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

  • $1,252 Weekly Pay
  • 11,100 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 90.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 37.2 hours Average full-time
  • 33 years Average age
  • 12.1% female Gender Share

The number of Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 11,100 in 2017 to 12,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Queensland.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (90.7%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 37.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 33 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (24.4%).
  • Gender: 12.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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
200713900
200813500
200913400
201013200
201110100
201210800
20138900
20149700
201510400
20169700
201711100
202212500

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

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)
Manufacturing88.9
Retail Trade9.1
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1.1
Wholesale Trade0.9

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.
StateMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs Average
NSW19.231.6
VIC28.326.2
QLD39.519.7
SA4.16.7
WA6.210.8
TAS2.72.0
NT0.01.1
ACT0.01.8

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 BracketMeat Boners and Slicers, and SlaughterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.7-5.25.2
20-2420.7-9.99.9
25-3434.4-23.623.6
35-4416.6-21.721.7
45-549.8-20.820.8
55-598.5-8.88.8
60-646.3-6.06.0
65 and Over0.0-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

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, 51-3022.00 - Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers.

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. 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
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, 51-3022.00 - Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers.

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