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.

    Either extensive experience or a certificate III in meat processing (retail butcher) is needed to work as a Butcher or Smallgoods Maker.

    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

    All Butchers and Smallgoods Makers

    • $1,056 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 19,700 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 82% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 46 hours Average full-time
    • 39 years Average age
    • 6% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Butchers and Smallgoods Makers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 19,700 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 below average in 2018.
    • Location: Butchers and Smallgoods Makers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Retail Trade; Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,056 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (82%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 6% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Butchers and Smallgoods Makers in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Butchers and Smallgoods Makers.

    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
    200821400
    200918900
    201016900
    201120700
    201221700
    201322200
    201417400
    201520500
    201616000
    201714900
    201819700
    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.
    EarningsButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10561460

    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)
    Retail Trade82.6
    Manufacturing10.2
    Wholesale Trade5.2
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing0.6
    Other Industries1.4

    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.
    StateButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs Average
    NSW30.931.6
    VIC22.625.6
    QLD23.720.0
    SA8.77.0
    WA9.710.8
    TAS2.72.0
    NT0.71.0
    ACT1.01.9

    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 BracketButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-196.6-5.05.0
    20-2412.8-9.39.3
    25-3422.3-22.922.9
    35-4419.9-22.022.0
    45-5419.1-21.621.6
    55-598.6-9.09.0
    60-646.4-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.2-4.24.2

    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 QualificationButchers and Smallgoods MakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree1.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.7-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV67.0-21.121.1
    Year 1210.7-18.118.1
    Year 113.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below15.2-12.512.5

    Either extensive experience or a certificate III in meat processing (retail butcher) is needed to work as a Butcher or Smallgoods Maker.

    Registration with the relevant state or territory board may be needed to work as a Butcher or Smallgoods Maker.

    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 VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Food Production

      59% Skill level

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

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      55% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Production and Processing

      47% Skill level

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

    4. Sales and Marketing

      38% Skill level

      Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    5. Mechanical

      34% Skill level

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

    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, 51-3021.00 - 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

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

    1. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      100% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    2. Spend Time Standing

      97% Important

      How much time do you spend standing?

    3. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

      96% Important

      How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

    4. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

      91% Important

      How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

    5. Contact With Others

      90% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    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, 51-3021.00 - Butchers and Meat Cutters.

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