Become a Butcher: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Learn how to become a butcher. Research the education and career requirements, licensure and experience required for starting a career as a butcher
Butchers process and cut meat for customers in grocery stores and butchery shops. Types of meats may include steak, poultry, sausage, chops, roasts and lamb. In addition to cutting meat, butchers will also adhere to all health regulations, sharpen knives, prepare meats for display and maintain inventory. While prospective butchers must receive on-the-job training, they can also enroll in a certificate program to prepare for employment. Some butchers gain their experience through a related job, such as meat cutter. The table below includes the requirements necessary to become a butcher.
|Degree Level||High school diploma*|
|Experience||Experience as a meat cutter may be necessary.*|
|Key Skills||Prospective butchers must have strong hand-eye coordination and the ability to lift 40 pounds. Additional physical skills include the ability to stand for long periods of time and work in varying temperatures.**|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*; Monster.com (July 2012)**.
Step 1: Consider a Certificate
While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement to become a butcher, individuals may want to consider pursuing a certificate related to meat processing or meat science. Students will have an opportunity to take courses in meat evaluation, meat animal processing, meat selection and meat industry technology. This is an opportunity for students to learn about slaughtering techniques, inspection, breeding, nutrition and hormones and cutting.
Participate in an internship. While pursuing a certificate, an internship will provide you with an opportunity to work and learn under a professional butcher. This supervised experience could take place at a local grocery store or butchery shop and prepare you for professional work.
Step 2: Gain Employment as a Meat Cutter
Before working as a butcher, prospective employers want applicants to have experience. One way to gain experience is to obtain a job as a meat cutter. Meat cutters receive on-the-training and their work is generally supervised by butchers. Meat cutters also must have strong customer service skills to ensure individuals receive the proper cut of meat.
Step 3: Pursue an Associate's Degree
Some butchers may want to open up their own shop and completing an associate's degree will provide them with additional knowledge and skills in the field. In addition to learning about meat and participating in hands-on courses, students may also have the opportunity to learn about business and entrepreneurship.
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