How to become a Meat Processing Worker

Meat processing workers perform a wide range of tasks, including handling, slaughtering and processing livestock, operating processing and rendering equipment, dispatching products, and keeping records.

Personal requirements of a Meat Processing Worker

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to work safely

Education & Training for a Meat Processing Worker

You can work as a meat processing worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a meat processing worker through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Australian Meat Industry Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.

Duties & Tasks of a Meat Processing Worker

Meat processing workers:

  • move and manage animals before they are slaughtered
  • stun animals using an electrical device or cartridge gun
  • bleed animals while they are unconscious
  • remove hides/pelts and internal organs
  • use saws to split the carcasses
  • trim carcasses
  • move carcasses to chillers and freezers
  • break carcasses by boning and slicing meat cuts for sale and further processing
  • pack the boned and sliced meat into cartons
  • process hides and pelts
  • process by-products
  • load meat products into trucks.

Working conditions for a Meat Processing Worker

Meat processing workers stand for most of the day. Hands and clothes may become soiled with blood or fat, but health regulations ensure that meat processing workers work under hygienic conditions. The areas in which they work are usually large, well lit and ventilated, and kept very clean. Employers usually provide a laundry service for uniforms.

Employment Opportunities for a Meat Processing Worker

Employment opportunities may be seasonal due to fluctuations in livestock production.


Boner and Slicer

A boner and slicer breaks down carcasses by removing bones and slicing meat so that it is ready for sale or further processing.


A renderer operates processing plants to produce meat meal, fertilisers and tallow.


A slaughterer works in the area where the animals are killed and the hides and internal organs are removed.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:


NSW NSW 33.3%

NT NT 0.2%

QLD QLD 20.7%

SA SA 7.1%

TAS TAS 4.3%

VIC VIC 25.9%

WA WA 8.4%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 66.3%

Female 33.7%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 13.4%

Not completed Year 12: 33.2%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 32.8%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 8.1%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 6.5%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 6.1%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 6.5%

20-24 - 10.5%

25-34 - 29.2%

35-44 - 27.5%

45-54 - 17.2%

55-59 - 3.2%

60-64 - 4%

65 and Over - 1.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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