FFS Operator

Package products using the form, fill, and seal machine.
picture of FFS Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $42,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do FFS Operators do?

An FFS Operator runs the form, fill, and seal (FFS) machine, which is a special piece of equipment used to bag, box, or wrap practically everything that’s sold on store shelves — from sunflower seeds to batteries to video games. It uses flexible, heat-sealable plastic film to form packaging that can be filled with a product and then sealed for distribution, display, and purchase.

Although most FFS machines are partly or completely automated, they nonetheless require the expertise of an FFS Operator to keep them running smoothly, efficiently, and correctly. When you’re an FFS Operator, also known as a Packaging Machine Operator, it’s your job to monitor the machine while it’s running.

Aside from that, your duties include stocking and sorting product prior to packaging, then feeding it into the machine for processing, all the while replenishing packaging supplies — wrapping paper, plastic sheeting, boxes, labels, glue, and ink — when they run out. While you’re at it, you’re also responsible for stopping or resetting the machine when it malfunctions, clearing jams and pileups, and inspecting and removing defective products and packaging. On top of that, you hand-finish packaged items by tying, sewing, gluing, or stapling their packaging shut.

Equal parts Mechanic, Quality Control Technician, and Production Worker, you’re basically an industrial-grade Gift Wrapper: With the help of a big machine, you wrap products so consumers can find, buy, and open them like they do their gifts on Christmas morning!

Should I be a FFS Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to become a FFS Operator

    Most FFS Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9afaaa&chl=no+college+%2892%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%288%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,92,92
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