Butchers and Smallgoods Makers select, cut, trim, prepare and arrange meat for sale and supply, operate meat and smallgoods processing machines, and manage the processes in the production of smallgoods.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification.

Tasks

  • preparing meat for sale by removing bones, trimming fat and cutting, mincing and grinding meat to shape and size for display or as ordered
  • preparing crumbed cuts of meat, and marinating, seasoning and curing special cuts
  • selecting and preparing meat to produce smallgoods
  • operating machines to grind, mix, mince and tenderise meat
  • making seasonings and pickles by mixing spices, salt and other ingredients
  • operating sausage filling machines, smoking chambers, and cooking kettles and vats
  • advising customers on the suitability and uses of cuts of meat
  • may assist in menu planning and scheduling, and in estimating food production costs

Job Titles

  • Butcher, or Smallgoods Maker

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,079 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      moderate
    • Skill Level

      Certificate III or IV
    • Employment Size

      14,500
    • Unemployment

      above average
    • Male Share

      94.9%
    • Female Share

      5.1%
    • Full-Time Share

      84.4%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a medium sized occupation employing 14,500 workers. The number of workers has fallen over the past 5 years.
    Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to grow moderately to 15,200. Around 9,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of Butchers and Smallgoods Makers.
    • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Retail Trade; Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade.
    • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,079 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 36 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

    In 2016, employers in some locations found it hard to fill vacancies for Butchers and Smallgoods Makers. To find out more, view the Department of Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200720600
    200821500
    200919000
    201016900
    201120700
    201221700
    201322200
    201417500
    201519800
    201615700
    201714500
    202215200

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10791230

    Hours

    Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs Average
    Full-time84.468.4
    Part-time15.631.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.640

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Retail Trade87.1
    Manufacturing7.2
    Wholesale Trade5.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs Average
    NSW16.231.8
    VIC22.325.5
    QLD2719.8
    SA66.8
    WA2411.2
    TAS32
    NT1.11.1
    ACT0.51.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-197.4-5.45.4
    20-2410.6-9.99.9
    25-3428-23.423.4
    35-4419-21.721.7
    45-5415.4-21.121.1
    55-597.4-8.78.7
    60-647.6-5.95.9
    65 and Over4.6-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryButchers and Smallgoods MakersCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males94.9Males53.6
    Females5.1Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV57-18.918.9
    Year 127.4-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 1027.5-17.717.7
    Below Year 108.1-8.18.1

    A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for Butchers and Smallgoods Makers who are reliable, well presented and have a good work ethic.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Customer and Personal Service

      83% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Food Production

      78% Important

      Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

    3. Production and Processing

      67% Important

      Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

    4. Sales and Marketing

      62% Important

      Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    5. English Language

      55% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3021.00 - Butchers and Meat Cutters.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

      79% Important

      Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

    2. Getting Information

      76% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

      75% Important

      Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

    4. Performing General Physical Activities

      74% Important

      Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

    5. Selling or Influencing Others

      73% Important

      Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3021.00 - Butchers and Meat Cutters.

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