How to become a Packaging Technologist

packaging technologist careers

What does a Packaging Technologist do?

Packaging technologists design and develop packaging materials for all types of products including food and drink, pharmaceuticals and other manufactured goods.

Technologists liaise with product manufacturers to develop packaging for new and existing products, which meets client requirements, is cost-effective and adheres to statutory and regulatory requirements covering that product. In order to design appropriate packaging, a technologist needs to consider:

  • the product’s function
  • how fragile the product is and the level of shock protection needed
  • possible adverse product reaction to light, moisture or any materials within the packaging
  • conditions such as temperature, which the package may be subjected to during transportation
  • legal requirements, such as accurate labelling and safe packaging of hazardous materials
  • production costs and any impact on the environment.
Technologists also work closely with graphic designers to ensure the appearance of the packaging, where appropriate, is attractive to consumers and relates to company marketing strategies for that product.

The packaging components go through several production trials, being continually tested and evaluated until a final version is reached. The technologist consults with production engineers and other specialists in the packaging line operation about how the packaging is to be put together before final approval.

What's the working environment like working as a Packaging Technologist?

Most packaging technologists work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Those working in manufacturing may occasionally need to be on-call. There may be opportunities for part-time work.

Packaging technologists usually work in an office. Some time testing or weighing materials in laboratories or observing production line processes may be required. On these occasions, protective clothing will be worn.

Some time may be spent visiting material suppliers or manufacturers. This could involve staying away from home for short periods of time.

What does it take to become a Packaging Technologist?

To be a packaging technologist you should:

  • have an aptitude for science and maths
  • have strong communication and negotiation skills
  • have good IT skills
  • be flexible and a good team worker
  • be able to pay attention to detail
  • be able to work within a budget
  • be able to work to deadlines
  • have a creative approach to problem solving.

Packaging Technologist Career Opportunities

Packaging technologists work for packaging manufacturers, retailers and manufacturers of other products. It is possible to move into other areas such as marketing, development management or artwork design. There may be options to work freelance as a packaging consultant.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Packaging Technologist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institute of Packaging and Packaging Industry Awarding Body
Willoughby House
Broad Street
Tel: 01780 759200


Facts and Stats:

  • 4,076,000 people work in manufacturing in the UK, making it the nation''s top occupation
  • Brazil is the top coffee-producing country in the world, producing 1,653,020 tonnes a year
  • Chicago has more chocolate manufacturers within a small radius than any other place in the world

Courses to help you become a Packaging Technologist