Butcher School, Training Program and Course Info

Butchers work in grocery stores or specialty shops cutting large portions of meat down to smaller sizes in the form of steak, ground meat, sausage or additional chopped or cut meat. They accomplish these cuts by utilizing tools such as grinders, cleavers, knives and slicing machines. A number of schools offer training programs in meat cutting and meat processing.

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How to Choose a Butcher School

Butchers are skilled in the trade of handling and cutting foods such as pork, beef, veal, lamb, seafood and poultry. They use customary preparation techniques in order to make the meat presentable and sanitary for sale. Butchers typically work in refrigerated environments that are fast-paced; the work may also include heavy lifting. Certificates in meat cutting are suitable for individuals who desire an entry-level position as an associate meat cutter or butcher's assistant. An apprentice meat cutting program is suitable for those who aspire to have a career as a butcher.

Individuals may seek out schools that operate under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) protocol; this ensures that the program is aligned with current guidelines in food sanitation and safety. Students may also want to look for programs that combine classroom instruction with hands-on training in cutting methods and safety procedures, which will give them the skills and knowledge they'll need once they're on the job. Additionally, schools that introduce students to the latest electronic and hand-held tools can provide more comprehensive experience.

Overview of Butcher Training Programs

Certificate in Meat Cutting

A certificate program is designed for students who want to enter into the meat cutting industry. Certificate programs may range from one month for a basic program to 12 months for a more advanced program. Classes covered may include food safety, sanitation, portion control and knife handling. Additional topics covered may include slaughter, primal fabrication (cutting and wrapping) and storage.

Apprenticeship in Meat Cutting

An apprenticeship program typically lasts two years and is suitable for individuals who want a career as a butcher. In addition to the topics covered in a certificate program, an apprenticeship includes on-the-job training in maintaining merchandise and managing inventory. Other subjects that are taught may include filling customer orders, people skills, workplace guidelines and how to deal with customer complaints.

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