cutting and boning carcasses using saws, knives or machinery
filleting fish using knives
peeling, shelling and preparing seafood, such as prawns and mussels
weighing, wrapping and labelling meat, fish and seafood
storing the meat, fish or seafood in a chiller or freezer, then selling it.
In catering supplies you could be:
buying carcasses and cutting meat or fish into required pieces
weighing, wrapping and labelling the cuts of meat or fish or portions of seafood
selling and delivering the meat or fish and seafood to hotels, restaurants and other customers.
In meat manufacturing you could be:
working on a production line making pies, sausages and other meat products
weighing, wrapping and labelling meat products
using machinery for some operations and doing some work by hand.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour.
Some employers pay rates up to £10.00 an hour. Shift allowances and overtime pay may be available.
You would usually work in a factory, but in some smaller companies you might be in a large industrial kitchen.
You may have to do shift work and possibly overtime. Depending on the job, you might have early starts and late finishes.
You would wear protective clothing: overalls, hats and boots; perhaps metal chain mail when using large knives.
You would have to lift heavy carcasses.
Conditions might be cold, particularly in refrigerated areas and you might have to handle frozen meat.
It might be noisy (you might wear ear protectors), messy and with strong, unpleasant smells.
You would use dangerous machinery, knives and saws while working at speed.