How to Become a Butcher: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Butcher

Published Sep 01, 2009

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Butchers supply and prepare meat for restaurants, food service facilities or retail customers. Butchers use a variety of packaging and preparation methods in order to create many different cuts and styles of food. Butchers undergo on-the-job training to provide families with safe and tasty cuts of meat: keep reading for more details!

Butcher Career Summary

Butchers work either for large wholesale food establishments or for grocery stores, providing cuts of meat to customers and restaurants for cooking. Butchers prepare different styles and cuts of meat, like steaks, chops, roasts and ground beef. They weigh, wrap and label these proteins in accordance with their price and type. Career InfoNet,, notes that besides preparation duties, Butchers must take customers' orders and negotiate with supply companies to determine orders. At the end of the day, Butchers ensure that records of meat sales and distribution are properly done so that supply stocks are current and accurate.

Education Required to Become a Butcher

Butchers receive most of their training from an employer's on-the-job training program. Skills learned while earning a high school diploma or a GED help a Butcher with everyday operations, including taking stock of materials and equipment. O*Net,, reports that long-term job training is the most common level of education for Butchers. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer 1-year or 2-year certificate, degree or training programs that impart the necessary skills Butchers need, going over skills like cutting and packaging. One example is the Associate of Applied Science in Meat Processing and Food Safety offered at Eastern Oklahoma State College.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Butcher

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, job training programs vary in length and style depending on the company, but these programs impart the necessary skill training that Butchers need. Butchers learn to cut and package meat, remove bones and maintain the equipment used. Butchers also need safety skills: both to prevent contamination or spoilage of meat and to avoid injury while working with tools like knives and cutters. Alongside the technical training, Butchers learn the daily operations of the store or shop that employs them. Health certificates are sometimes a requirement for employment, depending on what state the Butcher works in.

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