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.
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 in Meat Processing (Abattoirs/General). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Meat processing workers may perform the following tasks:
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 may be seasonal due to fluctuations in livestock production.
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.