Thousands of jobs are available in packaged foods. These jobs include flavorist, food scientist, and food inspector.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for workers in the food packaged food sector would increase by 8%. What could have caused this surge in packaged food jobs? It is because supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food retailers continually compete for customers by offering lower prices. As a result of this expansion, the number of open jobs in this sector has increased.
Overview of the Packaged Food Job Market
Packaged foods industry creates and sells products in pre-packaged, prepared form. Packaged goods include nuts, cereals, frozen dinners, soup, sauces, and juices.
Packaged products make a substantial contribution to the American economy. They generate significant food sales and employ millions of people. The packaged goods market is rapidly developing, and this sector has several opportunities.
Packaged foods cover many businesses, from small mom-and-pop shops to major multinational corporations.
What are the Available Jobs in the Packaged Food Sector?
As mentioned above, the packaged food industry has thousands of jobs. It is an excellent area to hunt for work, whether you want to advance your career or supplement your income.
10 most common jobs available in packaged foods.
1. Food Safety Director
Average Annual Salary: $87,000
Food safety directors operate in a big production or manufacturing plants and oversee all of the plant’s compliance procedures and standards. They also conduct inspections and other auditing activities and verify that all staff are properly trained.
Most food safety directors hold a bachelor’s degree and significant experience in the packaged foods industry. Experience as a quality assurance worker or food inspector will definitely give you an edge. The job outlook for Food Safety Directors is also positive, with a projected job growth of 6% from 2020 to 2030.
2. Refrigeration Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $80,000
Refrigeration engineers create designs, supervise fabrication, and troubleshoot problems with refrigeration systems. They are needed in the packaged food industry to ensure that packaged products are adequately refrigerated.
Refrigeration Engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, most commonly mechanical engineering. This profession necessitates individuals who are both creative and organized. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 2% increase in job growth for Refrigeration engineers.
Average Salary: $75,000
Flavorists are professionals that have received technical training to investigate raw materials. They are also called flavor chemists. This is because they employ chemistry to create artificial or natural flavors.
Flavorists must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some employers may, however, accept an associate degree with the prerequisite certifications. The job outlook for a flavorist is positive, with a growth rate of 6% over the next ten years.
4. Food Scientist
Average Annual Salary: $69,000
Food scientists study strategies to increase the efficiency and safety of agricultural operations and products. They may use microbiology, engineering, and chemistry to investigate food deterioration and processing. They may work in laboratories, offices, or on the front lines.
Most food scientists hold a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 2% increase in job growth for food scientists.
5. Food Operations Manager
Average Annual Salary: $68,000
Food operations managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations of food service establishments. This may entail implementing and maintaining the standards and regulations of the company/sector.
Most food operation managers hold either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. Most employers look out for specific skill sets when employing food operation managers. The job outlook for Food operation managers is positive, with a projected job growth of 11% from 2020 to 2030
6. Broiler Manager
Average Annual Salary: $58,000
Broiler managers supervise broilers on a farm and oversee personnels to ensure that broiler equipment and production are carried out appropriately. Broiler managers may be in charge of evaluating and maintaining records and reporting to management on overall production.
This is a career that may necessitate a bachelor’s degree. Although, some employers may consider candidates with experience in specialized equipment. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 2% increase in job growth for broiler managers.
7. Food Inspector
Average Annual Salary: $53,000
Food inspectors are employed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service. Food inspectors guarantee that meat, poultry, and other commodities are prepared safely and correctly in private plants.
Most food inspectors hold either a bachelor’s or associate degree in a food-related field. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 6% increase in job growth for food inspectors.
8. Ammonia Refrigeration Technician
Average Annual Salary: $52,000
Ammonia refrigeration technicians maintain, repair, and inspect refrigeration systems, specifically those that use ammonia. These technicians may also be in charge of breakdowns, which requires them to arrange emergency repairs.
Due to the technical aspect of this job, ammonia refrigeration technicians are expected to have a bachelor’s degree. They must be able to perform physical tasks such as scaling tall buildings and climbing ladders. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for ammonia refrigeration technicians.
9. Refrigeration Mechanic
Average Annual Salary: $42,000
Refrigeration mechanics install, repair, and maintain refrigeration systems. This is an important aspect of the packaged food industry because most packaged foods have a shelf life and require refrigeration to extend them. Refrigeration mechanics may work on commercial, residential, or industrial refrigeration systems.
Most refrigeration mechanics require a bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related field. They are also expected to be conversant with FAA rules and guidelines. The job outlook for refrigeration mechanics is positive, with a projected job growth of 4% from 2020 to 2030.
10. Food Taster
Average Annual Salary: $40,000
Food tasters are people who taste food that has been prepared by someone else in order to assess it for safety and other features. They may begin by taking little nibbles and concentrating on how the main components taste. Food tasters often do not swallow the food and instead rinse their palates with water between bites.
People who want to work as food tasters usually do not need a degree. They are frequently average consumers recruited on a part-time or as-needed basis to sample various items and provide feedback to the company. The job outlook for food tasters is positive, with a projected job growth of 0.5% from 2020 to 2030
Other jobs available in Packaged Foods
Below are other jobs available in the packaged food industry. Most of these jobs are entry-level jobs.
- Factory Worker
- Food Safety Officer
- Packaging Technician
- Expert in Quality Control
- Oven Operator
- Consumer Behavior Analyst
- Designer of Packaging
- Production Supervisor
- Food Scientist
What are the Factors Affecting the Availability of Jobs in the Packaged Food Industry
As stated, the Packaged food sector is rapidly expanding. What are some of the factors that affect the availability of jobs in this industry? Below are some of these common factors.
1. Economic Conditions
Economic conditions can substantially impact the availability of jobs in the packaged food industry. Consumer spending tends to rise in a robust economy. The end result is increased demand for packaged food goods and more job opportunities in the industry.
2. Technological Advancements:
The adoption of new technologies can boost efficiency in the production and distribution of packaged food goods. This ultimately will result in new job opportunities. However, there is a fallback to technological advancement. Technological developments may result in job losses in some industries where automation replaces manual work.
3. Consumer Trends
Changes in customer preferences and lifestyles can influence the types of packaged food products in demand. Thus, in the long run, affecting the availability of jobs in this sector. For example, the increasing popularity of plant-based diets has led to the development of new products and job opportunities in this area.
4. Government Regulations
Government restrictions can substantially impact the packaged food sector, affecting job availability. For example, the implementation of new food safety regulations may need the hiring of more workers.
Because the packaged food sector is worldwide, economic and political events in other nations might affect job availability. For instance, changes in trade agreements can affect a company’s capacity to import or export packaged food.
How to Get a Job in Packaged Foods
A career in the packaged foods sector can be a rewarding one. There are thousands of positions in production, quality control, marketing, research, and development.
Below are practical ways to get jobs in the packaged food industry:
1. Earn a Degree or Certification
Consider getting a degree or certification in food science, packaging engineering, or a related field. This will allow you to develop knowledge and abilities that are in great demand in the packaged goods business.
2. Learn More About The Industry
Start by learning about the various companies that manufacture packaged goods and the items they produce. Examine their websites, read trade periodicals, and remain current on the newest trends and advances.
3. Focus On Your Skills And Interests
Consider what you can bring to the industry in terms of skills, experience, and education. Focus on your talents and not your weaknesses. Also, be ready to showcase your talents to your prospective employers.
4. Gain experience
To obtain hands-on experience and learn more about the packaged goods sector, look for internships or entry-level roles. Working in a related area, such as food service or retail, can also help you develop expertise.
5. Apply for jobs
Check corporate websites and job boards for job vacancies. Make your CV and cover letter relevant to the position and firm you’re applying. Also, emphasize your relevant abilities and expertise.
What Do People Working In the Packaging food industry do?
The primary responsibility of packaged food professionals is to provide high-quality products to customers while conforming to all standards. Some of the key tasks that individuals working in this industry may perform include:
1. Operating machinery
They operate and maintain equipment such as filling machines, labeling machines, conveyors, and packaging machines. This involves setting up the machines, monitoring their performance, and performing routine maintenance.
2. Inspecting food products
They inspect food products to ensure they meet quality standards and regulatory requirements. This includes checking for defects, measuring quantities, and verifying labeling information.
3. Packaging food products
They package food products using various methods, such as pouches, cartons, and boxes. They also ensure the packaging is secure and the products are properly sealed to prevent contamination.
4. Handling materials
They handle raw ingredients, packaging materials, and finished products. This includes loading and unloading materials, moving them around the production area, and storing them in designated areas.
5. Following safety procedures
They follow strict safety procedures to ensure food products are safe to consume. This includes wearing protective clothing, following hygiene protocols and adhering to food safety regulations.
What Are the Educational Requirements and Training for packaged Food Jobs?
Packaged food is an important element of our economy, and it has a significant impact on our population’s health. If you wish to work in this industry, it can be a fantastic experience. Below are some educational requirements for roles in this sector.
A bachelor’s degree in food technology, food packaging, or engineering is required. Most jobs in this line demand significant knowledge of health regulations.
High School Diploma
Most entry-level positions require a high school diploma, which is ideal for those just starting in this field. In contrast, many more senior positions require tertiary education.
You should be sure you can work in a fast-paced environment in this field. Also, pay attention to details, and have mechanical skills and dexterity. These skills alone can set you apart from the competition.
Training and Certifications
Certifications are strong tools for demonstrating to potential employers your expertise. But not every certification is equal. You need to choose a certification cause that fits your career path.
- Food Safety Training: Many packaged food jobs require employees to understand food safety practices, such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
- Quality Assurance Certification: Quality assurance professionals are responsible for ensuring that the packaged food products meet the required quality and safety standards. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers certifications in Quality Assurance. Some of the certifications are Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) and Certified Quality Engineer (CQE).
- Packaging Technology Training.
- It’s important to have a good understanding of packaging materials and equipment. The Institute of Packaging Professionals offers online courses in packaging technology.
- Regulatory Compliance Training: Many regulations govern the packaged food industry, such as the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers training courses in regulatory compliance for packaged food products.
- Supply Chain Management Training: In addition to understanding the technical aspects of packaged food production, it’s important to have a good understanding of the supply chain. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) offers training and certification in supply chain management.
What are the Skills Needed to Get a Job in the Packaged Food Industry?
The packaged food industry is a practical one. Thus you need skills to succeed in it. Let’s look at some of the necessary skills you need in this industry.
1. Food Safety Knowledge
Food safety is critical in the packaged food sector. Thus, more organizations demand a thorough knowledge of food safety rules and best practices.
2. Technical Skills
Many packaged food professions require operating machinery, monitoring production processes, and fixing equipment problems. Technical abilities such as mechanical aptitude, problem-solving ability, and attention to detail are required in these positions.
3. Quality Control Skills
Ensuring product quality is critical in the packaged food industry. Inspecting items for quality and monitoring production processes to identify problems are must-have skills in this sector.
4. Communication Skills
Good communication is essential in many packaged food positions, particularly those requiring teamwork or customer interaction. Good communication skills can help you collaborate efficiently, present your ideas clearly, and deliver exceptional customer service.
5. Organization and time management Skills
These skills are required in a fast-paced production environment. Several professions in the packaged food sector require the ability to prioritize activities, manage multiple projects, and fulfill deadlines.
Where to Find Jobs in the Packaged Food Industry
1. Online Job Boards
Most packaged food jobs are posted on these online job boards. Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are good places to start your search. You can find jobs by using keywords, location, and job titles.
2. Companies’ Websites
Some food packaging companies detail job postings on their websites. These jobs are found in the ‘career’ section of the website.
3. Staffing Agencies
Staffing agencies can be an excellent source of work in the packaged food business. They frequently have ties with several companies in the field and can assist you in finding a suitable job.
4. Industry Associations
Look for industry associations for the packaged food industry, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association or the National Confectioners Association. These associations often have job boards or career resources for members.
Reach out to people in your network who work in the packaged food industry. They may know of job openings or be able to introduce you to someone who does.
Tips for Finding Jobs in Packaged Food Industry
1. Work On Your Skills
Technical and leadership abilities are needed in the packaged food industry. Consider taking relevant classes or acquiring certifications to demonstrate your knowledge and talents.
Attend business events, trade exhibits, and conferences to network with industry professionals. This gives you an opportunity to learn about certain job prospects.
3. Personalize your resume
Customize your CV and cover letter for the job and firm you’re looking for. Emphasize your qualifications and experience that are relevant to the role.
4. Apply for internships
Several packaged food companies have internship positions. Taking up these positions is a wonderful way to get industry experience and develop connections.
5. Stay positive and persistent
The job search process can be frustrating, but remember to stay positive and persistent. Keep networking, applying for jobs, and building your skills. Eventually, you will find the right job in the packaged food industry.
What Is the importance of packaging to a food brand?
Food packaging is an important factor in a product’s success once it hits the shelves. The following are some advantages of food packing.
Proper food packaging ensures that your food travels well and arrives in the condition that you and your customers anticipate. Packaging not only protects food but also makes it more visually appealing.
2. Effective Brand Messaging
Customized packaging is an excellent approach to introducing your brand to a new audience. For new clients, this may be their first encounter with your brand, so you want to make a positive first impression.
3. Keeps the food safe from contamination
Food packaging protects the goods within from contamination, reducing food safety problems. The packaged food industry is heavily regulated; thus, any contamination will lead to the item being recalled.
4. Improves Freshness
Packaging not only protects food to preserve its aesthetic appeal; it also keeps food fresh. It also ensures that the product has a long shelf life, allowing customers to retain the item for some time before consuming it.
5. Improves sales
Attractive packaging can improve sales and encourage customers to make repeated purchases. Your packaging could give you an edge when you’re up against competitors offering similar things.
How Many Jobs Are Available in Packaged Foods in the USA?
There are thousands of jobs available in the packaged food industry. There are various factors that affect the availability of these jobs.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that packaged food industry employs approximately 1.5 million people in the USA. This sector also had a median annual wage of $35,470 in 2020.
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in the Food Manufacturing sector will grow by approximately 1% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is expected to be driven by increasing demand for packaged foods and technological advancements in the industry.
Are Packaged Food jobs in high demand?
Yes, packaged food jobs are in high demand. Various factors account for the high demand for packaged food. For instance, there is a direct correlation between more consumers seeking plant-based food options and demand in this sector.
What Packaged Food jobs are in most demand?
Food Scientists and Technologists are in high demand. These professionals are responsible for developing and testing new food products, as well as improving existing products.
What are the hardest packaged food jobs to get?
Food Scientist is on the list of difficult food jobs to get. Food scientists develop and improve food products through research and experimentation. This career path necessitates formal education, experience, and skills in the food industry.
Conclusion: How Many Jobs are Available in Packaged Foods?
There are plenty of positions available in packaged foods. However, many of these jobs might require a bachelor’s and doctoral degree. There are available entry-level roles for persons who have recently graduated from a bachelor’s or associate’s program. With the necessary skills and certifications, you will definitely excel in this career path.