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Is Consumer Non-Durables A Good Career Path

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated December 17th, 2023

Non-durable goods are consumable goods with high replacement value. This means that consumers will always need these goods in their daily lives when they dress, eat, wash, and move around.

To pursue a career in the non durables industry, you need the training, job aptitude, and ambition to succeed. We look at the various job opportunities in the consumer non durables sector and explore how you can succeed in this industry.

If you are still in the early stages of researching career options, then you should also look at our article “is marine transportation a good career path“. It is another interesting sector with lots of interesting options. Some of the consumer products below actually arrive here from marine transportation, so they go hand in hand!

Is Consumer Non-Durables A Good Career Path?

Yes, jobs within the consumer non-durables are a good career choice. There are ample opportunities for different types of jobs, fair wages, and most companies have great benefits packages.

What Are Consumer Non-Durables?

Consumer goods fall into two main categories.

Non-durable Consumer Goods

The consumer non durable industry are also known as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). These are products that are used up and replaced quickly. They typically include perishable foods, medicines, packaged foods, beverages, and paper products.

Durable Consumer Goods

Durable consumer goods are products that do not have a high replacement value; once you buy these goods, you will likely not purchase them again soon as they have a long lifespan. Examples include flat-screen TVs, microwaves, bicycles, vehicles, and gym equipment.

consumer non durables in the dairy department

Non Durables Industries

Below are a variety of career opportunities and while many may require a college degree, there are also plenty of opportunities for those with no experience or education, as well as skilled trade jobs. Trade positions can be found in warehouses or on production lines and might include assembly, packaging, forklift management, and more.

World-class companies that produce consumer non durables need employees to develop, make, check, promote, and sell finished products. Hand in hand with the core employees involved in manufacturing and production, this industry requires administrative and clerical staff, managers, advertising staff, and professional services staff.

Below, we examine some of the most well-known consumer non durable sectors and the job opportunities available:

Food Manufacturing

Food is essential in our lives; without it, we wouldn’t be able to live or have a good quality of life.  This one is an especially good career path for trades people as there are many job positions available that do not require any formal education.

Prominent job opportunities available in this sector include:

  • Slaughterers (trade)
  • Meat Processors (trade)
  • Bakers (trade)
  • Research Chefs
  • Quality Control Professionals
  • Nutritionists
  • Machine Operators (trade)
  • Food Science Professionals
  • Food Packers (trade)
  • Batch Makers

The pay for food production workers averages $23,000 – $70,000 annually.

Pharmaceutical and Medicines Manufacturing

Pharmaceuticals and medicines are also a necessity of life. These industries employ a wide range of highly skilled people, including:

  • Scientists
  • Researchers
  • Regulatory Specialists
  • Pharmacy Managers
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
  • Medical Science Liaisons
  • Laboratory Technicians
  • Drug Manufacturers
  • Biotechnology Consultants
  • Biostatisticians
  • Production Workers (trade)

Jobs in this sector often require years of training and advanced scientific degrees; they are highly scientific and technical in nature. On average, salaries in the pharmaceuticals and medical industry range from as low as $24,500 to $277,000, depending on the seniority of the position.

Paper Manufacturing

Paper is a part of everyday life, it is one of the most common consumer durables. Whether we are at home or in the office, we use paper for all types of tasks making the paper manufacturing industry one of the biggest. Paper towels, tissue paper, toilet paper, notebook paper, printer paper, and paper napkins all fall under this category of non-durable consumer goods.

Prominent jobs in this sector include:

  • Reliability Engineers           
  • Project Engineers                
  • Production Workers (trade)
  • Mill Operators (trade)
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Managers
  • Machinists (trade)
  • Lab Technicians
  • Environmental Manager
  • Electrical Engineers            
  • Controls Engineers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Chemical Analysts
  • Administration and HR Staff

The average compensation per year in the paper industry ranges from $25,000 to $100,000, depending on the seniority of the position.

Beverages Manufacturing (Non-Alcoholic and Alcoholic Beverages)

This sector of the consumer non-consumable industry deals with producing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Manufacturing plants and breweries from some of the best-known companies in the world employ a wide variety of workers to produce their drinks.

Some job opportunities available include:

  • Automation Engineer
  • Chemical Analyst
  • Lab Technicians
  • Process Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Flavor Scientist
  • Packaging (trade)

Average salaries range from $20,000 to $200,000 depending on seniority and experience.

Tobacco / Cigarette Manufacturing

Tobacco manufacturing is a highly automated process with machines producing over 20,000 cigarettes a minute. Still, the industry needs workers to oversee the process and ensure that quality control standards are met.

Some prominent jobs in this sector include:

  • Quality Engineer
  • Warehouse Supervisor (trade)
  • Sales Representative
  • Twisting Manufacturing Supervisor
  • Technician
  • Flex Operator
  • Cooking Technician
  • Production Associate

Salaries vary according to seniority and range from $20,000 to $250,000.

Household / Personal Care Production

Household and personal care production also falls under non-durable consumer goods. Some examples of goods produced in this sector include cleaning products, cosmetics, fragrances, beauty products, toiletries, oral care products, eye care products, laundry products, household cleaning products, and over-the-counter medicines.

Some jobs you can expect to find in this sector include:

  • Category Analyst
  • Territory Manager
  • Chemical Analyst
  • Production Manager
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Production Associate

On average annual salaries range from $20,000 to $200,000 in this industry sector. 

Apparel / Footwear Production

The textile industry is involved with manufacturing clothing and shoes for the end consumer to use. These industries are also known as apparel and allied industries, soft goods industries, and garment industries.

Factories and mills in this sector produce underwear, outerwear, headwear, gloves, ties, scarves, footwear, luggage, belts, and purses. Household soft furnishings also fall under this manufacturing category, producing finished goods such as curtains, drapes, slipcovers, and linens.

  • Retail Sales Associate (trade)
  • Production Manager
  • Factory Manager (trade)
  • Cost Manager
  • Manufacturing Manager
  • Creative and Production Sourcing Manager
  • Administrative Manager
  • Materials Manufacturing Manager
  • HR Manager

As with all sectors in the consumable non-durable industry, salaries at major textile manufacturers vary widely depending on the seniority of the position. Typical salaries range from $23,000 to $250,000 annually.

Consumer non-durable goods are everywhere. Because of this, getting a job in this sector is one of the best career paths you can choose if you are looking for longevity, job stability, and decent benefits.

Popular Consumer Non Durable Companies

There are many companies out there that create non durable consumer products, but these are some of the top brands. Working for any of them can bring a fair salary, great benefits, and future opportunities for growth. Because non durable items are always being replenished, the job security would be strong for these sectors.

  • Procter & Gamble Company
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • Altria Group
  • Nestlé AG
  • Anheuser-Busch Inbev
  • British American Tobacco
  • Christian Dior
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Diageo
  • Estee Lauder Companies
  • L’Oréal
  • Mondelez International
  • Nike
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris International
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group
  • Unilever Group

Some of these companies may also have a need for long-haul truck drivers to bring products to various retailers and distributors. So, if working in a warehouse or production facility is not your thing, then definitely look to see if they have truck driver opportunities.

non durable goods paper towels

Why Get a Job in The Consumer Non-Durables Industry?

Below are a few reasons working in this area can be a good one.

Wide Variety of Jobs

This sector of the economy has a wide variety of jobs, ranging from soft drink production workers, brewery workers, food production line workers, and more. These entry-level jobs provide opportunities for promotion to supervisory and managerial roles.

Many of these jobs also have research and development departments requiring people with advanced scientific degrees. In addition, there are also administrative, HR, finance, and clerical jobs to support the core production effort.

Excellent Remuneration Packages and Incentives

Low-paying jobs in this sector can have an average salary $8,000 to $12,000. On a higher scale, salaries average $79,000 to $90,000 annually and often include insurance benefits like health and life insurance. Bonuses average $6,000 to $12,000 annually.

Some average salaries in well-known companies in the sector include:

  • Procter & Gamble Company – $47,378
  • Coca-Cola Company – $37,112
  • Nestlé AG – $38,000
  • British American Tobacco – $41,000
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company – $51,000
  • Diageo – $57,000
  • L’Oréal – $58,016
  • Nike – $60,000

The salary will depend on the seniority of your position and will increase with your time in the company. Keep in mind these are base salaries and do not include additional benefits.

Excellent Perks and Benefits and Perks

Apart from paying employees, companies in the consumer non-durable sector also offer excellent perks and benefits. These benefits include:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Severance Pay
  • Well-equipped Gyms
  • Daycare
  • Life Insurance
  • Exchange Bonuses
  • Retirement Plans
  • Travel Allowance
  • Expense Allowances

One great opportunity with companies like these are the opportunity to kick-start an international professional career path. If consumer non durables jobs that are abroad are of interest, this is a great path to take.

Established Work Culture

These companies have an excellent work culture; employees are confident in their roles and are rewarded after regular performance reviews.

In addition, employers in this sector invest in training managers and equipping them with leadership skills. They also make a point of teaching employees corporate business principles, with training courses being mandatory.

Diversity and equality rules are equally respected because these companies have operations worldwide. Employees are encouraged to learn about multicultural work environments and how to fit into them.

Excellent Positioning

These companies provide numerous roles, allowing entry-level workers to diversify their skills and move from department to department within the same company. As workers progress within the company, they build transferable skills that employers value.

Opportunities in Support Areas

There are also several opportunities in the support areas of finance, administration, HR, and marketing within these large multinational companies is desk jobs are more your thing. These skills are valuable as they are universal and transferrable to other industries and sectors. The most common support areas within non-durable companies include:

  • Administration and Clerical
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Human Resources, Legal
  • Intellectual Property
  • IT

Final Thoughts

So, is a career in the consumer non durables industry a good career path? We certainly think so! If you’re looking for a steady job in a stable company – with excellent salary and benefits packages, these are some of the best jobs to get.

This sector also promises many opportunities for growth and promotion for young graduates, but you must be willing to constantly improve with on-the-job training to stay ahead of the game. 

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.