Slaughterers and Meat Packers Career Video
Description: Perform nonroutine or precision functions involving the preparation of large portions of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat for marketing, making sausage, or wrapping meats. Work typically occurs in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments.
Slaughterers and meat packers process livestock into meat that will be packaged and shipped to the market for consumption. Slaughterers kill domestic animals such as cattle, chickens, turkeys, or pigs, in the manner prescribed by industry standards. They are charged with preventing any kind of animal abuse. They, along with meat packers, may also be responsible for draining blood, skinning the carcass, or removing bones. Some meat packers’ tasks are similar to those of butchers, who chop and slice meat into specific cuts for packaging, with the key difference being that meat packers typically cut apart the animal’s whole carcass shortly after it’s been slaughtered. Slaughterhouses are messy and loud environments, and the work is not easy; it requires dexterity, strength, and stamina. Slaughterers must work as a part of a group and spend most of their time performing repetitive tasks that many people may find unpleasant. Slaughterers and meat packers work in environmentally controlled indoor environments, and often work over 40 hours a week. Many slaughterers and meat packers have a high school diploma or equivalent but there are no formal education requirements.