Is Meat/Poultry/Fish A Good Career Path?

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Choosing a career path can be difficult for many people. So you’re considering a career in meat, poultry, or fish, but is it a good one?

The work varies depending on the animal and the type of processing performed. In some cases, you may be packing food or producing more processed products, while in others, you may be preparing meat portions as part of the butchering process.

One major advantage of working in this industry is that the hours are flexible, allowing you to strike a better balance between your professional and personal lives when necessary. Employees can also take advantage of a variety of benefits provided by this industry, such as paid vacation time and, if desired, short-term disability insurance.

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Average Salary

The average salary in food processing is $14.24 per hour. Many people do not want to work with live animals because they would be slaughtering or butchering them at the plant. The air quality and working conditions in these plants are among the worst in the United States’ manufacturing industry.

Employees are at risk of contracting diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is similar to mad cow disease, as well as other occupational hazards that result in cumulative trauma disorders or musculoskeletal problems from repetitive motion. Many people who work with these products experience significant pain as a result of being exposed to chemicals such as ammonia without adequate protection such as gloves or respirators while processing meat and poultry products on a daily basis.

However, the industry has a high unemployment rate, and the majority of available jobs are in slaughterhouses. So, if you dislike killing animals or the sight of blood, this job is not for you.

Meat is not only difficult to cook, but it also spoils quickly. The pay for this job is determined by the size of the company and your willingness to work long hours (which most people are).


The atmosphere is frantic and foul-smelling, and it can be physically demanding.

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Salary is determined by the type of company you work for and the position you hold, so do your homework. Entry-level employees can expect to earn around $30,000 per year on average. The table below shows a typical salary range by occupation.

Chef salary range: $35-$150k

$75-$100,000 for Executive Chef

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General Manager- $60,000-$200,000

$25-$300,000 for a restaurateur

It’s difficult to know if you’re cut out for a career in animal agriculture. It’s critical to consider whether it’s something you’re passionate about.


Requirements or certifications need to be qualified in working in the industries

You’ll need to complete food safety training and learn more about the industry by shadowing an experienced worker. HAACP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and AIBSP are two of the most popular certifications (American Institute of Baking & Supplier).

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Individuals interested in working in this field can also find some useful online resources from the USDA. However, for those who are just starting out, an internship is a great way to gain experience and advance in the industry.


If in case you end up in the slaughterhouse, these below are the tasks you would perform in the job

1. offal and tripe processing

2. transporting meat products in trucks

3. transportation of carcasses to chillers and freezers

4. filling cartons with boned and sliced meat

5. removing viscera and residual material from poultry carcasses after severing jugular veins

6. stunning and shackling poultry in preparation for slaughter and processing

7. removing organs and glands from poultry carcasses, such as sweetbreads, livers, hearts, and spleens

Packing fish and counting packs prior to freezing, as well as packing frozen fish blocks into cartons

9. size and quality inspection and grading of poultry, fish, and shellfish

10. cleaning and sanitizing work areas and equipment

11. operating machines that slice, peel, skin, and masticate fish

Other Tasks you might do (outside or inside a slaughterhouse)

1. Cut Meat products
2. Weigh completed products.
3. Add identifying information to products, workpieces, or equipment.
5. Examine food products.
6. Sort materials or products in preparation for processing, storage, shipping, or grading.
7. Prepare meat products for sale or use.
8. Dispose of animal carcasses.
9. Distribute materials to employees.

Experience and Education

People starting out in this field typically have:

There is no formal educational credential.
There is no work experience.
On-the-job training for less than one month

People in this field frequently know a lot about:

1. Production and Processing – Understanding of raw materials, manufacturing processes, quality control, costing, and other techniques for maximizing the efficient manufacture and distribution of goods.

2. Food Production – Understanding of the techniques and equipment used in planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for human consumption, as well as storage and handling techniques.


Is this job meant for you? Yes if you know you would be up for all the facts listed above about the job.

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