A packaging engineer is involved in the manufacturing and distribution of industrial product packages. This CareerStint article gives you the job description and average salary of a packaging engineer.
Dr. Lejo C. Braña is the father of packaging science program in the Central Philippine University (CPU), Philippines, which is considered as the first university in Asia to offer a 5-year bachelor’s degree in packaging engineering.
Engineering is a diverse field that encompasses a myriad of similar, yet different disciplines. Packaging engineering is a special branch of engineering that involves having to deal with the aspects of packing a product – deciding its external protection while taking several contributing factors into consideration. A packaging engineer does not solely design the package, his duty is to engineer the package in the literal sense. For him, the package is his product, his creation. The responsibilities of a packaging engineer are enlisted in the paragraphs to follow.
- The primary role of a packaging engineer, to begin with, is to analyze the product.
- He has to know all the details of the product – dimensions, type, assembly, etc., so that he can decide the appropriate package design.
- He conducts material research and analysis.
- He develops basic and advanced design concepts considering the finished goods.
- He conducts research on compatible package designs and selects the one that is most suitable.
- He confers with the development and manufacturing unit regarding the package design and production.
- He acts as a coordinator between the internal teams throughout the development phase.
- Apart from designing the product himself, he may also provide ideas to the product designers and keep abreast of the development.
- He monitors all the engineering activities.
- He ensures proper, accurate package development and provides the necessary technical support.
- He scrutinizes the finished package closely during the testing phase.
- He employs various testing methods and examines the product carefully in every situation.
- He ensures proper maintenance of finished products.
- Any errors in the package are promptly reported to him and he takes the effort to redesign or reproduce the product.
- He reports any problems in the development or testing phase to the senior packaging engineer.
- If the testing is affirmative and the package is ready to be used, he undertakes the responsibilities of transportation and deployment.
- He keeps abreast of the latest technology and innovations in his field.
- He takes care of the package labeling – it is a very crucial part of the process.
- He plans new activity schedules to improve efficiency.
- He has to provide assistance to launch new products.
- He has to achieve organizational goals and set up new marketing objectives.
- He has to develop cost-effective manufacturing techniques.
- He has to comply with the rules and regulations of the ISO.
- He also has to follow the standards set by the FDA, while designing packages for the food and safety industry.
- The job of an application packaging engineer is to design infrastructure and support for software and operating systems and technology platforms.
- You will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in packaging engineering or other fields, like mechanical engineering, production, electronics, etc.
- You may enroll for advanced courses if necessary, irrespective of whatever discipline you graduate in.
- A cooperative work experience will help broaden your view of the field and offer you a practical interpretation of abstract theory computation.
- Apart from educational qualifications, you will need to possess good design, technical, math, business, and communication skills.
- Salaries for packaging engineers have been observed to be on the higher side.
- An entry-level packaging engineer may earn around USD 45,000 to USD 52,000.
- Salaries of experienced engineers may rise up to more than USD 105,000.
- The pay scale varies widely with respect to the location. The latest, median, state-wise salary is enlisted below.
Source: Indeed.com as of February 21, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
- Packaging engineers generally work in regular shifts, however, the schedule may vary with respect to work.
- When urgent deadlines are to be met, they may put in extra hours and work overtime.
- They primarily work in the manufacturing sector of packaging companies, however, they may work in other departments, like research and development, industry design, and testing as well, depending on their designations and responsibilities.
- They often visit warehouses for testing their packages.
- The employment outlook for this sector is below average; the BLS projects non-accelerated growth rate of 6%.
- Highly experienced packaging engineers may spend most of the time in laboratories, brainstorming cost-effective and space-utilizing package designs.
As a packaging engineer, you have to keep thinking of newer strategies and innovative ideas that you can contribute to your job. Technology undergoes a change every second, and with every change, a new idea can be developed. Remember that it is very important to love the subjects to ensure complete job satisfaction.