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Slaughterers and Meat Packers
SOC Code: 51-3023.00

Work in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments performing precision functions involving the preparation of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat for marketing, making sausage, or wrapping meats.

Sample of reported job titles: Boning Room Worker, Meat Packager, Meat Packer, Meat Processor, Meat Trimmer, Meat Wrapper, Production Worker, Saw Man, Side Puller, Wrapper


  • Remove bones, and cut meat into standard cuts in preparation for marketing.
  • Sever jugular veins to drain blood and facilitate slaughtering.
  • Tend assembly lines, performing a few of the many cuts needed to process a carcass.
  • Shackle hind legs of animals to raise them for slaughtering or skinning.
  • Slit open, eviscerate, and trim carcasses of slaughtered animals.
  • Stun animals prior to slaughtering.
  • Skin sections of animals or whole animals.
  • Cut, trim, skin, sort, and wash viscera of slaughtered animals to separate edible portions from offal.
  • Shave or singe and defeather carcasses, and wash them in preparation for further processing or packaging.
  • Saw, split, or scribe carcasses into smaller portions to facilitate handling.
  • Trim head meat, and sever or remove parts of animals' heads or skulls.
  • Grind meat into hamburger, and into trimmings used to prepare sausages, luncheon meats, and other meat products.
  • Trim, clean, or cure animal hides.
  • Wrap dressed carcasses or meat cuts.
  • Slaughter animals in accordance with religious law, and determine that carcasses meet specified religious standards.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - AccountMate Software AccountMate
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Integrated Management Systems Food Connex Cloud; Second Foundation NaviMeat
  • Inventory management software - AgInfoLink Meat Inventory Tracking System MITS; RFID software; Traceability software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office

Tools Used

  • Animal shearing or clipping equipment - Dehairing machines
  • Belt conveyors - Belt conveyor systems
  • Blast freezers - Blast chillers
  • Commercial use cutlery - Butcher knives; Skinning knives
  • Commercial use food grinders - Meat grinders
  • Commercial use food slicers - Bacon slicers
  • Commercial use scales - Food scales
  • Cooling machine - Food cooling equipment
  • Cutting machinery - Chop cutting machines; Meat-cutting bandsaws
  • Dicing machinery - Cubing machines
  • Electronic measuring probes - Meat grading probes
  • Engraving machines - Carcass branding machines
  • Filling machinery - Casing stuffing machines
  • Forklifts - Industrial forklifts
  • Form or fill or seal machinery - Meat package filling and sealing machines
  • Forming machine - Steak patty machines
  • Hoists - Hoisting equipment
  • Knife blades - Meat cleavers
  • Label making machines - Label printers
  • Livestock identification equipment - Shoulder tattooers
  • Packaging compactors - Meat compactors
  • Personal computers
  • Power saws - Motorized saws
  • Radio frequency identification devices - Radio frequency identification RFID devices
  • Shackles - Livestock shackles
  • Sharpening stones or tools or kits - Knife sharpeners; Sharpening steels
  • Slicing machinery - Slicing machines
  • Stunner - Electrical stunning equipment
  • Touch screen monitors - Touch screen computers
  • Wrapping machinery - Package wrapping machines; Shrink wrap meat packing machines


  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.


  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 62% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 77% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 60% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Physical Proximity - 87% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 47% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 45% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 26% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 44% responded “Important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 49% responded “Serious.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 43% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 43% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 33% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 36% responded “No freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 36% responded “About half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 44% responded “Never.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 46% responded “Never.”
  • Level of Competition - 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
61%High school diploma or equivalent
29%Less than high school diploma
11%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $13.23 hourly, $27,530 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 83,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 10,100

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