Food is important for human life, and so is the packaging for food. The importance of food in our lives makes the packaged food industry one of the largest in the world. Is packaged foods a good career path? According to estimates, the consumer packaged food industry in the United States is worth $635 billion. Food Boxes processing and packaging ensure the availability of almost all food items, regardless of the season. What’s more, growing technology and digitalization are reasons behind the demand for food packaging professionals.
There are also plenty of entry-level opportunities in the packaged food industry. According to surveys, the average incomes in the food packaging industry are more than $4,000. And then there are experienced professionals who earn a lot in the packaged food sector. Moreover, you should choose a career path solely based on your interests and preferences. Fortunately, food packaging involves different types of jobs, and you can choose the one you like. Keep reading to get everything you need to start a career in food packaging.
Food Processing and Packaging
The main reason behind food processing and packaging is to deliver any type of food fresh and safely. Food goes through many processes before reaching stores and consumers. Extraction is a process used by food companies to recover valuable components from raw materials. Second, transforming food through distillation, drying, or cooking—among other methods—also applies to beverages and liquids. Then, preservation methods are applied to food to increase their life.
Lastly, the packaging part comes, where it can be a hot box for food or any other packaging for beverages. Moreover, food boxes play a vital role in protecting food from any type of damage during transport or at stores. So, all these stages of food processing and packaging involve a huge number of workers.
Basic Requirements for Packaged Foods Career
Every field requires a specific educational background to offer you a job. The food industry is a diverse industry with lots of opportunities and techniques used in it. From material choice for boxes to pritning and finishing options, such as UV Coating and foil stamping. One has to be the expert of box manufacturing process. Further, there are career paths for any level of qualification. Here are some of the qualifications you’ll need in the food industry:
- High School Diploma
It’s good news for people who have a high school diploma and want to start a career in the packaged foods industry. Many companies accept people for entry-level positions with just a high school diploma.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Food Technology/Engineering
Some positions are for food industry professionals who need to know about health standards and how to ensure quality. Therefore, a bachelor’s degree in food sciences or engineering is a must.
- Special Training Certificates
Positions like technician require training certificates as their work involves interaction with machines.
Entry-Level Positions in the Packaged Foods Industry
Looking for the answer to is packaged foods a good career path? Don’t worry. Here we are going to mention some entry-level jobs in food packaging for you.
- Food Inspector
Food inspectors ensure the overall safety and processing procedures of food. They are responsible for food examination and conducting audits of plants that process food.
The average salary of food inspectors is around $53,000 per year.
- Food Processor
Food processors are responsible for food quality and oversee overall quality control. They also ensure that food is processed according to regulatory health standards. Food processors make $29,000 per year.
- Oven Operator
Factories or commercial bakeries hire oven operators to make the baking process easier. Oven operators monitor the food when it goes through the oven and prepare it for the next process. The average annual salary of the oven operator is $34,000.
- Batch Mixer
Batch mixers are responsible for weighing ingredients and then mixing them. They also perform responsibilities like maintenance and keeping the work area organized. Batch mixers’ average salary is $35,000 for a year.
These were some of the entry-level jobs in the food industry. Additionally, yosu can also look for jobs that involve Custom Packaging Boxes for food.
Highly Paid Jobs in Food Packaging
If you’re highly qualified and looking for a suitable position in the food packaging industry, then the following positions might be interesting for you:
- Packaging Procurement Manager
Packaging procurement managers earn a high salary in the food industry for developing and implementing procurement strategies. The educational requirement is usually a bachelor’s degree with analytical skills, and they earn $95,000 annually.
- Food Scientist
You must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in food science for a food scientist position. They are in charge of proposing nutrients as well as the best methods for processing, preserving, and distributing them. A food scientist’s annual salary is $68,000 on average.
- Packaging Developer
Packaging developers design food boxes, bags, cartons, or any other type of packaging according to products. They ensure that products get delivered safely to consumers.
A bachelor’s degree in packaging design is a must for this job, and the annual salary would be around $84,000.
- Food Operations Manager
Food operations managers are responsible for overall production efficiency and quality. Monitoring and improving processes at plants is expected of operation managers.
Food operations managers must have a degree in operations management along with experience. Their annual salary is more than $70,000.
Latest Developments in Packaged Foods
Looking at the latest trends in the industry is as important as other factors before starting a career. These days, consumers demand clear product information on packaging. The same is true for packaged foods. Whether it’s a hot box for food or any other packaging, it should have clear product information.
Further, eco-friendly packaging is another trend that has increased demand for packaging engineers in the food industry. Additionally, companies now require data analysts to improve their production processes through the use of AI and technology.
Finally, e-commerce and social media have surprisingly changed food packaging. Companies use their packaged food as an effective marketing tool. So, there’s a need for packaging designers who can create appealing designs for food companies.
With the growing population of the world, the Packaged Foods industry is growing more quickly and undoubtedly always will be. Hundreds of people get involved in the process of preparing and packaging foods before they reach consumers. So, the answer to “Is packaged foods a good career path?” is: There are lots of opportunities and career benefits. Not just that, there are also entry-level jobs in the food packaging industry that don’t require experience.