How to Become a Picker and Packer (With Skills and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A picker and packer, also known as a pick packer, is a role usually found in warehouses. It requires good organisation, attention to detail and good physical strength. Learning how to become a pick packer is important if you're considering working as a picker and packer. In this article, we outline what a pick packer is and explain how to become one, list typical responsibilities, identify key skills, describe a typical work environment, highlight how much you can expect to earn and provide a list of similar jobs.

What is a picker and packer?

A picker and packer usually works in warehouses, pulling merchandise from shelves and arranging items for shipping. Typical industries they work in include retail, wholesale, manufacturing and logistics. Their role can involve receiving new stock, updating stock records and storing products accurately. They are also responsible for picking out ordered items and sending them to customers, retailers and other parties in the supply chain management worldwide. If you have good organisational skills and you're physically fit and interested in a career in a fast-paced environment, then working as a pick packer may be worth investigating.

Related: What Is a Pick Packer? (With Step Guide to Become One)

How to become a picker and packer

Consider following these steps if wish to find out how to become a picker and packer:

1. Complete Year 10 education

Typically, formal education or qualifications aren't required to become a pick packer. As a minimum, most employers usually require completion of Year 10 at secondary school and some may prefer candidates who have completed secondary school. You're likely to get most of your skills on the job as a pick packer.

2. Get some work experience

If you're still at school, a part-time position in a similar job can be helpful when you are looking to apply for full-time pick packer roles. You may wish to consider applying for part-time roles in your local supermarket, stacking shelves or working on the cash register to become familiar with different products and working in a retail environment. It can be beneficial to have experience on your resume that demonstrates your skills and showcases your transferable skills when you apply.

Related: Year 10 Work Experience Ideas (With Tips)

3. Consider the industry

When working as a pick packer, there are a few industries you can consider exploring. Consider researching different areas such as manufacturing or retail to help decide your preference. Researching online can be a good way to understand the different job responsibilities in different industries. If you have any friends or family who work as pick packers, talk to them about their regular duties to better understand the role and help you apply for jobs.

4. Check the job description

When you start looking at the job description and are considering applying, it's essential to ensure you're eligible for the job. For example, some pick packer roles may require minimum ages due to health and safety requirements or may even ask you to have completed a formal health and safety certificate. Other positions may require you to have a driver's licence or undertake a medical check.

Some employers may be seeking specific certifications, such as being able to operate a forklift. It's also essential to check whether you're required to have your own protective clothing or equipment, for example high vis clothing or safety goggles. Depending on the industry, you may also need steel-toe capped boots to protect your feet if you're required to lift heavy objects.

5. Apply for roles

Check online job boards and directly approach companies that you're interested in working for to see if they have any job openings. When preparing your job application, ensure that you tailor your resume and cover letter for each application. A well-written resume that includes the key requirements the hiring manager is seeking can help increase your chances of securing an interview. When reviewing the job description, look for any keywords that you can include in your resume.

Consider any examples you can include that show your skills and strengths. If you don't have much experience, consider any transferable skills you can incorporate relevant to the position that you may have learned from volunteering or participating in a sporting club. For example, good time management, communication skills or that you work well in a team environment. If physical fitness is a requirement, consider demonstrating your fitness levels by including details of any sporting teams you belong to or include any details of fitness club memberships.

Related: How to Write a Pick Packing Resume in 6 Steps (With Skills)

6. Consider additional qualifications

Depending on your industry, it may be worthwhile considering additional qualifications. For example, diplomas or courses that can teach you about supply chain management, logistics or business. These qualifications can be helpful if you're considering progressing in your career and looking to take on leadership opportunities as a team leader or manager.

Related: Types of Careers in Logistics and 11 Logistics Jobs

Typical responsibilities of a pick packer

Although responsibilities can vary depending on your industry, some typical duties can include:

  • packing and preparing orders to dispatch to customers

  • picking items from warehouse shelves and matching them to packing slips

  • loading and unloading deliveries

  • ensuring warehouses are kept clean, well organised and stocked

  • keeping accurate records of stock movements and orders

  • assessing product quality

  • following health and safety guidelines

Skills required to be a pick packer

The following skills can be beneficial if you're considering a career as a pick packer:

Attention to detail

Good pick packers usually have good organisational skills and great attention to detail. Because they're responsible for picking and packing duties, their role can be essential in the supply chain. Selecting the right products and ensuring there are no errors helps ensure customers end up with the right products, which can affect their satisfaction levels.

Related: Attention to Detail: Definition and Examples

Flexible approach

Working as a pick packer often means working different shifts to meet the demands of the business. For example, you may work nights, morning or afternoon shifts. Pick packers can also work holidays or weekends. Being flexible about your work hours can be beneficial.

Be reliable

Pick packers benefit from being reliable, punctual and efficient. If you're late or miss shifts regularly, it can have an impact on your organisation's entire supply chain. Companies rely on pick packers to meet their order deadlines, so they generally look for employees with a good work ethic and track record.

Typical work environment of a picker packer

A pick packer typically works in a warehouse or shed, which means temperatures can be hot during summer and cool during winter. Pick packers often bend and lift heavy objects, which can be demanding. Most pick packers spend most of the day on their feet, so physical fitness is essential. Pick packers can work in storage and distribution centres. They can also work in large industrial areas, at a port or other transport hub or within a large store in the loading and unloading areas.

Similar roles to a pick packer

Here are some similar jobs if you're considering a career as a pick packer:

1. Factory worker

National average salary: $54,364 per year

Primary duties: A factory worker works on a production line in a factory. Depending on the industry, they can be responsible for operating various machines and tools. Occasionally, they may also be required to clean and repair equipment and monitor machines.

2. Warehouse worker

National average salary: $57,800 per year

Primary duties: Warehouse workers receive, handle and store goods in warehouses and prepare goods for dispatch from warehouses. They check and label stock and report damage or discrepancies. Warehouse staff are responsible for varied daily tasks such as restocking shelves, accepting incoming orders, processing and packing orders, counting inventory and shipping orders promptly.

3. Forklift operator

National average salary: $59,324 per year

Primary duties: A forklift operator is a professional who is responsible for moving different types of goods around industrial sites or warehouses. These goods may include bulk materials, containers, cartons, bales, palletised goods or creates. In most states, you typically need a high-risk work licence to operate a forklift.

4. Logistics coordinator

National average salary: $66,103 per year

Primary duties: A logistic coordinator oversees the various aspects of supply chain management, managing the supply of all goods and ensuring efficient distribution of products. Their role includes safely processing products through the supply chain system, and can also involve coordinating the stock of materials and equipment to help ensure a business has everything it needs to manage customer and partner orders. Coordinators can work directly with customers or liaise with retailers.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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