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Meatcutters and Meat Packers


Meatcutters cut animal carcasses into smaller portions and prepare meat, poultry, and fish for sale in food outlets or for cooking in hotels and restaurants. They work in slaughterhouses, food processing plants, and meat-packing plants. They also work in hotels, restaurants, and retail stores such as supermarkets and groceries that sell fresh meats, where they are referred to as butchers. There are approximately 135,500 butchers and meatcutters employed in the U.S.

Meatpacking workers slaughter, clean, cut, process, and package the meat from cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. They also process animal parts for by-products such as margarine, lard, hides, wool, soap, feed, and fertilizer. There are about 75,500 slaughterers and meatpackers employed in the United States.

Salary Range

Below $25,000 to $50,000

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma




Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Personality Traits



Hands On

Career Ladder
Buyer or Meat Department Manager, Supermarket



Helper, or Laborer, or Apprentice