If you’ve gotten a shipment in the mail, a package handler may have prepared the shipment for you. A package handler prepares packages, so that the items inside are received safely and intact. These workers pack and package a variety of products and materials by hand. A package handler may also be known as a hand packer or packager.
According to the Occupational Information Network, a package handler manually assembles, lines and pads cartons, containers and crates using hand tools. These workers seal containers using fasteners, glues and nails. A package handler measures, weighs and counts packages. These workers inspect and examine containers. A package handler also transports packages to customer vehicles.
Tools and Technology
According to the Occupational Information Network website, package handlers use the following tools on the job: box sealing tape dispensers, heat sealers, staple guns, staplers, stretch wrap dispensers and wrapping machinery. Package handlers may use computer programs, such as data entry, inventory tracking and spreadsheet software.
Education and Training
According to the Occupational Information Network, little or no preparation is needed for this position. Some employers will seek job candidates who have acquired a high school diploma or GED. Most require workers to be at least 18 years old and have the physical capability to do the work. According to the BLS, skills are typically learned informally on the job from experienced workers or supervisors.
According to the BLS, hand packers and packagers earned a national mean hourly wage of $10.47 and a national mean annual wage of $21,780 in May 2009. The industries that employed the highest number of hand packers and packagers were grocery stores with a mean annual wage of $18,720; employment services, $19,690; warehousing and storage, $26,820; plastics product manufacturing, $22,980; and grocery and related product merchant wholesalers, $23,150.
According to the BLS, employment for hand packers and packagers were expected to decrease 4 percent from 2008 through 2018. Improvements in technology and automation will lead to the employment decrease in this occupation.