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Packaging Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Packaging engineers take on a range of duties depending on the company they work for. Based on job listings we analyzed, a packaging engineer's duties typically involve:

Develop Packaging Concepts A packaging engineer's primary task is developing a range of packaging concepts in coordination with the finalized products or materials, so that the packaging is compatible. They work with all internal teams to evaluate packaging requirements at all developmental phases.

Conduct Product Research Packaging engineers incorporate consumer and industry research into their designs. This requires carrying out in-depth investigations into the latest trends, pricing architectures, and any potential obstacles that may come up during the testing stage.

Develop Engineering and Manufacturing Specifications Packaging engineers prepare documentation in line with engineering protocols and regulations, and ensure that the manufacturing specifications are compliant with FDA and ISO regulations.

Review Design Efficiency Packaging engineers prepare designs using the latest technology to ensure the best transition between the design and manufacturing processes. They also make sure designs are as efficient and functional as possible.

Provide Technical Support Packaging engineers work closely with teams involved in the manufacturing and implementation processes of product packaging, helping them with any technical guidance and support they may need.


Packaging Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Packaging engineers are collaborative and creative, able to find new and interesting ways to meet a brief and resolve design challenges. Typically, employers require a bachelor's degree in packaging engineering or a similar field, as well as the following abilities:
  • Creativity - as a packaging engineer, developing innovative, interesting, and functional packaging is important, and job applicants need the creativity to come up with new ideas that match the brief
  • Problem-solving skills - packaging engineers troubleshoot issues as they arise, finding solutions to packaging or design problems so that the final product is effective
  • Attention to detail - keen attention to detail is important for packaging engineers, since overlooking issues or flaws could result in a suboptimal final design
  • Communication skills - communication is key to this job, as packaging engineers work as part of a team and must be able to explain their ideas to colleagues and clients
  • Technical skills - packaging engineers work with computer software and design programs on a regular basis, so they must be technically minded and able to quickly pick up new software

Packaging Engineer Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a packaging engineer is a bachelor's degree in engineering, packaging science, or another relevant field. Typically, employers also require previous experience in a similar role. Candidates hoping to gain a competitive edge in the job market should have demonstrable skills with computer-aided design (CAD) software and other relevant programs.

Packaging Engineer Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for packaging engineers is nearly $65,000, according to PayScale. Packaging engineers in the 10th percentile earn around $49,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $91,000 a year. Bonuses can reach as high as $10,000, and profit-sharing opportunities can hit up to $7,000. Almost all companies offer dental and medical coverage as part of their benefits package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that growth in this sector will decline by 1 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

We've collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about becoming a packaging engineer:

Packaging Engineers, Careers and Employment - a useful networking hub for those in the packaging industry, this LinkedIn group has over 5,000 members and is ideal for finding new positions, networking with potential employers, and posting jobs

The Packaging Development Process: A Guide for Engineers and Project Managers - this book presents the techniques required to create, test, and launch packaging. A comprehensive reference guide, it explains each step of the packaging project evolution in clear and easy-to-follow text, making it ideal for those new to the industry

AutoCAD 2018 for Beginners - packaging engineers work with CAD software on a regular basis, so this book serves as a brilliant reference for those new to the role and the software. It provides easy step-by-step instructions on everything from creating basic drawings to editing 3D models, and also offers a solid foundation in the basics of about design and drafting

Packaging of the World - this blog showcases some of the most innovative and interesting packaging designs from around the globe to provide inspiration and spark creative ideas

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