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Job Description

Process meats from livestock for the use in food in a wide variety of places, from butchers to wholesalers or processing meats for use in specific food products. A high emphasis on hygiene for this role is essential.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You can do an abattoir worker intermediate apprenticeship, or a food and drink process operator intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Direct Application

You do not need any particular qualifications to apply directly for this job. Some employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 2 (A* to E).

You may have an advantage if you've got experience of using a forklift truck, though this is not essential.

Career Tips

To work as a slaughterman or slaughterwoman you must be licensed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and aged 18 or over.

For production line work, you need to be at least 16.

You might need a driving licence if your job includes delivery duties.

Career Path and Progression

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 you could train to become a meat hygiene inspector.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Butcher
  • Fishmonger
  • Food factory worker

Required Skills

  • Physically fit
  • Work well as part of a team
  • Be able to follow instructions 
  • Health and hygiene conscious
  • ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • persistence and determination

Salary Range

£13,500 to £21,000

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