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How to Become a Package Handler

Do you enjoy being organized and traveling? Are you an expert reviewer and packer? A position as a package handler might be the career move that’s right for you.

Package handlers use their expertise to pack merchandise and products, all while keeping a record of everything that comes and goes from their truck.

A handlers’ work may include operating heavy machines, sorting through various materials, and keeping detailed records of everything that flows in and out of their area. They are in constant communication with customers about where and when their packages were dropped off, whether or not they are in transit, and if the packages had any damage upon arrival. They do this all while having a very physical day of packing, unpacking, bending, carrying, and driving.

Package handlers will incorporate people skills, communication, customer service, and organization into the job to display their well-roundedness. They should be excellent observers, allowing them to gain insight on how to better the experience for both themselves and the customer, as well as troubleshoot and problem-solve for better day-to-day work and life balance.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for a package handler to join our team! Whether you’re just beginning your career in package handling, or you’ve been doing it for quite some time, our company will train and support you throughout your duties. As an ideal candidate, you’ll come ready to work with a good attitude, be able to lift up to fifty pounds, and always have a willingness to learn new skills.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Carry out the day-to-day tasks
  • Ensure that clients and customers receive their packages on time and without damage 
  • Develop, implement, and communicate packing and delivery strategies to streamline work
  • Make daily contact with the customer base and build relationships with clients
  • Work closely with corporate to improve their view on the job and help the well-being of their coworkers
  • Communicate relevant information from department heads 
  • Review instructions, manage merchandise, and physically deliver all packages for long hours

Education and experience

  • At least a high school diploma or equivalent
  • No experience is needed at the beginning, and there is room for growth

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Proficiency using Google Maps or GPS systems and a valid drivers license
  • Ability to lift and distribute packages of varying weights
  • Excellent listening  and organization skills
  • Clean driving record

Preferred qualifications

  • Former packing experience
  • Former driving experience, preferably for long distances or long amounts of time
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment with effectiveness and efficiency
  • Experience with working in a warehouse
  • Forklift operator certification

Typical work environment

Package handlers can work both in a warehouse or as a driver, and they are responsible for packing, sealing, and possibly delivering merchandise to customers. The job is often very fast-paced with many different people working with you. As long as you are organized and focused, package handling could be right for you. Oftentimes, package handlers will find themselves on call on rotating or select evenings and weekends, while also traveling for long distances to deliver items.

During the day, they are working above or in tandem with members of their team and organization, as well as communicating and answering to the heads of differing departments.

Typical hours

Package handlers will typically work part-time shifts up to 5 hours a day, oftentimes during early hours of the morning. For days that are heavy in special orders, they may be on call and can end up working over 40-hour weeks, especially during the holidays.

Available certifications

While there may not be many special certifications that you can get to be a package handler, work experience can help you move up within a company. Also obtaining a forklift operator license can help you secure a higher paying job within the warehouse.

Career path

After you have a few years of package handling experience, there are a few different avenues that may be well suited for you.

The first is that you could keep your positions as a package handler and begin to oversee other employees, becoming the head of assembly management or packing. This could lead to a managerial position. 

After this, there also may be chances to work with the organizational computer software that is located in many office departments within the packing company.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code:  51-9111

2020 Employment6,215,000
Projected Employment in 20306,650,000
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift406,500 Increase

Since businesses are tailoring more to online orders, there has been an increase in packages and the position of package handlers. The person doing the handling has big responsibilities and should know how to handle delegation accordingly. Confidence and friendly assertion are great qualities to have because the job can be very fast-paced. As more businesses turn toward online sales, this position will continue to become even more popular.