Slaughterers and Meat Packers

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About the Job

Work in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments performing precision functions involving the preparation of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat for marketing, making sausage, or wrapping meats.

It is also Called

  • Wrapper
  • Throat Cutter
  • Tank House Operator
  • Side Puller
  • Shochet
  • Sheep Killer
  • Shactor
  • Seafood Processor
  • Scriber
  • Sawyer
View All

What They Do

  • Slaughter animals in accordance with religious law, and determine that carcasses meet specified religious standards.
  • Wrap dressed carcasses or meat cuts.
  • Trim, clean, or cure animal hides.
  • Grind meat into hamburger, and into trimmings used to prepare sausages, luncheon meats, and other meat products.
  • Trim head meat, and sever or remove parts of animals' heads or skulls.
  • Saw, split, or scribe carcasses into smaller portions to facilitate handling.
  • Shave or singe and defeather carcasses, and wash them in preparation for further processing or packaging.
  • Cut, trim, skin, sort, and wash viscera of slaughtered animals to separate edible portions from offal.
  • Skin sections of animals or whole animals.
  • Stun animals prior to slaughtering.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $28,710 with most people making between $18,420 and $40,250


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,850 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 3,070 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 22 openings due to growth and about 58 replacement openings for approximately 80 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education