existing ones. They could help with product creation, process development, and sensory evaluation. The job outlook for Research and Development Technologist is positive, with a growth rate of 2% over the next ten years.
5. Quality Assurance Technician
Average Annual Salary: $38,000
Quality assurance technicians oversee the manufacturing process to verify that food items fulfill safety and quality standards. They may test raw materials, ingredients, and completed goods. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 2% increase in job growth for Quality assurance technicians.
How to Get a High Paying Job in Packaged Food
A high-paying position in the packaged food industry necessitates a mix of education, experience, and networking. These are steps on how to get a high paying job in packaged food.
1. Get a degree or certification in food science or a related field
A degree or certification in food science or a similar discipline will help you land a high paying job. Your certifications must also be accompanied by the requisite skills since the industry is practical.
2. Get industry experience
Internships, part-time jobs, or entry-level roles in the packaged food sector can help you obtain hands-on experience. This experience will demonstrate to potential employers that you understand the industry.
3. Network with industry professionals
Attend business events, join professional organizations and network with industry professionals. Developing contacts with industry professionals can help you learn about career prospects and acquire referrals for high-paying positions.
4. Acquire specialized skills
Having skills in a certain type of packaging or an understanding of specific standards will definitely give you an edge. These skills are usually acquired through various certifications.
5. Keep up with industry trends
Read industry journals and attend conferences to stay current on the latest packaged food sector trends. This will show potential employers that you are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sector.
6. Apply for high paying jobs
Apply for high-paying positions in the packaged food business once you have obtained the relevant education, experience, and abilities. Find job prospects through your network and industry connections. Finally, ensure your CV and cover letter highlight your qualifications and expertise.
Top 5 Skills Needed to Get a High Paying Job in Packaged Food
To get a high paying job in the packaged food industry, you will need a combination of technical, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Some of the top skills needed are:
1. Marketing and Sales Skills
Understanding how to market and sell packaged food goods is critical for any food company’s success. This includes an understanding of consumer behavior, branding, and marketing.
2. Leadership and Management Skills
Strong leadership and management skills are required to succeed in the packaged food industry. This includes the capacity to lead and encourage employees, as well as make strategic decisions and manage finances.
3. Communication Skills
Good communication skills are required in the packaged food sector. The ability to communicate with stakeholders, customers, and team members is a must-have.
4. Innovation and Creativity
To remain competitive in the packaged food industry, you must be imaginative and creative in product creation and marketing methods. It is necessary to have an entrepreneurial attitude as well as the ability to think creatively.
5. Adaptability and Resilience
The packaged food industry is constantly evolving, and you need to be able to adapt to change quickly. Resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks are essential for this industry’s success.
Where to Find the Best Paying Jobs in Packaged Food
There are several places where you can find the best paying jobs in the packaged food industry. Here are some of the top places.
1. Large Packaged Food Companies
Big corporations like Nestle, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, and General Mills frequently offer high paying jobs. Jobs in product development, marketing, sales, supply, and chain management are usually posted on their website.
2. Food Retailers
Food shops such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Kroger frequently offer high-paying positions in supply chain management, marketing, and category management.
3. Consulting Firms
Consulting firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Deloitte frequently offer jobs in strategy, operations, and supply chain management.
4. Recruitment Agencies
Recruitment agencies like Korn Ferry, Robert Half, and Hays specialize in the food business. Thus, they can help you in finding high-paying jobs in areas such as product development, marketing, and supply chain management.
5. Online Job Boards
Websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn often have job postings for high-paying jobs in the packaged food industry.
Factors Affecting Workers’ Pay in the Packaged Food Sector
Below are some of the top factors affecting workers’ pay in the packaged food sector:
1. Education and Training
Workers with a higher education or training level will naturally earn higher wages due to their skills and expertise. For instance, a master’s degree holder will earn more than a high school graduate
In addition to education and training, most employers usually hire experienced candidates. It follows that experienced workers will earn more wages in this sector.
3. Geographic Location
It is common knowledge that wages can vary based on the location of the job. For example, workers in urban areas may be paid more than those in rural areas due to government policies and the cost of living.
4. Company Size
Bigger corporations may offer higher wages and more benefits than smaller companies. For instance, big food packaging corporations like Nestle will offer higher wages than a small startups.
5. Type of Job
Various jobs in the packaged food industry may pay differently. For example, packaged food professionals at the management level may be paid more than those in production or assembly roles.
6. Collective Bargaining
Employees who belong to a union or have collective bargaining agreements may be paid more and receive better benefits than non-unionized employees.
7. Government Rules and Regulations
Minimum wage legislation and other labor rules can impact the remuneration of packaged food workers.
Top 10 Companies with the Best-Paying Jobs in Packaged Food
It is crucial to note that compensation can differ depending on job title, region, and years of experience. Furthermore, firms may have various compensation systems, such as hourly rates vs annual salary or bonuses.
Below are some of the top 10 Companies with the Best-Paying Jobs in Packaged Food
- PepsiCo: $65,000 to $150,000.
- Nestle: $60,000 to $140,000.
- Conagra Brands: $60,000 to $130,000.
- General Mills: $65,000 to $140,000.
- Kraft Heinz: $60,000 to $140,000.
- Kellogg Company: $60,000 to $135,000.
- The Hershey Company: $60,000 to $130,000.
- Mars: $60,000 to $130,000.
- Mondelez International: $60,000 to $135,000.
- McCormick & Company: $60,000 to $135,000.
What is the highest paying food job?
The highest paying food job is food scientists and technologists. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for food scientists and technologists is $71,990.
How much is a food scientist paid in the United States?
A food scientist is paid $71,990. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for food scientists in the United States was $71,990.
Which country pays the highest salary for food scientists?
The United States is generally considered to have the highest salaries for food scientists, with an average annual salary of around $72,000 to $95,000.
Conclusion – 25 Best Paying Jobs in Packaged Foods
Working in the packaged food industry is appealing to many people. Those with and without degrees might find a variety of work options. Getting the job will be easier if you meet the requirements for the job you’re looking for.