Butchers are professionals who cut, trim, and pack meat for customers. They either work in butcher shops, grocery shops, and animal slaughtering industries or processing plants. Are you looking forward to becoming a butcher? If so, you should possess customer service skills, stamina, and physical strength.
They need precision to cut meat products at a fast pace into the right size. Formal certification or education is not required to become a butcher. However, you can attend any official culinary school that gives you a deeper understanding of meat usage.
Get hands-on training on how to become a butcher. Join any butcher shop and work for a few years at a minimum wage. Hand-eye coordination is a valuable skill every butcher should possess. They should have the ability to lift 40 pounds.
Some specific butchering programs can enhance your work experience. Entry-level butcher jobs involve breaking down whole chickens, removing bones from fish, and much more.
Butcher Job Description
Butchers or meat cutters are professionals in purchasing wholesale meat products. They process the meat and sell them to consumers and restaurants. A butcher works in butcher shops, grocery shops in warehouses as well. Other duties of a butcher include weighing, wrapping, labeling, and pricing the meat cuts. A butcher is responsible for ensuring that quality meat products.
A butcher delivers specialized portions of meat considering the specific client requests. They keep an inventory of the products, meat sales, and order additional meat supplies.
They are responsible for keeping their workplace neat & hygiene to avoid food contamination. A butcher makes sure that the meat cutting materials are clean. They educate the customer on types of poultry, beef, fish, or pork and assist them in a purchase decision. A butcher has to acquire a profound knowledge of preparing meats for cooking to reduce the workload of the customers.
Steps to Become a Butcher
Step 1: Enhance Your Skills as a Butcher
A high school diploma is a minimum requirement to become a butcher. Consider obtaining a certificate to work with high-end companies. Take up courses such as meat evaluation, meat animal processing, meat industry technology, & meat selection. You can learn about breeding & slaughtering techniques, as well.
Step 2: Get On-The-Job Training
Before becoming a professional butcher, start a job as a meat cutter to receive on-the-job training, Work under the supervision of experienced butchers. You can get hands-on experience in customer service skills. You can get familiar with the physical nature of the job and learn how to ensure a quality product is being delivered to the customers.
Step 3: Open up Your Butcher Shop
Once you are trained well and wish to take things on your own, without any second thought, open up your shop. Complete an associate’s degree to get additional knowledge and skills needed in this field.
Career Path & Butcher Salary
Are you someone who loves to have a physically demanding job? Then try your hands-on butchering. You can have a steady workflow and growth as a butcher. Get more experienced and create a demand for yourself in this industry.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected the average job growth of 6% for butchers in 2016-2026. This projection is slower than average when compared with other occupations in the U.S. However, the demand for experienced butchers among customers who prefer pre-cut and easy to cook meals meat products is increasing.
A career as a butcher begins with gaining on-the-job training that allows learning meat cutting and processing techniques. One can choose to become a boning butcher who is known for removing bones from meat cuts. And then work their way up to get promoted as a meat production manager or a butchery manager.
Do you wonder how much does a butcher make? Well, the average butcher salary is $14.14 per hour in the United States. And the median annual wage for butchers and meat cutters are $31,580 as of 2018. Entry-level butchers can expect salaries starting from $18,150 per annum, while experienced butchers may get $45,300.
Butcher Training & Certifications Needed
A butcher training imparts immense knowledge of animal anatomy, meat cutting techniques, and the ability to uses knives and other cutting tools. It is essential to get trained on how to use the cutting tools and equipment to divide carcasses and process meats.
One or two years of training under the supervision of experienced butchers can enhance your skills to a higher level. You can learn to make hams, sausage and curing meat too.
Several schools offer Culinary Arts Degrees where courses such as meat identification, courses on butchering hogs, creating classic cuts of beef, etc.
Anyone who works for the food industry can take HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point)(1) training. This training is to learn about the system how it can protect workers and customers from food-borne diseases. There is no specific certification in butchery. However, it is expected of a butcher to learn about food safety and sanitation.
Career progression in butcher shops may be limited because of the workforce is small. But starting your own butchery business is the best solution to this issue. But you need not worry about your career path, as there is more demand for experienced butchers. Want to become a butcher? Then start your research now!