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Slaughterers and Meat Packers

Slaughterers and Meat Packers
Quick Facts : Slaughterers and Meat Packers*
2010 Median Pay$23,380
Entry Level EducationLess than high school
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201289,100
Job Outlook8% (Slower than average)
Employment Change7,400

Slaughterers and meat packers kill and clean animals, divide carcasses into manageable sections, and grind or otherwise prepare and pack products, such as boxed beef, for shipping to distribution centers.

What Slaughterers and Meat Packers Do

  • Slaughter animals and cut meat and poultry into smaller portions
  • Operate machinery, such as motorized saws, conveyors, or electrical stunning equipment
  • Grind, chop, or cut meat into retail sizes and package it for shipping
  • Comply with industry health standards

Work Environment

The slaughtering floors of most processing facilities are rarely climate controlled and may become very hot during the summer and very cold during the winter. Slaughterers and meat packers have to stand for the majority, if not all, of their shift.
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Job Outlook

Employment of slaughterers and meat packers is expected to grow by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, as expanding population and international trade will create demand for meat and related products.
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The average salary of slaughterers and meat packers was $23,380 in May 2010.
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Slaughterers and Meat Packers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Slaughterers and Meat Packers


Installation & Production Occupations


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Slaughterers and Meat Packers*
Percent Change in Employment

Slaughterers and Meat Packers


Installation & Production Occupations


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Becoming a Slaughterers and Meat Packers

On-the-job training may last a few days or a few months, but slaughterers and meat packers often get more training every year. Generally, trainees begin by doing less difficult jobs, such as making simple cuts or removing bones.
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