What career options are available in the meat processing sector?
Australia has approximately 300 abattoirs (including boning rooms) with a workforce of around 25,000. It is a predominantly young workforce with around half of all workers younger than 35.
The meat processing sector provides career opportunities in abattoirs, boning rooms and in food service operations.
Meat processing workers perform a wide range of tasks including handling livestock, slaughtering and processing livestock, environmental control, operating processing and rendering equipment.
There are three specialisations within the processing sector: slaughter, renderer, boner and slicer. With increased training you can develop skills in technical areas like meat safety inspection, quality assurance or leadership and even become a supervisor or manager.
Meat processing can be a career, not just a job.
With training and experience you could progress from a labourer to a manager.
I left school when I was 16 and was unsure of what I wanted to do. However, after working in butcher shop after I became interested in the red meat industry. Having worked in the Northern Territory on a cattle station I moved to Tamworth and started a career with Teys Australia.
I enjoy the physical work, the hours, a reliable income and earning good money and would certainly recommend a career in the processing industry. After work I ride a motorbike, fish, hunt and I hope to have a family of my own in the future with my girlfriend.
John Rogers, Boner
How do I get started on my career in the meat processing?
The first step to starting a career in meat processing is to find out about job opportunities, traineeships and apprenticeships.
Below is a list of websites to help you get started.
Once you have accepted a job, your employer will organise your traineeship for you.
Links to useful job information websites
Links to meat processing company websites
Another method of searching for jobs in the neat industry is to contact your local meat industry employer directly.
Following are a selection of employers with career/employment information on their website.
If your local plant is not listed here, try using a search engine to find them.
Kilcoy Pastoral Company - QLD
HW Greenham and Sons - TAS & VIC
Teys Australia - QLD, NSW & SA
Fletcher International Exports - NSW & WA
Bindaree Beef - NSW
WAMMCO International - WA
JBS Australia - NATIONAL
Thomas Foods International - SA