About Me

What Is A Packaging Engineer

Hello and happy Wednesday! I was thinking about some past posts I have written where I’ve introduced myself. Since then I know some more readers have found my blog (hi!) and I wanted to do a little reintroduction. For those that don’t know, I am a packaging engineer and that is what my degree from Rutgers is in. In my everyday life, I get people who are baffled by what a packaging engineer is and once I explain to them they find it interesting. Let’s be honest, for a while I’m pretty sure my mom just told people that I dropped stuff to see if it broke ha! It’s definitely not a field people often think of but it’s involved in everything. I thought it could be fun to explain it to all of you and I hope you find it interesting as well!

What is a packaging engineer?

Cap & Gown Outside

A packaging engineer (PE) is someone who works on every product imaginable. Even if you don’t think there is a package involved in a product you are buying there is. A PE is involved with everything from the design of the package to user use to graphics to how it will work on a machine to fill with product. They can be found in every industry and most companies have them.

How did you find out about packaging?

Since packaging engineering is such a unique field, most people assume that I went to Rutgers University on purpose for this major. That is so far from the truth though! I knew I wanted to be an engineer but didn’t discover packaging until the end of my freshman year. At most engineering schools, you do not declare a specific major until the end of freshman year. When it came time to pick my major, I actually declared as a materials science engineer and found out about packaging after.

I signed up for the packaging certificate (4 classes about packaging are required to get this) and thus took the Intro to Packaging class in the fall of my sophomore year. By mid October, I had filled out a form that said I was changing my major. To me, the packaging classes was a lot more interesting than my actual major classes and I loved the opportunities the packaging would provide for me.

Where can a packaging engineer work?

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Name an industry and 99% will have a spot for packaging engineers! Personally I have worked in four different industries. In college, I gained experience in the cosmetic and consumer goods industry. After graduating I worked in the chemical industry very briefly before taking my current role in the automotive industry.

Right now, I am a PE for a major car company in New Jersey. This means I take the repair parts (like a hood or door) and create the packaging so it can be shipped to dealers across the US and Canada without any damages occurring. It’s definitely very different from my first experience where I worked on a carton for liquid bronzer. In each of the roles I’ve had there has been a ton to learn. The general process for creating a package are the same but different companies have different ways to go through the process and their own unique systems involved.

What does a packaging engineer do?

A PE works on a variety of tasks. At my first internship, I worked for Shiseido which is a cosmetics company. They own a few brands with some of their most commonly known ones being Bare Minerals and Nars. There I worked mainly on the Nars brand. One of the projects I had involved testing to see if any changes to packaging had to occur when the brand was introduced in China. China has stricter rules about waste in products so paper instructions couldn’t be used. Another thing I worked on was for a new product that was launching. I designed the liner (the corrugate piece inside the box) and worked with the supplier to get the desired look and feel. When I left, my boss let me take some products (amazing!) so obviously I took one of the liquid bronzers (and any other product imaginable) since I worked on it.

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In the summer leading up to my senior year and throughout the entire fall, I worked full time at Church & Dwight. They own brands like Arm & Hammer, Trojan, First Response, Oxi Clean, Vitafusion and so many more consumer goods. My biggest project there involved working on the redesign of the Oxi Clean liquid laundry detergent. This ended up being 7 months of hard work and I was involved from when they conducted focus groups to nail down the design consumers most responded to all the way to when production of the bottles started. I saw all of the ins and outs of a big product launch. When I saw the new bottle on the store of a Walmart I was beyond happy. I took a picture and sent it to a ridiculous amount of people since people could finally see what I worked on.

 

There you have it friends! That’s just a quick look at what a packaging engineer is and what they do. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Question of the day: What does your job involve?

22 thoughts on “What Is A Packaging Engineer”

  1. How interesting!!! I had no idea that’s what you did!! I didn’t even know such a thing existed but it totally makes sense now! I love that!! Thanks for sharing girl!!! Now I’m going to look at packaging in the stores and everywhere else in a whole new light and know someone really is behind every last inch of it! 🙂

    I am (just recently) a Social Media Manager for a digital marketing company in Little Rock, Arkansas called iProv! So I manage 30+ different social media accounts for businesses all over Arkansas and a few different states too! Its super fun and something I never would’ve dreamed I would get paid to do! I love it!!

    Have a great day Maureen!!

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    1. Yep that’s my job and I love it!! When I’m in stores, I notice so many things in packaging. The downside is whenever I hate a package I come up with ideas on how I would make it better haha.

      Isn’t it funny how a job centered around social media exists in 2018? People never would have thought it would be necessary to make that! It sounds super fun and you probably learn a lot about the different companies you manage.

      Enjoy your day Chelsea!

      Like

  2. This is so, so cool. It seems like your job combines so many cool fields; design, visual arts, advertising, and physics. I think I have a few students who might be interested in this field:)

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    1. It’s not a well know major or field so I can see why you wouldn’t know what a PE was. When I first heard about it, I didn’t really understand haha. I love seeing things I’ve worked on out and about 🙂

      Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That really is so fascinating! It must be quite rewarding to be able to see the products you work on eventually show up on the shelves in stores! How cool to have the opportunity to see it from start to finish. Thanks for sharing with us–I had no idea what “packing engineer” involved!

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    1. I honestly love what I do and am so happy I just happened to come across packaging engineering. Seeing stuff on shelves is awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed this post girl! It’s definitely a field you don’t know about until you meet someone involved in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so fascinating Maureen! I love the look into the blogger behind the blog 🙂
    Packaging Engineering is such a unique field, but there’s definitely a need for it in any industry!

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    1. I’m so glad your enjoyed Erinn! It’s fun to get to know the blogger more.
      It really is a unique field and once you realize what is involved you can see why it’s a need in so many industries.

      Like

  5. Ha you have an interesting job :). I had no idea what a packaging engineer was, well I had an idea but it’s fun to really see what you do ! For the question , my job involves catching babies, women’s health and a lot time wearing a scrub and a hat , any guesses ?? 🙂

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    1. I think it’s an interesting job so I’m glad you think so too 🙂 It’s definitely a career that needs a little explanation to it. I’m guessing either a doctor or nurse in the ob/gyn field for you! That’s so cool though.

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  6. Wow I had no idea!! I read in your bio and had wondered about what all is involved with packaging engineering. Such a cool job!!

    When I’m not blogging, I work in a school district as a licensed specialist in school psychology (like a diagnostician). I do testing for special education. I love my job! Blogging has been a great outlet since I’m always writing psychological reports.

    Like

    1. I’m glad I cleared it up for you 🙂

      That sounds like a cool job! My current job isn’t super creative so I love it as an outlet. It’s fun to have something different than our typical 9-5 jobs to do.

      Like

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