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Meat, Poultry and Fish Cutter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers Career Video



Uses hand or hand tools to perform routine cutting and trimming of meat, poultry, and seafood.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Food Products and Processing Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Uses knives, cleavers, meat saws, bandsaws, or other equipment to perform meat cutting and trimming.
  • Weighs meats and tags containers for weight and contents.
  • Inspects meat products for defects, bruises or blemishes and removes them along with any excess fat.
  • Cuts and trims meat to prepare for packing.
  • Separates meats and byproducts into specified containers and seals containers.
  • Processes primal parts into cuts that are ready for retail use.
  • Prepares ready-to-heat foods by filleting meat or fish or cutting it into bite-sized pieces, preparing and adding vegetables or applying sauces or breading.
  • Cleans, trims, slices, and sections carcasses for future processing.
  • Removes parts, such as skin, feathers, scales or bones, from carcass.
  • Prepares sausages, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and other fabricated meat products, using meat trimmings and hamburger meat.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Beef Trimmer --
  • Breast Trimmer --
  • Chicken Cutter --
  • Deboner --
  • Fish Processor --
  • Meat Cutter --
  • Meat Trimmer --
  • Seafood Processor --
  • Trimmer --
  • Wing Scorer --