Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers
Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers trim and cut meat from bones, sides and carcasses, and slaughter livestock in abattoirs.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 9,700 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 74% of people employed as Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 8 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,178 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,064
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,373
Median hourly earnings are $30, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Most Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers work in the Manufacturing industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers||All Jobs Average|
Around 82% of Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers is 34 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 12% of the workforce. This is 36 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||0.9||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Meat Boner and Slicer, or Slaughterer. Although some workers have a certificate II or III in meat processing.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.3||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||33.3||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Meat Boners and Slicers, and Slaughterers who are reliable, hardworking and can work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
34%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading work related information.
29%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
29%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
29%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
29%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
61%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
51%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
34%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
32%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
29%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
28%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
28%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
27%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
21%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
21%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
16%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
36%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
86%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
51%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
44%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
44%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
35%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
35%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
33%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
31%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
31%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
31%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
30%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
29%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
29%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
28%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
27%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
27%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
26%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
22%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
18%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
15%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
97%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
89%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
87%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
86%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
79%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
76%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk with people face-to-face.
74%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
Work to strict deadlines.
72%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
71%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
71%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
70%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
69%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
Talk on the telephone.
67%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Work with people in a group or team.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
63%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
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, 51-3022.00 - Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers.