Virginia Tech®home

For students interested in general packaging

Students testing in a laboratory

Students testing in a laboratory

packaging.sbio.vt.edu

It is difficult to imagine a world without packaging. We use packaging every day and take it for granted. To many people, packaging is invisible.  But to students in the Packaging Systems & Design major, packaging means big opportunities and exciting careers.

Packaging is everywhere in our society. And for good reason – packaging systems make our way of life possible. Packaging protects our food and medicine while allowing these products to be shipped efficiently and without damage. Packaging adds convenience and utility. Think how difficult it would be to get through even one day without using packaging or products that are packaged. 

The world of packaging is diverse and multifaceted.  Packaging comes in many types and uses many materials – from plastics to glass to paper to metal and even mushrooms! Some packaging companies make these materials, some convert materials into packaging, some fill packaging with products, and some provide consulting or logistics services. This means many different opportunities for graduates.

Of course, the world of packaging has challenges. Packaging companies are working diligently to develop packaging solutions that are more sustainable. Some packaging professionals are developing bio-based polymers that are biodegradable and compostable. Others are helping to overcome barriers to recycling and working to make stronger packaging using less material.

Word cloud of packaging positions that some of our alumni hold

Word cloud of packaging positions that some of our alumni hold

Word cloud of some of the companies that our alumni work for

Word cloud of some of the companies that our alumni work for

Students in the packaging program learn about computer manufacturing processes as well as distribution systems, packaging graphics, engineering, and testing. And, they put this knowledge to work in our hands-on courses that often include work in our Innovation Laboratory. During their time at Virginia Tech, our packaging students also have the chance to work in our Amazon and Ikea certified packaging laboratories on real life packaging development projects.

Graduates of the Packaging Systems & Design program find careers as packaging engineers, packaging designers, project managers, packaging specialists, structural designers, sales specialists and other positions.  Recent graduates have started their careers with companies such as Tesla, HP, IBM, Exxon, L’Oreal USA, BMW, Amazon, Newell Brands, ABF Freight and others.

If a career in packaging sound good, you are in luck. Virginia Tech has one of the top programs in the country and the only one in Virginia & surrounding states.  We make transferring into the program easy.  See the reverse page for details. 

Starting salaries range from $65-$85K based on a recent alumni survey.

Transfer Credits:

The Packaging Systems and Design degree offers a lot of flexibility to transfer students to tailor their education and also to allow them to graduate on time. Our 32 free elective credits allow you to transfer classes that you have already completed and count them towards your graduation progress. This allows many students to graduate on time even after changing their major.

Example courses:

  • SBIO 2004 – CAD in Packaging
  • SBIO 2104 – Principles of Packaging
  • SBIO 3104 – Packaging Design Applications
  • SBIO 3284 – Packaging Polymers and Production
  • SBIO 4024 – Packaging Design for Global Distribution

Download the flyer

To learn more about the PSD degree:

Meet with our professional advisor to learn about the degree requirement and transfer credits.

If you would like to learn more about the Packaging Systems and Design degree, contact our academic advising center.

Dana McGuire

Dana McGuire

Dana McGuire

Academic Advisor, Sustainable Biomaterials and Assistant Director of Academic Advising
540-231-8032
Dana McGuire  dana.mcguire@vt.edu 
138 Cheatham Hall