Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers trim and cut meat from bones, sides and carcasses, and slaughter livestock in abattoirs.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

Tasks

  • operating switching controls to direct and drop carcasses and meat cuts from supply rails to boning tables
  • cutting meat to separate meat, fat and tissue from around bones
  • washing, scraping and trimming foreign material and blood from meat
  • cutting sides and quarters of meat into standard meat cuts, such as rumps, flanks and shoulders, and removing internal fat, blood clots, bruises and other matter to prepare them for packing and marketing
  • operating restrainer and stunning equipment
  • severing jugular veins of stunned animals to drain blood and facilitate dressing
  • trimming and removing head meat and severing animal heads
  • slitting open, eviscerating and trimming animal carcasses
  • may slaughter livestock according to procedures required by religious customs

Job Titles

  • Meat Boner and Slicer
  • Slaughterer
  • Meat Boner and Slicer

    Trims and cuts meat from bones, sides and carcasses.

    Specialisations: Meat Trimmer

  • Slaughterer

    Stuns and kills livestock, and prepares carcasses for further processing by removing internal organs and hides.

    Specialisations: Stunner and Shackler (Abattoir)

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,252 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    11400
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    91.7%
  • Female Share

    8.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    85.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 11,400 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers.
  • They nearly all work in Manufacturing.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,252 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 33 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200511700
200615200
200713700
200811600
200913800
201012300
20119900
20129300
20137900
201411200
201511400
202010700

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.
EarningsMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings12521230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

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.
CategoryMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs Average
Full-time85.368.4
Part-time14.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.840

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)
Manufacturing93.5
Wholesale Trade2.6
Retail Trade2.6
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1.3

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.
StateMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs Average
NSW16.731.8
VIC14.125.5
QLD52.419.8
SA2.46.8
WA12.211.2
TAS2.12
NT0.21.1
ACT01.8

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 BracketMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-196.6-5.45.4
20-2416.2-9.99.9
25-3435.2-23.423.4
35-4419.9-21.721.7
45-548.6-21.121.1
55-592.6-8.78.7
60-6410.7-5.95.9
65 and Over0-3.83.8

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.
CategoryMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males91.7Males53.6
Females8.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

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 Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers who are reliable, hardworking and can work well in a team.

Knowledge

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

  1. Production and Processing

    83% Important

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

  2. Food Production

    71% Important

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

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    58% Important

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

  4. English Language

    51% Important

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

  5. Mathematics

    50% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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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. Handling and Moving Objects

    87% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    67% Important

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

  3. Training and Teaching Others

    61% Important

    Identifying the educational needs of others, developing training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

  4. Controlling Machines and Processes

    59% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  5. Checking Compliance with Standards

    57% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Occupational Information Network Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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