Career Advice on How to Become A Meat, Poultry, Fish Cutter or Trimmer

General Career Information

Three guesses what a meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer does?  This career is pretty much what it sounds like in that a meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer is the person who takes animal parts and cuts them down to size.  These smaller pieces are more manageable and thus are easier for transport and handling by butchers and meat cutters.  In terms of processing dead animal carcasses, the job of the meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer is essential.  If you doubt this for even a moment, just try cutting up a whole dead cow on your own.  It’s not easy and it’s not advisable. 

Your average meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer is usually found working in slaughterhouses and processing facilities.  If you are faint of heart, do not add this job to your job search.  In those facilities you will be working with slaughterers who slaughter all sorts of animals, ranging from pigs and chickens to cattle and even bunnies.  Yes, bunnies. However, these bunnies are not as cute as the ones you usually see.  The bunnies slaughtered in slaughterhouses are generally really unattractive.  No, that’s not really true, the bunnies slaughtered in slaughterhouses are pretty darn cute too.

The meat, poultry, fish cutter or trimmer uses a variety of tools to process the dead animals, ranging from saws to knives and cleavers. This is, of course, rather dangerous.  If you are accident prone, consider this fact in your career planning.  Like many others in the meat processing and packing industry, the meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer has to worry about injury due to the nature of the work.


Career Facts:

The exact work done by meat, poultry and fish cutters or trimmers can vary, depending upon the type of animal whose carcass is being chopped up.  Those working processing fish will have a somewhat different work experience from those processing poultry for example.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

The job growth for meat, poultry or fish cutters or trimmers should be about average overall.  While Americans are consuming more calories and more animal products, the increased use of automation will offset this growth.  Thus, between now and 2016, the job outlook for meat, poultry and fish cutters or trimmers is likely to only be about average, which is in spite of the additional fact that the population will grow as well.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

The average meat, poultry or fish cutter or trimmer spends his or her day cutting up animal and fish carcasses.  This means that the work can be dangerous, as cutters and trimmers work with knives, and saws. Much of the work is done while standing in cold rooms and on bloody floors.  In a word, the work isn’t pretty and the opportunities for injury are numerous.

Average Salary:

The average salary for a cutter or a trimmer is about $20,000, which is exceptionally low considering the nature of the work and its built-in, inherent danger.



Career Training and Qualifications:

The training for this career is mostly on the job with cutters and trimmers taking about two years to become experienced.

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