Job type

Meat process worker

£17k - £25k

Typical salary

42 – 44

Hours per week

Meat process workers produce meat products for the food manufacturing, catering and food retail industries.

More info

  • Process meat for the food industry in an abattoir, butchery or processing plant
  • Can be physically demanding, including carrying carcasses, and working with knives and saws in cold environments
  • Progress to become a manager or with further qualifications move into meat hygiene inspection

As a meat process worker, your day-to-day work will depend on where in the production line of meat products you work.


In abattoirs, you'll work as a slaughterman or woman, humanely killing and preparing livestock.

If you're in wholesale meat factories, you'll be cutting, de-boning and preparing carcasses before they are sold to retailers.

In butcheries, you'll specialise in preparing the meat in line with instructions from caterers, and in meat or poultry processing plants, you'll produce and pack products for the retail and catering industries.  


Depending on where you work, you may use knives and other cutting equipment, like a band saw, to cut and prepare carcasses. You may also have some delivery duties.

You cold work in an abattoir or in a factory, and your working environment may be cold, physically demanding and messy, requiring protective clothing.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to work well with others, patience and calmness in stressful situations, the ability to accept criticism, persistence and determination, knowledge of manufacturing production and processes, and thinking and reasoning skills.

There are no set requirements, but employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 2 (A* to E). Forklift truck experience may be helpful. You may also need a driving licence for delivery duties.

You could do a college course in proficiency in meat and poultry industry skills, or an abattoir worker intermediate apprenticeship. You can also do a food and drink operator intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.

You must be 18 or over and have a licence by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to work as a slaughterman or woman. For production line work, you need to be at least 16.


With experience, you could become a shift supervisor or manager on the production line, or in an area like quality control, product development, or food marketing. With further experience and qualifications you could work towards becoming a meat hygiene inspector.