What Do Slaughterers and Meat Packers Do?
In order for people to have meat on the table, everyone relies on slaughterers and meat packers. These professionals play a role in every step of the meat delivery process. This includes specialized slaughtering to ensure the finest cuts of meats are obtained, and these individuals deal with all kinds of meat, from poultry to fish. This type of work is expected to see a slight decrease in the number of position that will be available by the end of the decade. A decrease of 2% is projected to take place every year, and while jobs will be lost, there is still expected to be nearly 2,000 job openings taking place annually.
Slaughterers and Meat Packers Skills and Abilities
In order to ensure that all the meat being handled is kept safe and sanitary to eat, meat packers need to be familiar with proper food production techniques. That includes knowing the best way to handle and store a particular type of meat. A lot of intricate tools and machines are used in this line of work, so you should be familiar with public security measures to make sure everyone working at the business is kept safe. Since a large portion of a slaughterer’s responsibilities involves cutting meat, you need to have excellent arm-hand steadiness. Precise cuts need to be taken, and you do not want to have too much or too little in a package. You may also need to carry large quantities around a factory, so superior strength can also come in handy.
Slaughterers and Meat Packers Duties
Not only will you be cutting the meat, but you will also need to remove the bones. You may also need to remove superfluous parts that are not edible, and you will need to dispose of these parts in the proper manner. Before the meat can be packaged, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly, so that will be another one of your duties. Some meat will need to be prepared according to specific religious practices, so if asked, you will need to prepare specific meats differently. Some parts will need to be shaved further before they are ready for consumption. For example, the feathers of a bird will need to be plucked off prior to being packaged. Some other activities you should be able to do include:
- Stunning an animal prior to slaughtering.
- Sawing a carcass to make it easier to handle.
- Curing certain meats.
- Overseeing assembly lines.
- Grinding carcasses down.
Slaughterers and Meat Packers Tools and Technology
Various tools and machines are needed in this line of work. If you are unfamiliar with these components now, then you will need to learn.
- Knife sharpeners
- Shearing equipment
- Chop cutting machines
- Package wrapping machines
Education and Training for Slaughterers and Meat Packers
No real education is required for this position, and many individuals are able to get a job with less than a high school diploma. However, on-site training is required so that you get the experience you need to work independently.
Slaughterers and Meat Packers Salary
The highest paid slaughterers and meat packers in the country generally make around $16.74/hour. That wage is typically reserved for the most experienced professionals, and the median hourly wage is closer to $12.29.
Slaughterers and Meat Packers Jobs by Geography
Animal processing plants and grocery stores have a large need for high-quality meat packers, and the states with the highest employment levels for this job include North Carolina, Minnesota and California. The top paying state for slaughterers is Colorado, which has a mean annual wage of $31,510. More information about your state is readily available and is useful to browse through if you want to get involved with this industry.