Food is one of the primary things required for survival. However, other than regular staples, demand for fancy items such as packaged food is also rising. Many people are looking for the best paying jobs in packaged food industry, as its market is vast and blooming with potential. So, exactly how many jobs are available in packaged foods? You will find out the answer in this article, along with other necessary information to help you choose a career in this field.
How Many Jobs are Available in Packaged Foods Industry?
Packed food has become a new buzz these days – although it is not that great for health, people prefer it because it has a long shelf life and is easy to carry. The demand for packaged foods is increasing immensely because of the busy lifestyle and increased travel.
As a result, due to the growing market – assumed to be worth $4 trillion by 2028 – there are numerous job opportunities available in this industry, making it a suitable career path. So, if you are thinking – is packaged foods a good career path – be assured that you can witness major growth in the coming years.
Before we go into the details, let us clear your previous doubt – how many jobs are available in packaged foods industry. Here is the good news for you – there are over 30,000 jobs available in the packaged foods industry.
Though these numbers vary according to different factors such as location, economic conditions, and industry sector, still there are numerous career opportunities in this industry with no need for any specific educational qualifications. You will be amazed to know that according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this sector currently has over 1.7 million employees, that is increasing yearly.
Best Paying Jobs in Packaged Foods
We have prepared a list of the best paying jobs in packaged foods industry. If you wish to make your career in this field, there are numerous job roles from which you can choose based on your interests and skills.
1. Quality Control Specialist
Average Annual Salary: $50,000 to $60,000
A quality control specialist’s role is crucial in the packaged foods industry as they deal with the quality of the products. They are the experts who ensure that the products meet all the necessary quality standards before they are shipped to stores.
- They see that high-quality raw material is used to create the food.
- They ensure the raw materials are processed properly before being delivered to the stores.
- They check every batch of final goods with precision.
- They supervise that food is properly packed.
- It is also their responsibility to ensure that the food meets government and company standards.
To become a quality control specialist, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or biochemistry. As a quality control specialist, you can get a job in numerous industries, like manufacturing, food production, and pharmaceuticals. This is one of the best paying jobs in packaged foods.
2. Production and Manufacturing Supervisor
Average Annual Salary: $75,000 to $85,000
The role of a production and manufacturing supervisor is to keep a check on these operations. They need to work with different departments like quality control to find better ways for process improvement that will help reduce the downtime and make the quality better.
- They look after the day-to-day operations.
- They oversee the manufacturing plant.
- They also supervise the company’s employees to ensure they work per the prescribed guidelines and standards.
- Production and manufacturing supervisors ensure maintenance of quality standards and following of safety protocols.
- Other roles vary from company to company. In some companies, their job is to minimize downtime, reduce wastage, manage the workflow, and ensure that the production is done within the budget.
To become a production and manufacturing supervisor, you must have bachelor’s degree in food science and engineering, business or industrial engineering, along with good communication and teamwork skills.
3. Refrigeration Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $75,000 to $85,000
If you are a tech person, this can be a great job for you. The major responsibilities of a refrigeration engineer are to:
- Create new designs.
- Supervise fabrication.
- Troubleshoot issues related to refrigeration systems.
- Devise and implement refrigeration systems in restaurants, warehouses, trailers, and food manufacturing companies.
- Meet the clients to know about the cooling system required and their purpose to help meet their needs.
- Oversee preventative maintenance and calculate the repair costs and maintenance.
- Visit the site as well to understand the blueprints and schematics to install refrigeration components.
A refrigeration engineer needs to be mechanically efficient in detecting flaws and inconsistencies. To apply for this job, you need to possess a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, preferably mechanical engineering.
Average Annual Salary: $1,10,000 to $1,20,000
If you are still confused – how many jobs are available in packaged foods, let’s look at this role. Flavorists are professionals who have taken training in investigating raw materials and are also called flavor chemists. They use chemicals to create artificial and natural flavors. Their responsibilities are:
- Create different tastes and odors to make product tastier and more appealing.
- Using knowledge about essential oils, natural and synthetic compounds, they create flavor recipes.
- Ensure that your recipe complies with the US Food and Drug Administration’s diet and safety standards regarding allergies.
The food and beverage industries use the formula they invent to create new items and improve the existing ones. Flavorists can get these best paying jobs in packaged foods in various places, such as restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops, candy companies, and packaged food industries. They usually need a bachelor’s degree in a related field. However, some employers may accept an associate degree if you have the required certifications.
5. Food Scientist
Average Annual Salary: $65,000 to $75,000
As per BLS, the demand for food scientists, who play a vital role in the packaged food industry, will increase by 2% in the coming years. Their role is to use their knowledge to make tastier and more nutritious food products.
- They create new food products and improve the existing range of packaged food.
- They study food’s chemical composition, nutritional value, and how they interact with our bodies.
- They look for better nutritional sources and ways in which processed food can become tastier and healthier.
- With the help of their knowledge and training, they make strategies to enhance the efficiency and safety of agricultural operations and products.
- They also test the existing recipes and check the ingredients to make the existing product better.
- It is their job to create labels and write the food description.
To become a food scientist, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field like food science, chemistry or microbiology.
6. Broiler Manager
Average Annual Salary: $55,000 to $65,000
Broiler is an important equipment in this industry, that increases the demand for these experts, making it one of the best paying jobs in packaged foods. The role of a broiler manager is to:
- Oversee and manage the broilers on a poultry farm.
- Make sure that the staff follows all the standards and regulations.
- Ensure that the broiler equipment and production are done correctly.
- Examine and maintain the production records or reviews.
- Report to the management about the overall production.
- The other additional tasks include managing operating budgets and training other supervisors and team members who work on broilers.
To become a broiler manager, you must have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, business administration, or a related field. Other skills required to succeed in this profession are problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, and great communication skills.
7. Food Inspector
Average Annual Salary: $50,000 to $60,000
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service employs a food inspector. The demand for these best paying jobs in packaged foods is expected to rise by 6%, as per BLS, between 2020 and 2030. They are public health professionals who:
- Check the safety, nutritional value, and labelling of meat, poultry, and other food products processed in private plants.
- Check the levels of bacteria, chemicals, insects, dirt, mold, and contaminations in the food.
- Visit restaurants and supermarkets to check their cleanliness, food handling, and storage.
- Examine whether packaged food is safe to eat or not, using their knowledge and experience.
To become a food inspector, it is important to have either a bachelor’s or associate degree in a food-related field.
8. Packaging Engineers
Average Annual Salary: $70,000 to $80,000
If you are looking for best paying jobs in packaged foods industry, you should seriously consider this job profile. The role of a packaging engineer is to:
ensure the proper packaging of the food for distribution.
work closely with the production team to ensure the packaged food is packed properly and see that the transportation and distribution are done safely. In fact, it is their responsibility to create packaging solutions that protect and preserve products while shipping and storage.
The best part is that packaging engineers can get these best paying jobs in packaged foods in various fields, such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and food & beverage. The demand for packaging engineers is growing immensely as the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions is increasing. Skills required to become a packaging engineer are critical thinking, project management, understanding of the industry, excellent math & science skills, and knowledge of packaging needs.
9. Consumer Behavior Analyst
Average Annual Salary: $40,000 to $50,000
You can also opt for a consumer behavior analyst job in the packaged food industry, if you like working back-end. The demand for this job profile has increased tremendously over the years. Your major role will be to:
- Study the customers and know about their requirements to make decisions about the products.
- Do market research to know why a product is high in demand and accordingly make recommendations.
- By using prescribed methods, gauge what motivates people to purchase certain foods over others to help companies increase their sales.
You also need to be up to date about the industry and be aware of the different market research ways, such as pilot launches, surveys, focus groups, etc. To apply for this role, you should have a degree in statistics and research.
10. Packaging Designer
Average Annual Salary: $60,000 to $70,000
This can be a great profession for you in the packaged food industry if you are creative and innovative. All large to small firms need packaging designers to give their food products a unique and attractive look. Packaging designers are responsible for:
- Improving the feel and look of the product.
- Working on components like graphics, fonts, and colours.
- Considering various factors such as size, durability, safety, storage and shelf space while designing the product’s packaging.
To become a packaging designer, you should have a bachelor’s degree in a field like industrial design, graphic design, art, or something similar. You also need good knowledge about different packaging materials and design-related computer software. The average salary can vary as per your qualifications, skills, and experience.
11. Food Taster
Average Annual Salary: $35,000 to $40,000
This is one of the most interesting and best paying jobs in packaged foods. In fact, a food taster is a quality assurance worker. The role of a food taster is to:
- Eat meals and drink beverages made by others.
- Check if the appearance, taste, flavour, sauces, and ingredients are perfect.
- Provide feedback to the restaurant, industry, or chef.
To apply for a job as a food taster, there aren’t any specific qualifications required, but you mustn’t be allergic to any food, should not be colorblind, and should be a non-smoker. It is also important for a food taster to possess good communication skills as you need to provide feedback about the food to the chef or the industry.
12. Food and Beverage Cost Analyst
Average Annual Salary: $65,000 to $75,000
If you are good at math or statistics, you can also become a food and beverage cost analyst. Their major role is to:
- Analyze and control food and beverage production costs.
- Lessen the production cost while following quality standards and guidelines.
- Examine the food samples and previous records to understand the demand.
- Analyze financial information related to organizations’ expenses.
- Find ways to decrease production costs.
The education qualification required to become a food and beverage cost analyst is a business administration or accounting degree. Various skills required are strong analytical and problem-solving skills, expertise in Microsoft Office, time management, communication, and attention to detail.
13. Marketing and Sales Executive
Average Annual Salary: $50,000 to $60,000
You can become a marketing and sales executive if you are into marketing as well as wish to join packaged foods industry. If you are confused about – how many jobs are available in packaged foods – especially in this particular sector, don’t worry – there are numerous options available. The role of a marketing and sales executive is to:
- Promote and sell food products to customers.
- Increase the company’s sales, in turn increasing its revenue.
- Create marketing strategies and advertising campaigns.
- Recognize sales opportunities.
- Make better customer relations.
To become a marketing and sales executive, you need a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business.
14. Food Technologist
Average Annual Salary: $60,000 to $70,000
Major players in the packaged food industry appoint food technologists to invent new meals or improve the existing ones. There are various job responsibilities as a food technologist, such as:
- Increasing the shelf life.
- Researching the customers’ comments.
- Analyzing new trends & ingredients.
- Ensuring that the product packaging is appropriate.
- Overseeing foodstuff production and see that they follow the standards and guidelines.
- Working on the development, manufacturing process and recipes of food and drinks.
To become a food technologist, one needs at least a bachelor’s degree (B.Sc. is preferred) in food technology as it focuses on preserving, processing, and manufacturing food. Various skills required are excellent oral and written communication, teamwork, analytical & numerical skills, and attention to detail.
15. Shipping Coordinator
Average Annual Salary: $35,000 to $45,000
This can be a great profession if you wish to enter the packaged food industry. The role of a shopping coordinator is to:
- Gather and document all the information related to the shipping of packaged food.
- Plan a shipment schedule and routes.
- Choose the best shipping method to reduce costs.
- Coordinate with other employees to ship products.
- Oversee the packaging and work in the warehouse.
- Provide instructions to the team.
- Prepare shipping quotes for customers.
You need to possess a degree in business management, logistics, or another relevant field to apply for this job. Good communication skills, computer literacy, flexible work hours, time management skills, and multitasking are other skills required to become a shipping coordinator.
16. Logistics and Supply Chain Professionals
Average Annual Salary: $48,000 to $53,000
Logistics and supply chain professionals are responsible for moving and managing products from origin to destination. They work in different industries like manufacturing, retail, and transportation. The duties involve various tasks like:
- Keeping track of inventory.
- Organizing transportation.
- Managing warehouses.
- Working with suppliers and vendors to ensure that materials and goods meet quality standards.
- Making sure that products reach customers on time and in good condition.
To become a logistics and supply chain expert, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in a related field like logistics, supply chain management, or business. Many employers also prefer candidates with several years of experience in logistics, transportation, or a related area.
17. Production Workers
Average Annual Salary: $14,000 to $27,000
In your job as a production worker, you have important tasks to ensure that the food is safe and meets high quality standards. You will:
- Operate machines that process food.
- Make sure there is always enough ingredients available.
- Check instruments like temperature gauges to ensure proper conditions.
- Report any issues or problems with the equipment.
- Keep the machines clean and maintained.
Most jobs in food production require a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Some employers might prefer candidates who have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in food science or a similar field.
18. Packaging Technician
Average Annual Salary: $28,000 to $45,000
Packaging technicians have the important job of making sure that packaged food products are in good shape when they are delivered to customers.
- Packaging technologists create and develop packaging for various products.
- They design new packaging based on specific requirements.
- Their work involves creating packaging for items like food, drinks, cosmetics, and toiletries.
- Packaging technologists focus on developing innovative packaging ideas based on market trends and customer demands.
- Utilizing software tools and applications, they create appealing outputs.
- They present product samples to the management team and modify plans based on their feedback.
- Taking into account the sales performance of the products, these experts develop innovative outputs.
To be qualified, graduates should have a degree in a suitable field related to technology, science, or engineering. Some examples of these fields include graphic design, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, production engineering, or manufacturing engineering.
19. Food Safety Manager
Average Annual Salary: $53,000 to $84,000
This job is one of the reputable and paying jobs in packaged foods. As a food safety manager, your main responsibility is to make sure that the food prepared by your workers is safe to eat.
- You need to regularly check the production and packaging processes to ensure they meet safety standards.
- It’s your job to inspect storage areas and make sure they are clean and organized.
- You are responsible for ensuring that employees follow all the necessary food safety procedures.
- If you come across any issues or problems related to food safety, you need to report them to the operational or facility managers.
Food safety managers are employed in various places like food processing factories, schools, hospitals, and other large food businesses. You need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field like food technology, dairy technology, biotechnology, agriculture science, or biochemistry from a well-known university.
20. Food Operations Director
Average Annual Salary: $150,000 to $200,000
This is one of the best paying jobs in packaged foods. The responsibilities of these experts include:
- Analyze ways to increase the business’s income, profit, and cash flow.
- Recommend actions to improve efficiency and collaboration with other departments.
- Take charge of the yearly planning, budgeting, and forecasting for operations.
- Oversee monthly reporting to track progress and make informed decisions.
- Supervising staff members and creating and delivering training programs.
- Enhancing customer happiness.
Typically, a food operations director has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, management, or a related field. Additional qualifications include over 5 years of experience in the manufacturing industry and 10 years of leading teams and managing projects.
21. Ammonia Refrigeration Technician
Average Annual Salary: $47,000 to $65,000
As an ammonia refrigeration technician, your primary duty is to operate, test, and maintain equipment used for refrigeration and freezing using ammonia, such as pumps, condensers, compressors, evaporators, and valves. Other responsibilities include:
- Control and manage water treatment methods and the necessary chemicals and pumps for these systems.
- Disassemble, repair, and reassemble various types of chillers to meet production deadlines.
- Replace faulty valves and fan motors.
- Adjust equipment settings as needed to meet customer requirements.
- Remove ice buildup from the equipment.
- Prepare and submit daily reports to the supervisor.
- Coordinate and collaborate with contractors, electricians, and pipe installers in the execution of tasks.
Having relevant qualifications in refrigeration technology or mechanical engineering is required to be eligible for this job. Additionally, you need at least 2 years of experience in maintaining refrigeration systems or a similar field. It would be beneficial if you have experience in commercial HVAC and industrial settings.
22. Research and Development Manager
Average Annual Salary: $65,000 to $100,000
The job of a research and development manager is important for the success of a packaged foods company. Their main role is to:
- Create new products and improve existing ones.
- Work on developing new technologies for the food industry.
- Lead teams of scientists and engineers.
- Collaborate with marketing teams is crucial to ensure products meet consumer needs and preferences.
- Identify new trends and create innovative products to stay competitive in the market.
To become a research and development manager, you usually need to have completed a bachelor’s degree. Some organizations may have stricter requirements, such as asking for a master’s degree in business or a related field. Managers in this field also need to have 5-10 years of experience that is relevant to the role.
23. Plant Manager
Average Annual Salary: $70,000 to $130,000
Plant managers are in charge of everything that happens in a plant.
- They lead groups of workers.
- They make plans for the business.
- These experts make sure the plant reaches its goals.
- They supervise all procedures of making things and check their quality.
- They ensure that products reach where they need to go.
Good plant managers are great at leading and talking to people, so they can manage their teams and make sure everyone is working together. To become a plant manager, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or engineering. However, bigger and major players in the packaged food industry might ask their managers to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
These were some of the top-paying jobs in the packaged food industry. Now let us know about major players in the packaged food industry, so that it becomes easier for you to apply for a job.
Major Players in the Packaged Food Industry?
Here is the list of the industries where you can apply for in the packaged food industry:
- JBS Foods – Headquarters of this USA-based company is in Greeley, Colorado. This global food company processes and packages fresh and value-added meat products and sells them in over 105 countries. Pilgrim’s Pride, Swift, and Cedar River Farms are some of their main brands. They have lately announced an expansion for its Grand Island project by $95 million.
- Nestle – It is one of the top packaged food industries worldwide regarding sales and revenue. It was established in 1866 and is headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. This company is majorly known for creating more than 2000 products consumed by people across borders. You can see Nestle products in almost every food niche, such as coffee, milk, milk products, chocolate, baby food, bottled water, and whatnot. Some of the popular foods manufactured by Nestle are Maggi, Nescafe, Nespresso, KitKat, etc.
- Tyson Foods – It is an American international packaged food company based in Springdale, Arkansas. Various food brands, such as Ball Park, Jimmy Dean, State Fair, Hillshire Farm, and Wright, are under their names. They are the second-largest marketer of chicken, beef, and pork. They strive to make food more sustainable that fits all. Lately, they have been trying to cut their cost while maintaining the same quality; this has helped them stay competitive in this intense packaged food market.
- Pepsi – Headquartered in New York, USA, this multinational company is one of the top and major players in the packaged food industry to work for. They create different food products, such as food, beverages, and snacks. Some famous food products they make are Lays, Pepsi, Doritos, Fritos, Lipton, Quaker Foods, and many more.
- General Mills – It is a huge company that creates branded packaged food that sells through retail stores and supermarkets. General Mills creates numerous branded products, such as Betty Crocker dessert mixes, Gold Medal Flour, Pillsbury cookie dough, and Yoplait yoghurt. They are a big competitor of Kellogg’s to become the top cereal maker. They also own one of the most famous and scrumptious gourmet ice creams Haagen-Daz.
After reading about these companies, your query about major players in the packaged food industry must have become clear. The list of these companies is endless; you can apply for jobs in these companies and make good money.
Where to Find Jobs in the Packaged Food Industry?
After knowing the major players in the packaged food industry, one also needs to know where they can apply or find jobs related to the packaged food industry. Well, don’t worry; here are some of the platforms where you can find jobs easily-
1. Online Job Boards: A lot of best paying jobs in packaged foods related to the packages food industry are posted on online job boards. You can check on websites like LinkedIn, Freelance.com, Indeed, Fiverr, etc. They even have filters where you can search for jobs as per location, job titles, qualifications required, etc.
2. Company website: The best way to search for a job is by visiting the company’s website, as various companies do the job posting on their website. You can open the career section on the website, and you will be able to see the job openings.
3. Staffing Agencies: This is a quick and better way to find job opportunities, as the role of staffing agencies is to stay updated with all the job openings in the market. So, if you are looking for a job in the packages food industry, staffing agencies can be an excellent place to find one. They also have tie-ups with several companies, making it easy for you to apply and get a job.
4. Networking: This is yet another way to enter the packaged food industry. If you have people who work in this industry, you can ask them if they have any openings in their company or if they can refer you. Or ask them to introduce you to someone who might be aware of the job openings.
Tips to Get a Good Job in the Food Packaging Industry
Getting a job in the food packaging industry isn’t that easy; thus, you need to have the right knowledge and information on how you can easily get a job in this industry. Here are some of the tips for you-
- Find positions: The first thing one needs to do is find positions; there are many different companies and positions where you can easily find a job that fits your requirements. If a company is good, do not hesitate to join, even at the entry level, as it will help you gain experience and get your foot in the door.
- Build your skills: To apply for best paying jobs in packaged foods industry, one needs to have numerous skills, such as knowledge of quality control, packaging material, safety regulations, and basic budgeting. You can also take courses to learn these skills, as it will help you give an edge over your peers.
- Find Internships: Internships are one of the best ways to gain industry experience. You should not be disappointed if they limit you to doing the work because you are just an intern, not a full-time employee. The major benefit of an internship is that it provides you with practical experience if working in the industry plus, if you prove to be a good worker, you might get a full-time job in the same company.
- Build Network: Another way to get a job easily in this industry is by reaching out to people you know are already working in the packaged food industry. In fact, you can also meet them or talk to them for guidance and advice on how to get a job or perform better.
- Use Social Media Tools: If you wish to get the best paying jobs in packaged foods industry, you should use social media tools. Numerous food companies use social media platforms to post job openings and screen applicants. Staying on top of the job ensures that your resume is looked at first. In fact, you can also use various online job platforms to get a job in the packaged food industry.
Advantages of Packaged Food Jobs
Let us know about some of the advantages of working in the packaged food industry-
- Career Advancement Opportunities: Numerous job profiles in the packaged food industry offer career growth and advancement opportunities, which can be great for people seeking long-term career opportunities.
- Job Security: Packaged food industry is a huge sector with different jobs available at all levels of experience and education. Plus, as the demand for packaged food is increasing, it also increases job opportunities and security.
- Competitive Salary: There are a lot of job roles wherein one can earn a good salary. A lot of companies render various benefits other than pay, such as retirement plans, health insurance, etc.
- Innovation & Technology: It is a dynamic industry wherein you will see new technologies and innovations happening to improve food production quality, safety, and efficiency. This provides an opportunity to work with the latest technology and learn something new.
- Flexibility: This is a diverse industry wherein you have options to choose from a wide variety of working environments, such as big manufacturing industries to mid or small family-owned businesses. Most of these companies offer flexible working hours and shifts, which can be great for people with other commitments.
Disadvantages of Packaged Food Jobs
Along with numerous advantages, there are some disadvantages as well of working in the packaged food industry; let us look at some of them-
- Limited Creativity: Many jobs in the packaged food industry have repetitive tasks that can be monotonous sometimes. Thus, it is not recommended for people who like trying and doing new things. The jobs in this sector focus more on production and efficiency than creativity; thus, it is not for people looking for jobs that seek innovation.
- Risk of injury: You might be amazed to know that food processing can be hazardous, and there can be a risk of injury to employees from machinery, chemicals, and other components used in the production process.
- High-pressure environment: A lot of job roles in this industry involve working in a high-paced environment that can be stressful for many people. In fact, some job role requires a lot of physical work as well, such as standing for long hours, lifting heavy products, working in a hot environment, etc. Mental stress involves dealing with tight deadlines, production quotas, etc.
Q1. What is the major task of people who work in the packaged food industry?
Ans. The major role of people working in the packaged food industry is to create and supply packaged food products while adhering to the regulations.
Q2. Is packaged foods a good career path?
Ans. It is a good career path as there are numerous job opportunities as the demand for packaged foods is growing tremendously. You can opt for this career if you are interested in the food or agriculture industry. Various benefits of working in this industry are good income, excellent growth, interacting with new people, and developing new skills.
Q3. What are some examples of packaged food?
Ans. Some examples of packaged food are frozen fruits, nut butter, precooked packaged grain, precooked vegetables, packaged hard-boiled eggs, etc.
Q4. What is the future of the packaged food industry?
Ans. The number of jobs in this industry is increasing, which portrays that this sector is growing rapidly.
After reading this article, hopefully you have got clarity about a career in packaged food industry. This is a large and growing sector with numerous job openings. However, there is a lot of competition in the market with rewards for those who can take advantage of every opportunity. You must gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this career.