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

    • $1,079 Weekly Pay
    • 14,500 workers Employment Size
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 80.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43.5 hours Average full-time
    • 42 years Average age
    • 8.4% female Gender Share

    The number of Butchers and Smallgoods Makers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
    from 14,500 in 2017 to 15,200 by 2022.
    There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
    • Location: Butchers and Smallgoods Makers work in most regions of Australia.
    • Industries: They work in many industries such as Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (80.8%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.5 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 8.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    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

    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

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Trade84.2
    Wholesale Trade9.4
    Manufacturing5.6
    Accommodation and Food Services0.8

    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 2017, 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
    NSW29.231.6
    VIC24.926.2
    QLD18.519.7
    SA11.16.7
    WA10.410.8
    TAS2.52.0
    NT1.51.1
    ACT1.81.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
    15-1910.0-5.25.2
    20-244.5-9.99.9
    25-3420.9-23.623.6
    35-4420.6-21.721.7
    45-5422.8-20.820.8
    55-598.6-8.88.8
    60-649.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.2-4.04.0

    Education Level

    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.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    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

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    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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