How Many Jobs Are Available In Packaged Foods

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Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by Chris Panteli

How Many Jobs Are Available In Packaged Foods

Are you passionate about food, but not sure how to turn that into a career?

Perhaps you’re stuck in a career that you don’t find satisfaction in.

Now would be a great time to consider a career in the packaged foods industry. With thousands of job roles to pick from, there is a career opportunity for everyone no matter what skill set you possess.

Before switching careers, you probably have a few questions.

How many jobs are available in packaged foods?

What skills are needed for the packaged foods industry?

What’s the average salary for the packaged foods industry?

You will get the answers to these questions and more right here. 

About the Packaged Foods Industry

people working on an assembly line, packing food

The packaged food industry is a huge market. Globally the packaged foods industry is expected to be worth more than $4 trillion by 2028. That’s an unbelievable amount of money.

Packaged foods are driven by consumer needs and buying patterns. Many consumers seek innovative products that are healthy, plant-based, and organic. 

Another key factor in the growth of packaged foods is the need for sustainable packaging. Natural resources need to be carefully managed and the food industry often leads the way in this area.

The packaged foods industry continues to innovate products to produce packaging that is either recyclable or compostable.

These trends continue to help the packaged foods industry grow. That means considering a career in this industry is a good idea as you can hope to have both job security and options to advance your career.

Types of Jobs in the Packaged Foods Industry

Searching for jobs in the packaged foods industry will reveal a wide range of opportunities right across the supply chain. Packaged food products could be cookies, peanut butter recipes, or lab-grown meat. Any food or drink product you can think of can mean a career in the packaged foods industry.

Two of the main areas you may find work in are production and sales.

Production jobs could involve manufacturing, packing, and shipping. Sales jobs could involve pitching to multi-national retailers, local stores, or markets.

Higher level careers in this industry could see you build a career in IT, legal, human resources, quality assurance, or senior management.

Skills Needed for the Packaged Foods Industry

Many of the jobs in the packaged foods industry are entry level positions. Some job roles don’t even require a high school diploma. If you’re willing to work hard, then you can get a start in the industry. To advance your career you may be able to gain additional certifications on the job.

For certain jobs such as legal, HR, or IT you usually need a relevant bachelors degree or previous experience in the food service or food technology industry.

Key skills that will be beneficial for working in the packaged foods industry are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Reasonable level of fitness
  • Ability to work fast and meet deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Able to work well independently and as part of a team

If you have some or all these skills, then starting a career in the packaged foods industry could be for you.

Pros and Cons of Working in the Packaged Foods Industry

an assortment of packaged foods on a table

Every industry has both benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of working in the packaged foods industry.

✅ Pros

  • Job stability – packaged foods is a growing industry as people always need food
  • Pay – Many salaries in the packaged foods industry exceed the US national average
  • Career advancement – there are many job opportunities in the industry you can work towards

❌ Cons

  • Hours – some of the roles may involve working long or unsociable hours
  • Stress – you may feel stressed at times
  • Working conditions – exposure to heat, dust, and noise could be challenging for some

Things to Know When Choosing the Packaged Foods Industry as a Career

The packaged foods industry is not just for food lovers. Although it does help if you are passionate about food!

Whatever your skill set and educational background, there will be a career for you in the packaged foods industry. Production, marketing, sales, and management are some of the key roles that always need workers.

As the food industry continues to innovate, especially with the rise of plant-based and lab-grown products, there will likely by new job roles created that talented workers like you can fill.

Average Salary in the Packaged Foods Industries

Salaries vary based on your location, experience, and job role. The average packaged foods industry salary in the US is $33,150. Experienced workers in the packaged foods industry earn on average $115,000.

Best Paying Jobs in the Packaged Foods Industry

There are many jobs in the packaged foods industry. Packaging technician, consumer service, human services, food technologist, and ammonia refrigeration technician are some of the exciting job opportunities you may see advertised.

To give you an idea of what working in the packaged foods industry may be like, here are a few of the best paying jobs.

Refrigeration Engineer

A refrigeration engineer works with refrigeration systems for both industrial and residential use. To get this type of role you usually need an engineering background including a bachelors degree in a relevant field. You can expect to earn an average salary of $92,453.

Food Scientist

Food scientists could work in several fields. Identifying new agricultural processes, new food processing ideas, and how to make food taste better are just some of the possible projects found in the food science field. Food scientists can hope to earn an average salary of $70,634.

Food Inspector

Food inspectors are essential for quality control as they help ensure food is safe for human consumption. That means consumers can have confidence that they won’t get sick from the products they’re eating. 

Food inspectors are government employees working for the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA). As a food inspector you can expect to earn an average salary of $62,985.

Oven Operator

Oven operators are responsible for the entire baking process. Monitoring temperatures, checking products, and ensuring the products get to the next stage on time are some of the key responsibilities of an oven operator. The average salary for an oven operator in North America is $35,100.

Food Safety Manager

Depending on your qualifications and experience you can earn an average salary of $111,320 as a Food Safety Manager. A food safety manager (sometimes called a food safety director) has many duties including:

  • Training employees
  • Checking temperatures
  • Monitoring refrigerators and freezers
  • Conducting health and safety audits
  • Handling complaints

Is the Packaged Foods Industry A Good Career Path?

an assembly line with workers

The packaged foods industry is a good career path. Job security, good salaries, and excellent employee benefits make the industry a worthwhile career path for many.

Working in the packaged foods industry is not without its challenges. Long hours, demanding deadlines, and tough working conditions are some of the drawbacks you should consider when deciding if the packaged foods industry is right for you.

Although you may start in an entry-level position, there are numerous ways you can advance or change your career within the industry.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Packaged Foods

Data supplied by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms there are thousands of packaged foods industry jobs in every state of the US.

The field continues to grow and innovate every year, this means new career paths are created all the time. 

As consumers continue to purchase higher amounts of packaged foods, that means you can enjoy job security and a large choice of packaged foods industry job roles to apply for.

How to Find a Job in the Packaged Foods Industry

Finding a job in the packaged foods industry may be easier than you think. First, contact packaged foods companies in your area. For example, Dole Packaged Foods have careers across North America.

 If you’re looking for an entry-level job, then these should be fairly easy to find and apply for.

You can also find jobs using the following methods:

  • Contact recruiters for the food packaging industry
  • Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn
  • Build a network of industry professionals that you can leverage to find job opportunities
  • Join professional bodies for your area of study or the wider food products industry

The Future of the Packaged Foods Industry

By 2030 the packaged foods industry in the US is expected to be worth a colossal 1.5 trillion dollars. Lots of factors will drive this increase including the demand for healthier meal products. Plant-based protein and lab-grown meat products are some of the key areas that will help the industry continue to grow.

All this data is exciting for anyone starting a career in the packaged foods industry. You can look forward to job security, good salaries, and career advancement.

Now you know how many jobs are available in packaged foods. What should you do next? Now you should get your resume ready and search for a job role that excites you. Get those applications in today and start your new career in the packaged foods industry.

Good luck!

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How Many Jobs Are Available In Packaged Foods

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