Packer - Heavy Goods
Heavy goods packers pack all types of large and heavy items, so that they can be transported safely. Some operate filling and sealing machines, to store liquids in barrels.
Also known as
- Heavy Goods Packer
Packers of heavy goods work with items that need to be packed to protect them from damage during transportation. Depending on the product, a variety of packaging is used - such as boxes, crates, cases, drums and sacks.
Packers use all types of lifting equipment, including fork-lift trucks and overhead cranes, to move goods such as heavy engineering units.
Some heavy items, such as engines and gearbox units, need to be bolted onto steel frames inside wooden crates. Packers use hand tools such as hammers and screwdrivers to close the crates.
Crates that are to travel by air or sea may need to be prepared so that metal parts do not rust. Packers use compressors to take out moisture from the crates. They also operate staple guns and tape machines, and use knives to cut packaging material.
Packers may also have other duties, such as labelling crates and checking goods for faults before packing them.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
For this job, you'll need to:
- Have good hand skills for the practical work you'll be doing.
- Be physically fit and active as the work involves heavy lifting and carrying.
- Pay attention to safety.
- Have good co-ordination to control lifting machines.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
Heavy goods packers earn in the range of:
Starting: £12,500 - £13,500
With experience: £16,500 - £20,500
High flyers: Up to £24,000.
Hours of work
Packers usually work a 39-hour week, which may include shift work and work at weekends.
Where could I work?
Employers are manufacturers in a wide range of industries.
Opportunities for packers occur in factories in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Universal Jobmatch, and at Jobcentre Plus.
Entry Routes and Training
You don't need any qualifications to become a packer.
Training is usually on-the-job with supervision from an experienced member of staff.
There may be formal training courses for some aspects of the work such as operating lifting equipment.
Progression could be to supervisory positions.
You do not usually need qualifications to enter this work.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Skills gained in practical or technical work using your hands are helpful for people wanting to become packers.
Experience in postal work, packaging and delivery can be useful. Good handwriting is important.
- 13% of people in this career work part-time.
- 4% have flexible hours.
- 16% of employees work on a temporary basis.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000