Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment. Includes cannery workers who pack food products.
Sample of reported job titles: Bundler, Closing Machine Operator, Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator), Filler Operator, Machine Operator, Packaging Operator, Packing Attendant, Packing Machine Operator
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Clean packaging containers, line and pad crates, or assemble cartons to prepare for product packing.
- 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.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Label making software — Label printing software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
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- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
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- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- 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 materials.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Weigh finished products.
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Clear equipment jams.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
- Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
- Package products for storage or shipment.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Clean production equipment.
- Lubricate production equipment.
- Repair production equipment or tools.
- Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
- Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Count finished products or workpieces.
- Prepare materials for processing.
- Record operational or production data.
- Clean materials to prepare them for production.
- Sew clothing or other articles.
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- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 59% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 43% responded “High responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 32% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Level of Competition — 29% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Consequence of Error — 29% responded “Very serious.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “40 hours.”
- Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 25% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 42% responded “Every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|80||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$15.69 hourly, $32,640 annual|
|Employment (2020)||371,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||43,100|
|Top industries (2020)||
Administrative and Support Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Institute of Packaging Professionals
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry
- The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
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