If you enjoy getting creative, working with technology and producing a useful product, a career in the packaging industry could suit you.

Career information

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What does it involve?

Packaging machine operators use specialist machines to create attractive, protective paperboard packaging for things like food, beauty products, household appliances, beverages etc. They also check that packaging meets specifications.

Typical day

Typically, an 8 hour day. Packaging machine operators plan, set up and run machines to make ready, cut and crease substrates, glue and fold elements to meet specific quality standards.

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How do I get in to the industry?

Three years of secondary education are recommended to enter training as a printer. Useful subjects include English and maths, or credits in literacy and numeracy, technology and computer studies.

The Gateway secondary schools programme provides structured workplace learning to senior secondary school students. Competenz provides training resources and support to assist a student’s completion of the unit standards.

After school most people find a job as a printer, and then start an apprenticeship.

Sound like you?
  • Sciences or Workshop Technology
  • Creative Arts (Visual/Textiles/ Graphics)
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management.
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good initiative/‘can do’ attitude.
  • Analysing, researching or problem solving
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers.

• Inside (workshop or plant)

Career pathway

Unit standards in schools

  • No minimum entry requirement

 Traineeship or Apprenticeship

  • Packaging Machine Operator
  • Fibreboard Manufacturer
  • Forme Die Maker
  • Die Cutter
  • Glue Operator.

Higher learning

  • Team Leader
  • Production Planner

Higher learning

  • Business Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Owner

How much could I earn?

  • 3 – 5 years experience

    $50k- $65k