Is Meat, Poultry, and Fish a Good Career Path?
The meat, poultry, and fish industries offer many different types of jobs. Some of these jobs are more lucrative than others, so finding a career that fits your skills and interests is important. Start your job search today! Read on to learn more about the types of jobs that you can find in these industries.
Highest-paying positions in the meat/poultry/fish industry
The meat/poultry/fish industry offers a wide variety of positions and good pay, as well as room for advancement. The highest-paying positions in this industry include slaughterhouse workers, bone rippers, and line workers. The industry is highly varied, and positions in meat processing range from basic slaughtering to the creation of fresh culinary items.
Jobs in meat/poultry/fish processing facilities require high physical stamina and the ability to follow strict guidelines. Most positions are full-time, although seasonal or temporary employment may be required. The average salary for workers in this industry is $29730 per year. Plant managers earn up to $94,000 annually.
The meat/poultry/fish industry is growing in size and employment. As of May 2010, there were about 133,000 people employed in the meat/poultry/fish processing industry. Jobs in this industry require repetitive work and heavy lifting. Some positions require workers to stand for extended periods of time and work in cold temperatures.
While many meat/poultry/fish jobs do not require a college degree, some positions require a master’s degree. The best career choice for you will depend on your qualifications and interests. Many jobs in this industry start as low-paying positions, and you can move into a higher-paying position as your skills develop.
As a meat/poultry/fish worker, you can expect to earn anywhere from $22,100 to $40,050 annually. In Massachusetts, the average salary for this industry is $38,300 per year. However, you can expect to make much more in a higher-paying position later on in the industry.
A career in this industry requires a strong understanding of food safety procedures. A person working in this industry must be able to work quickly and accurately. You must follow strict guidelines and regulations in order to ensure that the product is safe for consumption. You must also be physically fit to work in the industry.
Work conditions in this industry can be dangerous and physically demanding. Workers often work long hours and are exposed to harmful chemicals and sharp objects. In addition, they often face a cold environment and are required to be alert at all times. A food-processing plant also has a high risk of foodborne illnesses.
Health and safety risks
A career in the meat/poultry/fish industry comes with a number of risks, including a variety of workplace health and safety hazards. OSHA, the federal agency that regulates workplace safety, has recommended that employers institute appropriate safety measures, including the installation of first aid supplies and procedures. Some industrial facilities also have in-house nursing stations, staffed by medical professionals who are trained to handle medical emergencies. Even so, workers can expect to have to go out of the plant for treatment of serious injuries. In fact, workers in the meat/poultry/fish industries are reported to be injured or die in their jobs nearly every day.
While overall rates of work-related illness and injuries have fallen in recent years, the number of fatalities in the industry has remained high. The 2015 rate of 5.4 cases per 100 full-time workers was higher than the rates in other sectors of manufacturing and private industry. Workers are also at an increased risk of heat-related illness, exposure to pesticides, and chronic back injuries from bending and twisting. Meanwhile, workers in the meatpacking and slaughtering industries are at risk of suffering lacerations and infections from their jobs. In addition, repetitive tasks and heavy machinery pose a high risk of injuries.
The Trump administration is pursuing policies that give meat processing companies more discretion over line speeds and allow them to deviate from federal safety standards. The administration is also working to de-regulate slaughter inspection systems, which could endanger workers. The meat industry is already under fire for safety violations.
While the United States has become a world leader in meat consumption, it is also home to high levels of chronic disease. The United States’ meat consumption is three times higher than the global average. Therefore, sanitary policies should be geared toward reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases and reducing the incidence of food-borne illnesses.
There are many different jobs available in the meat/poultry/fish industry, and job growth is expected to continue to increase in this industry through the next decade. The industry offers a wide variety of work, including positions that require heavy lifting, extended standing, and exposure to cold temperatures.
Jobs in this industry include everything from slaughtering and cutting to packaging and marketing meat. Most jobs occur in slaughtering, meatpacking, or wholesale facilities. This industry is responsible for growing the world’s meat supply, which is expected to increase by 40.6 percent by 2020.
Meat/poultry/fish cutters and trimmers use hand tools to cut and trim meat and poultry. In the United States, there are 147,760 people employed in this field. This is 0.11% of the employed workforce, or one in every 941 people.
Job growth in the meat/poultry/fish industry is expected to continue to increase, with a five percent increase in job opportunities between now and 2028. However, this industry is not completely automated and there will be jobs that require more human interaction, such as meat inspectors.
The job outlook for meat/poultry/fish cutters and trimmers has been improving since 2004, with an increase of 7.53 percent in the national average over this period. The expected job growth in this field is 1.26 percent per year, and it is expected to add about 16,790 jobs nationwide by 2029.
Meat/poultry/fish processing can be physically demanding. The work is often repetitive, and workers in these facilities are required to stand for long periods of time. It can also be a very noisy and cold environment. Therefore, physical strength is vital. This industry is very fast-paced, and those who are physically fit are better equipped to handle the challenges.