Meat Processing Worker Career Profile

Do you want to work as a meat processor?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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4 May 2024

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What is a meat processing worker?

A meat processing worker is someone who works in a facility where animals are slaughtered and processed into various meat products for consumption. Their duties may include slaughtering animals, cutting meat into different portions, packaging meat products, operating machinery such as meat slicers and grinders, and ensuring that health and safety regulations are followed throughout the process.

Cow 1

Alternative Names

Some alternative names for a meat processing worker include:

  • Butcher
  • Meat cutter
  • Slaughterhouse worker
  • Meat packer
  • Meat processor
  • Meat handler
  • Meat technician
  • Abattoir worker
  • Meat production worker
  • Meat industry worker

Career Categories

The Meat Processing Worker career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Health
  • Farming & Livestock Management

What does a Meat Processing Worker do?

Groups of animals a Meat Processing Worker works with

Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT
Birds List Icon OZT
Fish List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

A Meat Processing Worker doesn’t handle live animals.

With who does a Meat Processing Worker work?

Besides working with all of the animals, Meat Processing Workers will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance

What does a Meat Processing Worker focus on?

A meat processing worker handles meat (red meat or poultry) from the moment the live animals arrive in the abattoir, to cutting and packing the meat for sale to the public. Different workers will be assigned different roles, depending on abilities and skills.

What are the daily tasks of a Meat Processing Worker?

  • Move and manage animals before they are slaughtered
  • Move carcasses between freezers and processing stations
  • Assist butchers with cutting carcasses
  • Pack sliced meat into correct containers and sealed according to weight
  • Keep area and work stations clean and sanitized
  • Assist in loading packed meat for transport
  • Administration and filing

Working conditions of a Meat Processing Worker?

Where does a Meat Processing Officer work?


Animal processing worker perform their duties mainly indoors.

Places of Employment –

They may be employed by large abattoirs, private butcheries and retail stores.

What is the average annual salary of a Meat Processing Officer work?

On average the income per year is around $25,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can a Meat Processing Worker be promoted?

Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience. First-year workers often begin on a part-time basis, fitting their training commitments around other work demands.

The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:

Intern -> Junior Processor -> Senior Processor -> Manager

What kind of difficulties can a Meat Processing Officer face?

The most difficult part is working with carcasses, which will contain blood and fat. They may also have to work overtime and over weekends to ensure strict deadlines are kept. This career may also involve handling dangerous machinery.

​Future growth and Possibilities

The annual growth of new jobs in the meat processing sector is predicated to be around 5%.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required by a Meat Processing Worker?

The skills required for a career as a meat processing worker can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Good computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Meat Processing Worker?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirement to become a meat processing worker is a High School certificate. Further studies is generally not required, but can be done to assist to obtaining managerial positions.

Study Focus

Short Courses-

Courses in animal physiology, meat processing and first aid and safety within the workplace.

Study Duration

Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in becoming a meat processing worker:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Participate in career guidance sessions at school or community centres to learn about various career options, including meat processing.

2. Research Possible Careers:

Research different careers within the meat processing industry, such as butcher, meat cutter, or slaughterhouse worker, to understand the roles and responsibilities associated with each.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore educational paths such as vocational training programmes or apprenticeships in meat processing or related fields.

4. Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the educational path for meat processing, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, and vocational courses related to food processing or agriculture.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic studies and successfully obtain a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6. Learn About Animals:

Gain knowledge about the animals commonly processed in meat processing facilities, their anatomy, and the meat cuts produced from each animal.

7. Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further education at a vocational school or community college, or start a small business related to meat processing.

8. Gain Experience:

Seek opportunities for gaining experience through volunteering at local farms or meat processing facilities, participating in internships, or finding mentorship programmes with experienced professionals.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Engage in extracurricular activities related to food science, agriculture, or culinary arts to broaden skills and knowledge relevant to meat processing.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join professional associations or industry groups related to meat processing to network with professionals and stay updated on industry trends.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Acquire specialised skills through additional training or certification programmes in food safety, meat handling, and equipment operation.

12. Network with Professionals:

Attend industry events, job fairs, or networking opportunities to connect with professionals in the meat processing industry and learn from their experiences.

13. Enter the Job Market, Further Studies, or Business:

Decide whether to enter the job market directly, pursue further studies at a technical school or community college, or start a small business in meat processing.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about advancements in meat processing technology, regulations, and best practices by pursuing continuing education opportunities or attending workshops and seminars.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career

Being a meat processing worker can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as an intern processor after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a manager). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and Apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a meat processing worker will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior processor.

Join the Meat Processing Workers Group to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Professional Associations

None added yet

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards meat and poultry processing.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:


Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 


Access easy-to-use short courses to make your career preparation easier! The basic information in each course is free, but the rewards can only be unlocked as an OZT member!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 


Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Members Only

But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

Join the OZT community and career Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a meat processing worker.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Meat Processing Worker, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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