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Packer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: September 27, 2023

A Packer, or Picker Packer, is a warehouse employee responsible for fulfilling orders by arranging inventory in shipping containers and preparing them for shipment. Their duties include interpreting order invoices to determine which items need to be sent out, performing quality control assessments and stacking items safely and securely in the right packaging.

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Packer Duties and Responsibilities

A Packer will have the following duties and responsibilities at their place of work:

  • Weighing packages and labeling them appropriately
  • Inspecting packages to ensure they are not damaged
  • Inspecting shipping containers to ensure they meet shipping regulations
  • Assembling daily orders by shipping location or any other shipping categories
  • Keeping records of packages including delivery notes, invoices, etc.
  • Filling out packing and order forms with the relevant shipping information
  • Sealing shipping containers and labeling them appropriately
  • Cleaning shipping containers and other shipping supplies
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Packer Job Description Examples

What Does a Packer Do?

Packers work at fulfillment centers, drop-shipping locations, manufacturing facilities and other warehouse environments to move products from storage and get them ready for delivery to their next location. Their primary role is to gather inventory and wrap it up for shipping, but they may also assist with other warehouse tasks like putting items in the correct place back on the shelves or loading finished packages into delivery trucks.

Packers consider the most space-efficient way to send a variety of items of different shapes, sizes and weights. They collect the necessary shipping materials like packing foam, bubble wrap, cling wrap and tape to create a shipping package that will protect the items inside. Packers also note any special considerations about the order by labeling the shipping container with information about any perishable, fragile or potentially dangerous items inside.

Packer Skills and Qualifications

A suitable Packer needs to have the following skills and qualifications in order to be qualified for the role:

  • In-depth knowledge of packing and shipping procedures
  • Ability to operate shipping vehicles
  • Good knowledge of basic arithmetic: addition, subtraction, division and multiplication
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment for long hours
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good communication skills

Packer Salary Expectations

On average, a Packer earns $12.04 per hour in the United States. Working 40 hours a week all year round, this comes to an annual average of $25,043.20. However, Packers regularly work overtime, with an average annual overtime pay of $4,312 per year. These figures are based on Indeed estimates collected from former and current Packers, or job advertisements, and may vary with geographical location, years of experience and type of work contract.

Packer Education and Training Requirements

Packers are not usually required to have any advanced educational qualifications. A high school diploma or a general educational diploma (GED) is usually sufficient. This shows that the Packer understands the basic rules of arithmetic and communicating in the English language. For Packers who actually drive the shipping vehicles, they may be required to get a commercial driving license (CDL) before starting the job. A forklift license may also be required. Other than these, being a Packer does not require much in terms of training and education. All training will be received on the job.

Packer Experience Requirements

Typically, a Packer requires a minimum of one year’s experience working in this role, or in a similar role such as order picker, truck loader, etc. They should be comfortable working on their feet for a considerable amount of time. Packers should have some experience working in a warehouse or factory, packaging goods for shipment. Experience as a warehouse operative apprentice is also suitable. They need to be familiar with using packing material such as bubble wrap. It will also be good to have experience using computers to log in items and manage an inventory.

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Frequently asked questions about Packers

What is the difference between a Picker and a Packer?

Pickers and Packers both serve important roles in a warehouse environment, and may even have overlapping duties. Pickers find the location of certain goods within a warehouse and take them off the shelves, while Packers take those goods and arrange them securely for shipping.

Some smaller companies combine the roles of Picker and Packer, which is why some Packers have the official title of Picker Packer. Larger warehouses may need to separate the two roles to maximize efficiency, having Pickers pull merchandise and inventory from the shelves and deliver it to the Packers, who then assemble the goods and prepare them to be sent to the buyer or distributor.

What are the daily duties of a Packer?

Packers can work at any time of day depending on the shipping schedule of their employer. It is common for Packers to be assigned to a station in a certain part of the warehouse and work on fulfilling orders that request merchandise from aisles in their section. They either communicate with a Picker to get the items they need to retrieve them on their own, updating inventory counts as they remove items from storage. The Packer then inspects each item for damage or other quality issues before placing it in a shipping box.

Packers seal the package and place clear shipping levels, then fill out forms to confirm the completion of an order. They make sure the package leaves the warehouse on the correct delivery truck. Packers also clean out and maintain shipping containers that the warehouse re-uses to store new items.

What are the characteristics of a good Packer?

Because Packers work with all kinds of items, they need to have a strategic, logical mindset so they can determine the best way to organize goods with a range of dimensions and other characteristics. Good Packers enjoy puzzling out how to securely stack items and save space in shipping containers to reduce transportation costs and eliminate the chance of the items getting damaged during transit. They have good strength and stamina that allows them to lift heavy boxes and rearrange merchandise, plus knowledge of the safety measures they need to protect their joints when moving heavy items.

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