Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers slaughter and eviscerate poultry, and process, grade and package meat, poultry, fish and shellfish.

    You can work as a Meat, Poultry or Seafood Process Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in meat processing or seafood processing might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • processing offal and tripe
    • moving carcasses to chillers and freezers
    • loading meat products into trucks
    • packing boned and sliced meat into cartons
    • stunning and shackling poultry for killing and processing
    • severing jugular veins of poultry, and removing viscera and residual material from poultry carcasses
    • separating organs and glands, such as sweetbreads, livers, hearts and spleens, from poultry carcasses
    • inspecting and grading poultry, fish and shellfish for size and quality
    • packing fish and counting packs before freezing, and packing frozen fish blocks into cartons
    • operating machines which slice, peel, skin and crumb fish
    • cleaning and sanitising equipment and work areas

    More about Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers

    All Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers

    All Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers

    • $1,028 Weekly Pay
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 20,400 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 72% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 37 years Average age
    • 28% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
    from 20,400 in 2018 to 20,600 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,600 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
    • Location: Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers work in many parts of Australia. Queensland and South Australia have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; and Wholesale Trade.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,028 per week (lower than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (72%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 28% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200817100
    200916600
    201014800
    201116500
    201216100.0
    201316700
    201414100
    201519200
    201619300
    201722400
    201820400
    202320600

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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, Poultry and Seafood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10281460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Manufacturing77.6
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing8.2
    Wholesale Trade7.1
    Retail Trade4.1
    Other Industries3.0

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateMeat, Poultry and Seafood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW25.631.6
    VIC23.925.6
    QLD26.220.0
    SA12.37.0
    WA7.210.8
    TAS4.52.0
    NT0.21.0
    ACT0.11.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketMeat, Poultry and Seafood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-194.0-5.05.0
    20-2413.7-9.39.3
    25-3427.4-22.922.9
    35-4421.9-22.022.0
    45-5419.9-21.621.6
    55-597.6-9.09.0
    60-643.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationMeat, Poultry and Seafood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate1.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree5.8-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.2-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV15.3-21.121.1
    Year 1228.2-18.118.1
    Year 118.6-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below36.2-12.512.5

    You can work as a Meat, Poultry or Seafood Process Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in meat processing or seafood processing might be helpful.

    Thinking about study or training?

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

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

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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

    Employers look for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers who are reliable physically fit and have a good work ethic.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Education and training

      49% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    2. Food production

      41% Skill level

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

    3. Mechanical

      40% Skill level

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    4. Chemistry

      38% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    5. Production and processing

      37% Skill level

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

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3023.00 - Slaughterers and Meat Packers.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Spend time standing

      97% Important

      Spend time standing at work.

    2. Wear common protective or safety equipment

      96% Important

      Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

    3. Loud or uncomfortable sounds

      91% Important

      Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

    4. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      90% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    5. Time pressure

      88% Important

      Work to strict deadlines.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-3023.00 - Slaughterers and Meat Packers.

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