Summary Report for:
51-3023.00 - Slaughterers and Meat Packers
Work in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments performing precision functions involving the preparation of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat for marketing, making sausage, or wrapping meats.
Sample of reported job titles: Boning Room Worker, Breast Trimmer, Fetter Bone Buster, Kill Room Operator, Meat Cutter, Meat Packager, Meat Packer, Meat Trimmer, Production Worker, Trimmer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Remove bones, and cut meat into standard cuts in preparation for marketing.
- Cut, trim, skin, sort, and wash viscera of slaughtered animals to separate edible portions from offal.
- Slaughter animals in accordance with religious law, and determine that carcasses meet specified religious standards.
- Slit open, eviscerate, and trim carcasses of slaughtered animals.
- Tend assembly lines, performing a few of the many cuts needed to process a carcass.
- Sever jugular veins to drain blood and facilitate slaughtering.
- Shave or singe and defeather carcasses, and wash them in preparation for further processing or packaging.
- Trim, clean, or cure animal hides.
- Shackle hind legs of animals to raise them for slaughtering or skinning.
- Skin sections of animals or whole animals.
- Trim head meat, and sever or remove parts of animals' heads or skulls.
- Saw, split, or scribe carcasses into smaller portions to facilitate handling.
- Grind meat into hamburger, and into trimmings used to prepare sausages, luncheon meats, and other meat products.
- Stun animals prior to slaughtering.
- Wrap dressed carcasses or meat cuts.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Animal shearing or clipping equipment — Dehairing machines
- Belt conveyors — Belt conveyor systems
- Blast freezers — Blast chillers
- Commercial use cutlery — Butcher knives; Skinning knives
- Commercial use food grinders — Meat grinders
- Commercial use food slicers — Bacon slicers
- Commercial use scales — Food scales
- Cooling machine — Food cooling equipment
- Cutting machinery — Chop cutting machines; Meat-cutting bandsaws
- Dicing machinery — Cubing machines
- Electronic measuring probes — Meat grading probes
- Engraving machines — Carcass branding machines
- Filling machinery — Casing stuffing machines
- Forklifts — Industrial forklifts
- Form or fill or seal machinery — Meat package filling and sealing machines
- Forming machine — Steak patty machines
- Hoists — Hoisting equipment
- Knife blades — Meat cleavers
- Label making machines — Label printers
- Livestock identification equipment — Shoulder tattooers
- Packaging compactors — Meat compactors
- Personal computers
- Power saws — Motorized saws
- Radio frequency identification devices — Radio frequency identification RFID devices
- Shackles — Livestock shackles
- Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Knife sharpeners; Sharpening steels
- Slicing machinery — Slicing machines
- Stunner — Electrical stunning equipment
- Touch screen monitors — Touch screen computers
- Wrapping machinery — Package wrapping machines; Shrink wrap meat packing machines
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — AccountMate Software AccountMate
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Integrated Management Systems Food Connex Cloud; Second Foundation NaviMeat
- Inventory management software — AgInfoLink Meat Inventory Tracking System MITS; RFID software; Traceability software
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
No skills met the minimum score.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare meat products for sale or consumption.
- Cut meat products.
- Process animal carcasses.
- Clean materials to prepare them for production.
- Slaughter animals.
- Spend Time Standing — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 23% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 62% responded “40 hours.”
- Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 27% responded “Never.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 46% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 33% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 47% responded “High responsibility.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Very important results.”
|Title||Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed|
|Education||Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.|
|Related Experience||Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter and rental clerks, nonfarm animal caretakers, continuous mining machine operators, and waiters/waitresses.|
|SVP Range||(Below 4.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|80||Less than high school diploma|
|20||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$12.29 hourly, $25,560 annual|
|Employment (2012)||81,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||19,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Slaughterers, Meat Packers, and Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.