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Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
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Description: what do they do?
Operate or tend machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment. Includes cannery workers who pack food products.
Also known as:
Filler Operator, A-Operator, Packaging Operator, Closing Machine Operator, Packing Machine Operator, Fabrication Technician, Machine Operator, Bundler, Packing Attendant, Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator)

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Millions of packages move around the country by a variety of means every day. The secure shipping and storing of goods relies on the workers who wrap them, label them, and box them up. Packaging and filling machine workers handle the machines that prepare industrial and consumer products for the marketplace and for transport, such as cannery workers who pack food products into cans that are then packaged together and shipped for sale. Paper goods machine operators set up and run equipment that cuts, corrugates, forms or seals paper or paperboard sheets into, or onto, products. These workers focus on the proper operation of the machines they tend to, they load materials into machines, operate machine controls, and monitor the production line for problems. They also prepare products for storage, shipment, or the next step in the production process. Machine operators may also keep records of production, malfunctions, and scrapped material. They keep equipment clean and well-maintained. Work schedules are typically 40 hours or more per week. Positions typically require a high school diploma or equivalent.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations, 2019. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
394,900
2018 Employment
400,000
2028 Employment
1%
Percent change
46,700
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$22,090
25%$25,580
Median$30,990
75%$39,250
90%$49,570


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Weigh finished products.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Clear equipment jams.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
  • Package products for storage or shipment.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
  • Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
  • Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Count finished products or workpieces.
  • Clean materials to prepare them for production.
  • Sew clothing or other articles.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Attach identification labels to finished packaged items, or cut stencils and stencil information on containers, such as lot numbers or shipping destinations.
  • Sort, grade, weigh, and inspect products, verifying and adjusting product weight or measurement to meet specifications.
  • Stop or reset machines when malfunctions occur, clear machine jams, and report malfunctions to a supervisor.
  • Observe machine operations to ensure quality and conformity of filled or packaged products to standards.
  • Remove finished packaged items from machine and separate rejected items.
  • Monitor the production line, watching for problems such as pile-ups, jams, or glue that isn't sticking properly.
  • Inspect and remove defective products and packaging material.
  • Start machine by engaging controls.
  • Tend or operate machine that packages product.
  • Clean, oil, and make minor adjustments or repairs to machinery and equipment, such as opening valves or setting guides.
  • Regulate machine flow, speed, or temperature.
  • Adjust machine components and machine tension and pressure according to size or processing angle of product.
  • Supply materials to spindles, conveyors, hoppers, or other feeding devices and unload packaged product.
  • Stack finished packaged items, or wrap protective material around each item, and pack the items in cartons or containers.
  • Package the product in the form in which it will be sent out, for example, filling bags with flour from a chute or spout.
  • Stock and sort product for packaging or filling machine operation, and replenish packaging supplies, such as wrapping paper, plastic sheet, boxes, cartons, glue, ink, or labels.
  • Count and record finished and rejected packaged items.
  • Secure finished packaged items by hand tying, sewing, gluing, stapling, or attaching fastener.
  • Clean and remove damaged or otherwise inferior materials to prepare raw products for processing.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.