In Summary - Packer - Light Goods
The Work - Packer - Light Goods
Packers of light goods pack all types of manufactured products such as clothing, food and drink, electrical and electronic equipment, pharmaceutical products and small engineering parts. These items are packed for a number of purposes:
- to protect them from damage
- to preserve them
- for display in presentation packaging
- so that products can be sold in convenient numbers or amounts.
The packer's work depends on the type of product and manufacturing process. Many packers work on production lines and pack products as they are made. Packers lift items from a conveyor belt and put them into protective materials, such as plastic, shredded paper, bubble-wrap, shrink-wrap or polystyrene. The items are then put into boxes.
Packers may make up boxes from pre-cut cardboard and operate sealing equipment, such as tape or staple guns, to seal packages. If products are mainly packed by machine - for instance, liquids into bottles or cream into tubes - the packer may be involved in machine operating.
Some items are weighed as they are packed, for example small engineering parts such as nuts and caps. Packers may stack packed goods ready for delivery.
The packaging of some products is broken down into stages, so that the work can be done quickly. A packer is then involved in only part of the process. For example, one packer may iron a shirt and line the collars with cardboard and plastic inserts; another packer may fold and pin the shirt; a final packer may bag and box it.
Packing some items involves operating shrink-wrap machines. Packers cover the products in polythene sheeting and push them through the machine, which heats and shrinks the plastic film tightly.
Those involved in packing a variety of different products may need to choose appropriate packaging. They select packages and inner protection of the correct size and material to suit the product, and make sure it is safe to transport. Some packers label packages with product or customer details.
Packing can also involve checking goods for faults or damage as part of the quality control process.
Some packers are employed in production areas and others in warehouse or despatch departments.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Load materials and products into package processing equipment.
- Clean containers, materials, supplies, or work areas, using cleaning solutions and hand tools.
- Record product, packaging, and order information on specified forms and records.
- Examine and inspect containers, materials, and products to ensure that packing specifications are met.
- Measure, weigh, and count products and materials.
- Mark and label containers, container tags, or products, using marking tools.
- Place or pour products or materials into containers, using hand tools and equipment, or fill containers from spouts or chutes.
- Remove completed or defective products or materials, placing them on moving equipment such as conveyors or in specified areas such as loading docks.
- Transport packages to customers' vehicles.
- Assemble, line, and pad cartons, crates, and containers, using hand tools.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Interests - Packer - Light Goods
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You will need to be methodical and able to work at speed. Good hand skills and co-ordination are essential.
Some packers need nimble fingers to deal with tiny parts or fixing materials like pins. Those working with fragile objects like glass need to work carefully. Those responsible for labelling should have clear handwriting.
As a packer you should enjoy practical work. You also need to be willing to do repetitive work; many packers are involved in packing the same type of product week after week. You will need to be able to take direction from others.
Some packers are seated, but others spend most of their time on their feet. Good eyesight may be required for some jobs.
Entry Requirements - Packer - Light Goods
Pay & Salary - Packer - Light Goods
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 27k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.