Packaging Technologist Job Profile
What is the work like?
Packaging technologists work with manufacturers to come up with packaging ideas for products. They design and develop packaging materials for all types of products, including food and drink, pharmaceuticals and other manufactured goods.
Their duties include:
- producing sample packaging to try out different materials and designs
- running production trials and testing to make sure the packaging works properly and is safe
- meeting with production line engineers to work out the best way to make the packaging
- working with graphic designers on the artwork, to make sure it fits in with the company’s marketing and branding schemes for the product.
Technologists have to take account of many factors when developing packaging, for example:
- how fragile the product is and how much protection is needed
- possible reactions to light, moisture or materials within the packaging
- the conditions it may be subjected to during transportation, such as temperature
- legal requirements, like accurate labelling and safe packaging of hazardous materials
- the environmental impact of production, and disposal after use
- production costs
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
You will normally need a degree or BTEC HND in packaging or a science subject to work as a packaging technologist, although you may be able to start as a packaging line operator and work your way up to become a packaging technologist after taking training.
Useful subjects to study at HND or degree level include materials science, food technology, nutrition, physics and chemistry.
What further training and development can I do?
Once you start as a packaging technologist, you would be given on-the-job training by experienced technologists.
The Institute of Packaging (IoP) offers a Certificate in Packaging covering packaging principles, materials and costs. This course is a combination of class-based study and distance learning.
The IoP also offers the degree-level Diploma in Packaging Technology which covers the functions of packaging, properties of packaging materials, and the process of package development. You could study for this intensively, part-time or online.
View other print, packaging and design job profiles here.