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Meat Packing Worker Job Description, Career as a Meat Packing Worker, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

income workers plants carcass animals

Education and Training: High school

Salary: Varies—see profile

Employment Outlook: Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Meat packers work in large meat packing plants or smaller slaughterhouses that prepare beef, lamb, and pork. They use several kinds of knives, cleavers, and saws to do their work. Most of their work is done on assembly lines. Raw meat passes through about forty-five different operations before it is ready for the market.

First, workers bring the animals from holding lots to individual pens in the slaughterhouse. Meat packing plants must follow the federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1960. The law requires slaughterhouses to use humane methods that do not cause the animals pain. Workers called stunners use mechanical or chemical devices to make the animals unconscious before they slaughter them. When the animal is unconscious, shacklers hoist it to an overhead rail belt. Animal stickers then cut the jugular vein and let all the blood drain from the carcass, or dead body. The overhead rail then brings the carcass to steamers, de-hairing machine tenders, singers, and shavers, who remove the hide, hair, and dirt, and clean the carcass with water and brushes. Then carcass splitters cleave the carcass open and remove the innards. After eviscerators and offal separators separate the edible and inedible parts from the carcass, they send the split sides to a chilling room for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. After chilling, meatcutters, or butchers, cut the heads off the carcasses. Using cleavers, saws, and knives, they slice beef and lamb into various sizes, such as quarters, forequarters, and hindquarters. They ship some meat this way to wholesalers or other customers.

Meat packing workers may bone and trim the meat if the wholesaler requests it. Band saw operators and trimmers divide the quarters into large cuts, such as loins or rounds. Sometimes packing plant workers prepare individual cuts, such as steaks and chops. Most often, however, the wholesaler or retailer does this last step.

Hogs, although slaughtered the same way as cattle, calves, and lambs, are processed differently. Hogs have tough, hairy hides. Before skinners remove the hide from the carcass, they scald it to soften the hair. Singers shave, singe, or use automatic scrapers to remove most of the hair. As with other animal carcasses, meat packing workers wash, split, and chill hog carcasses. Then workers may cut the meat into fresh pork for the market. Dry curers pack some meat with curing agents such as salt, sugar, or sodium nitrate. The curing is done in modern smokehouses. After they cure the meat, workers use machines that slice and mold bacon. Other workers operate machines that weigh and package the bacon. Often, they make sausages from pork meat. As part of this process, casing-running-machine tenders operate machines that grind the meat and stuff it into the sausage casings. Other workers tend machines that cook or smoke the sausage for the market.

To protect consumers, health safety inspectors carefully check all meat often during the process. First they inspect the live animals before they enter the slaughterhouse—meat packing plants will accept only healthy animals. Inspection continues throughout processing. The meat must be prepared under clean, sanitary conditions. Inspectors decide when meat is unfit for use. Harmful additives cannot be used in meat, and labeling must not be false. Agents of the U.S. Department of Agriculture routinely inspect meat packing plants. Local government agencies may do other inspections.

Education and Training Requirements

Many employers prefer to hire applicants who have a high school education. Interested students should take courses in shop to develop their mechanical ability. Training takes place on the job. Some trade schools offer courses in meat packing and processing work.

Getting the Job

The largest meat packing plants are in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri; Joliet, Illinois; St. Paul, Minnesota; Fort Worth, Texas; and Los Angeles, California. Meat packing plants, slaughterhouses, and butchers accept applications made in person. The state employment and newspaper classifieds also offer job leads.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Workers may advance to more highly skilled work that offers better pay. In unionized plants workers with the most experience receive the first opportunity for better jobs. Sometimes meat packing plants shift workers from one kind of work to another. Workers with experience in several operations in the plant may advance to supervisory positions.

Overall employment of meat packing workers is expected to grow as fast as the average through the year 2012. Although meat packing plants are increasingly mechanized, the growing popularity of labor-intensive, ready-to-heat meat and poultry products will increase the demand for workers. Openings will also occur when experienced workers retire or leave their jobs for other reasons.

Working Conditions

Some work in meat packing plants may be hazardous. Workers are exposed to intense heat or extreme cold. Beginners may need to adjust to the strong odors in slaughterhouses. Many devices are used to protect the workers' safety. The slippery floors are often corrugated, and steel-capped shoes may be worn. Workers may wear hard hats, special aprons, arm-guards, or mesh gloves. Despite these safeguards, there is still a chance for serious injury, which is always the case when workers use equipment such as large knives, cleavers, and other sharp cutting tools.

The meat packers' work week averages more than forty hours, including overtime, for which workers are paid time and a half. Higher wages are paid for weekend and holiday work. Many workers belong to labor unions.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association of Meat Processors
P.O. Box 269
One Meating Place
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
(717) 367-1168
http://www.aamp.com

National Meat Canners Association
1150 Connecticut Ave. NW, 12th fl.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 587-4273
http://www.meatami.com

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
1775 K St., NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 223-3111
http://www.ufcw.org

Earnings and Benefits

Wages for meat packing workers vary with experience and location of the work. The average income of butchers and meatcutters is $25,500 per year. Less skilled meatpacking workers, such as meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers, earn an average of $17,820 per year. Meat cutters who take advantage of overtime can earn more. The union contracts determine benefits such as holidays, paid vacations, and health and life insurance. In nonunion plants, wages for unskilled work begin at the minimum wage.

Coal Miner Job Description, Career as a Coal Miner, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Lumber Mill Worker Job Description, Career as a Lumber Mill Worker, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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almost 6 years ago

I am very interested in obtaining employment, please contact me with instructions on how to persuit. Thank you and have a nice day.

Tommie Burnett

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over 5 years ago

i am a filipino..i am an experienced meatcutters and slaughterman .i am interested to apply on this job..where to apply on this job and what are necessarry requirements and qualification on this position..hoping to find luck on this job..

you can reach me thru my email..
thank you!!!

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almost 6 years ago

I was a vegan ones but then i realized how hypocritical is it to say dont kill and eat animals, but then go and kill and consume a plant which is actuly more intelllegent than that cow... Kill or be killed is the natural cycle of most things..

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about 6 years ago

I would like to know , what will be the necessary requirement to work as meat Processing worker.

Thanking you.

Rajesh sah

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about 8 years ago

Ah... wonderful that I should stumble here and see someone before me has the same sentiments... There's nothing "humane" about butchering animals. It is not necessary - we can thrive on a plant based diet. Go Vegan.

www.humanemyth.org

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about 6 years ago

Very interested in meat packaging plant jobs..my number is (402)936-2078, thank you!!!

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over 5 years ago

This didn't put me off eating meat.

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over 5 years ago

This didn't put me off eating meat.

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over 5 years ago

mujer

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over 5 years ago

mujer tengo 2 anos de experiensa en nabajas de aire

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over 5 years ago

mujer

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over 5 years ago

mujer

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over 5 years ago

mujer

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about 6 years ago

My father worked for Evergood which became Armour (Star) Meat Co. in Memphis, TN from the summer of 1952 until the plant closed down completely. Unsure of that date. I am curious to know what his starting salary would have been back in 1952 and what his wage would have been in 1964. He joined the union when it came to the plant. Do you have any idea of what his retirment income might have been? I think he was considered a non-skilled worker as he was not a butcher. I am very interested in knowing this information for personal reasons. Thank you for a speedy reply.

Sandra.

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over 4 years ago

i have worked at progressive as a meat parker since five years .iam looking for new environment place to work as soon as i get the job.

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over 5 years ago

hi! im an experienced slaughterman just move to LA from new york like to get some more information on how to get a job in a slaughterhouse in los angeles any information available on how to apply for this type of job please reach me thru my email... thank you!!!

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over 6 years ago

Meat Packing Worker Job Description, Career as a Meat Packing Worker, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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about 8 years ago

Wow this is total bull.
Half the animals are alive through those process's. And instead of having them be unconscious while skinned or burned or being hung up- they're alive.
Get your facts before putting this shiz up.

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over 6 years ago

Well i am trying to find a job for my dad so i will show this to him when i get home

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almost 8 years ago

If you wish to be a vegan that is your choice!!! how ever to say that others must and can not have a choice get a life!!! we kill each other in more horrific ways than the way we use to humanly disassemble these animals. we would not have the intelect or skill base if we did not eat meat!! look it up

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over 5 years ago

I'd love to know where you all are from, with your "inhumane" sentiments. Perhaps YOU should get the facts about where your food comes from. And I don't mean going out and renting some documentary that is specifically DESIGNED to make you believe that the industry is bad. I mean pull on some boots and take a walk through a Missouri pasture. Talk to a farmer. Set yourself straight. Thanks!

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over 4 years ago

thanx 4 the info. i got an A+ on mmy paper.it really helped me out.

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over 4 years ago

Hello respected sir/madam
Manpower from INDIA.
We are leading, Gov't approved manpower agency in India.
We are supplying , helper
(Labors) and Drivers to all countries.
and other categories which are not mentioned here also.
Why to recruit from India:
Through the experience gained over the years in the foreign employment, it has been seen that many countries have shown their interest in hiring the Indian skilled, semi skilled and unskilled manpower because of the following reasons.
• Indian workers are well known for their hard work, dedication and loyalty
• The employers could get the advantage of wider choice
• Every categories of manpower are readily available
• Formalities and procedures for the recruitment are simple
• Indian workers are comparatively cost effective and their hiring cost is lower as compared to other labour exporting countries
• Indian workers are experienced in working in the extreme climatic conditions
• India is situated very close to the labour importing countries and linked by air with these countries.
Available Categories

The categories of manpower available in India are broadly classified into four groups.
• Professional
• Skilled Technicians
• Semi skilled
• Unskilled
Professional categories:
• Managers
• Engineers of different stream like computer, civil, mechanical and chemical etc.
• Medical doctors
• Scientist in various fields
• Professors/ Teachers in various fields
• Chartered / Cost Accountants
• Geologists/ Soil specialist
• Architects/ Planners
• Banking specialist
• Travel and Tour operators
• Accountants
Skilled Technicians:
• Diploma Engineers
• Pharmacist
• Laboratory technicians
• Medical assistants
• Paramedics
• Foreman, Electrical, Mechanical, civil etc.
• Chefs
• Construction supervisors
• Quality Surveyors
• Welders
• Carpenters
• Building Painters, Spray Painters
• Steel fixers
• Masons
• Tile fixers and Plasterers
• Plumbers
• Pipe fitters
• Steel Fabricators
• Drivers, Heavy and Light
• Drafts men
• Waiters, Cooks and Bakers
• Security Guards
• Operators: Machine, Laundry, Shovel, Bulldozer, Power trailor, Computer
• Gold Smith
Semi skilled:
• Electric Helpers
• Mechanical helpers
• Scaffolders
• Glass cutter
• Mason helpers
• Washer men
• Pressmen
• Office Assistants
• Waiters
• Assistant cook
• Kitchen helpers
• Barbers
• Gardeners
• Shop assistant
• Salesmen: Timekeeper, Office boy etc.
Unskilled:
• Construction workers
• Cleaners
• Watch men/ Guards
• Agriculture labourers
• Industrial labourers
• Office boys
• Room Boys
Being a licensed agency from Indian, We undertake complete
responsibility to recruit any category of personnel from Indian. We
are interest to join hand with your agency for supplying Indian
workers as per the requirement.
If we got a chance from you to supply workers to your reputed company,
we are sure to keep our promise to complete the job as per the given
terms and conditions by you. It would be our convenience to get reply
from you whatever you is interest with us or not.
Note: we want to business with you both sides mutual profit business
Hoping to get your reply at your earliest.


Mrs. Rajwinder Kaur
Managing Director
Royal Employment
Like page on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/ManpowerAgency
Skpye id : ROYAL.EMPLOYMENT
Email: royal.employment@yahoo.in
Twitter account: @ROYALEMPLOYMENT
Linkedin: royal employment agency

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

Hello respected sir/madam
Manpower from INDIA.
We are leading, Gov't approved manpower agency in India.
We are supplying , helper
(Labors) and Drivers to all countries.
and other categories which are not mentioned here also.
Why to recruit from India:
Through the experience gained over the years in the foreign employment, it has been seen that many countries have shown their interest in hiring the Indian skilled, semi skilled and unskilled manpower because of the following reasons.
• Indian workers are well known for their hard work, dedication and loyalty
• The employers could get the advantage of wider choice
• Every categories of manpower are readily available
• Formalities and procedures for the recruitment are simple
• Indian workers are comparatively cost effective and their hiring cost is lower as compared to other labour exporting countries
• Indian workers are experienced in working in the extreme climatic conditions
• India is situated very close to the labour importing countries and linked by air with these countries.
Available Categories

The categories of manpower available in India are broadly classified into four groups.
• Professional
• Skilled Technicians
• Semi skilled
• Unskilled
Professional categories:
• Managers
• Engineers of different stream like computer, civil, mechanical and chemical etc.
• Medical doctors
• Scientist in various fields
• Professors/ Teachers in various fields
• Chartered / Cost Accountants
• Geologists/ Soil specialist
• Architects/ Planners
• Banking specialist
• Travel and Tour operators
• Accountants
Skilled Technicians:
• Diploma Engineers
• Pharmacist
• Laboratory technicians
• Medical assistants
• Paramedics
• Foreman, Electrical, Mechanical, civil etc.
• Chefs
• Construction supervisors
• Quality Surveyors
• Welders
• Carpenters
• Building Painters, Spray Painters
• Steel fixers
• Masons
• Tile fixers and Plasterers
• Plumbers
• Pipe fitters
• Steel Fabricators
• Drivers, Heavy and Light
• Drafts men
• Waiters, Cooks and Bakers
• Security Guards
• Operators: Machine, Laundry, Shovel, Bulldozer, Power trailor, Computer
• Gold Smith
Semi skilled:
• Electric Helpers
• Mechanical helpers
• Scaffolders
• Glass cutter
• Mason helpers
• Washer men
• Pressmen
• Office Assistants
• Waiters
• Assistant cook
• Kitchen helpers
• Barbers
• Gardeners
• Shop assistant
• Salesmen: Timekeeper, Office boy etc.
Unskilled:
• Construction workers
• Cleaners
• Watch men/ Guards
• Agriculture labourers
• Industrial labourers
• Office boys
• Room Boys
Being a licensed agency from Indian, We undertake complete
responsibility to recruit any category of personnel from Indian. We
are interest to join hand with your agency for supplying Indian
workers as per the requirement.
If we got a chance from you to supply workers to your reputed company,
we are sure to keep our promise to complete the job as per the given
terms and conditions by you. It would be our convenience to get reply
from you whatever you is interest with us or not.
Note: we want to business with you both sides mutual profit business
Hoping to get your reply at your earliest.


Mrs. Rajwinder Kaur
Managing Director
Royal Employment
Like page on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/ManpowerAgency
Skpye id : ROYAL.EMPLOYMENT
Email: royal.employment@yahoo.in
Twitter account: @ROYALEMPLOYMENT
Linkedin: royal employment agency

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almost 5 years ago

sir
i waant job if possible then sir i am rady to do work

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about 5 years ago

WOW, This is a post about meat packing and processing, if you have a problem with this sort of stuff then why did you search it? why did you read it? why are u putting negative feed back to something you had a choice whether or not to read it so Shut up if you dont like this, and stay out of the way of those who want to make money. you dont see people getting on here saying you have to eat meat if u dont want to and no one even cares that you dont like meat, so stop asking for attention and go look for details on a different job you might be more capable of doing or even reading about for that fact. Thank you and have a nice day.

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over 2 years ago

i respect sir i am m.a.kareem please give me packing job.please give reply by mailling my address;45/c nallagutta ramgopalpeth secunderabad 500003 telangana india.p.no.9346568582.please give me reply as soon as possible. thank q

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about 4 years ago

Dear Mr./Ms. Recruiting Manager,

Good morning!

Trust this mail will find you with good health.
We would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce our Company ‘Frontdesk Bangladesh’. Frontdesk Bangladesh is a leasing Management Consulting firm engage in various HR & Management activities along with Organizational Development, Talent Hunt & Placement, Corporate Training and Employee Process Outsourcing .
For your kind information, we have good number of profile on meat packaging workers who can work in your factory with low wage. If you are planning to recruit foreign workers in your different projects, it would be kind enough if you please consider my proposal and give us an opportunity to work together.
This is for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,

Arif Iftekhar
Lead Consultant
Frontdesk Bangladesh (FDB)
Cell: +8801713061232
Road # 4, House # 287, Suit # 2
Baridhara DOHS
Dhaka, Bangladesh
www.frontdeskbd.com
Skype: arififtekhar

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about 4 years ago

I don't know how many years ago the author of this article got his information or where he got it from, but since 1978-1994 butchers and deboners in a meat processing facility were then making union wages which was certainly more than 25,000. a year. Even in a non-union plant, in this day and age would be making 48,000. to 52,000. a year.

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about 4 years ago

hi my name cristiano and i work with meats since 15 years. (deboner + trimmer) if you have any vacancy available please contact us. Thank you. CRISTIANO AMORIM DA SILVA

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over 4 years ago

Don't Sweat the technique I'am a keep Guessing