How to Become a Butcher a Complete Guide

The food industry has been there for ages. And it’s going to be there until the end of the human race as well. Everyone needs food🍮, right? I, for one, love food. 😋

A butcher is part of the food industry. These are people who cut and sell meat. So, they are businessmen when it comes to the meat and poultry market. They can earn💰 up to $41,714 per year. 

If you are interested in this career opportunity and want to know more about becoming a butcher, then this article is going to help you out a lot. I have tried my best to answer some of the biggest queries revolving around this career opportunity⤵️.

Question and Answer

If you have any questions or lingering doubts in your mind about becoming a butcher, don’t worry. I’m here to help.

It’s completely understandable if you are unsure about becoming a butcher. The questions I’ve mentioned below are going to help you become more sure about this profession. Answer as honestly as you can.

  1. Are you able to work comfortably with raw meat and dead animals? 
  2. Are you physically fit enough to handle the job?
  3. Do you have any allergies related to meat? 
  4. Do you have any ethical principles in mind about working with meat? 
  5. Are you aware of the hygiene and safety regulations in this industry? 
  6. Are you aware of the earning potential? 
  7. Will you be able to work irregular hours?

Did you answer with a yes to most of the questions above? Great! You are going to be a very good butcher then. 

Let’s start talking about the process now.

Who is a Butcher?

Butchers work with animals but in a different way than other people. Their job involves killing the animals, cutting up their meat, and selling it. They cut and prepare a variety of meat options – everything starting from a chicken🐓 to a goat 🐐.

You will find such people in butcher shops, fish markets, supermarkets, and grocery stores. Many of them have enough money to set up their own business. Butchery isn’t a recently developed profession. It has been around since people started taking care of animals. 

Their shops are called butcher shops. In Britain, they call it a butcher’s shop; in South Africa, they call it a butchery; and in America, they call it a butcher shop.

The first step they usually take is to cut up the whole animal into big pieces. Then, they take those big pieces and cut them into smaller, ready-to-cook pieces. After this, they sell it. 🤝

Scope of Butchers

There are currently 21,008 butchers employed in the United States. 12% of these are women, while 88% are men. According to the stats published on Zippia, the best state for butchers to live and operate is Connecticut. 

Another stat tells us that butchers are the most in-demand in New York City. 

According to more stats published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 15,300 job openings for butchers are generated on average every year. This is a lot, and their demand is there.

Skill Set required to become a Butcher.

There are some skills that a butcher has to master in order to become good at their job. These skills just ensure that they are employed properly and are working to the max of their potential.

  1. You need to have manual dexterity. 
  2. Proper knowledge of the hygiene and safety regulations is important.
  3. You need to have good knife skills.
  4. You need to know about the meat as well.
  5. Try to work on your physical stamina and attention to detail.
  6. Learn how to work as a team.
  7. Learn more about waste reduction.

Learn more about waste reduction using this article

How much can a Butcher earn?

The salary trends of any job in the food industry are vastly affected by the pricing of the things they use.

Sometimes, the eggs and birds might get very expensive because of the flu in the animals, which can decrease their production. But this job has customers all year round, and hence, the pay is reasonable. 

The average base pay of a butcher in the United States in the year 2023 is $41,714 per year. 💸

You can earn the most money as a butcher in places like New York, Los Angeles, and Greenville, where they pay up to $46,000 per year.

The 🕰️ hourly wage for butchers is an average of $17.86 per hour. 

How to Become a Butcher? (More Tips)

As easy as it sounds, becoming a butcher is also a process that has some steps that should be followed properly. I have attached them below. You can write them somewhere for future reference. 🔽

Look up the work. 

  • The first and foremost step to becoming a butcher in walls is to look up the job properly. I say this because, a lot of times, people are not able to handle the work and duties that entail when you become a butcher.
  • Many people find it very disgusting, while some straight out faint because of the scent of the blood. 
  • So, look up the job 🧳properly and then decide if you want to become a butcher or not. 

Complete your education 

  • If you have decided to become a butcher, then that’s great. The second step for every job or profession is the educational requirement. 
  • Unlike a lot of other career opportunities out there, becoming a butcher does not require you to get a proper degree. 
  • So, even if you are a high school graduate, you will be able to become a butcher. This is the most basic requirement that a lot of employers ask for. 
  • Some shops might even hire you when you are still in school, but that is not recommended because you won’t be able to get into another higher-level workplace 👩🏽‍💻unless you have a high school diploma to go along with your resume. 

Get a certification

  • When you are trying to become a butcher, make sure that you look up if there are some rules and regulations attached to it in the state where you live. This is because some states require you to have a certification to handle raw meat🍗. 
  • This certificate is proof that you know the basic safe and sanitary rules and that you have the skills required to handle meat.
  • It usually involves taking a small course, then appearing for an exam, and you get the certification. Learn more about such certifications using this article

Get some experience 

  • Experience is a very valuable thing in this career option. You should start by getting a job in the nearest supermarket or butcher shop if you can. When you do this, you will get the work according to your work experience. 
  • You will be told to hand out orders using pre-separated meat. 
  • If you work as a butcher, then you will have the work of separating the meat into specific cuts. If you work as a meat cutter, then you will have to slice those cuts🥩 and then hand out specific orders.
  • You will be able to find a job opening very soon because, as I already mentioned, the food industry is always active. Not to mention, since you are going to start interacting with customers, you will be able to realize how retail in the food market works.

Find an apprenticeship program. 

  • Lastly, I recommend that you find a formal apprenticeship program for yourself. A formal apprenticeship program will help you advance in this career 🧑‍🎓 option more quickly. 
  • You can look for a union or any sort of organization in your area so that you can contact them to get a formal apprenticeship. 
  • If you can become a part of this organization, then you will get access to the perks of being a member🤝. 
  • This program will most probably have an on-the-job training program as well as a classroom plan in which they will teach you about this stuff. This guide will help you learn more about such apprenticeship programs. 

Tips to Become a Butcher

There are many tips that I would like to give you if you are going to become a butcher. This is all because this job is one of a kind, and you need a very elaborate skillset to make it big in this career. 

Improve your dexterity

  • My first tip is to improve your motor skills. In other words, practice hand and finger exercises so that you’re able to improve your dexterity skills. 
  • This is required because you have to have a steady hand when you’re cutting meat. 
  • Your focus should not waiver, and you should not have trembling hands. Having trembling hands can lead to grave injuries. 
  • If not injured, then your cuts on the meat might not look that good, and you won’t be a very good professional butcher then. Learn more about this skill using this guide

Increase your physical strength. 

  • My second tip is to start lifting so that you can increase your physical strength. 
  • You should be able to lift at least up to 50 pounds, which is 23000 grams. 
  • This is required because you will have to lift a lot of meat, which can be very, very heavy to handle. Hence, you must have the physical strength💪🏻 required to do that. 
  • Use this article to learn how to improve your physical strength. 

Advanced knowledge base 

  • While I remember I told you that getting a degree is not important to become a butcher, it is recommended that if you want to improve your chances of employment, you try to find a college that offers your degree in meat🥩 processing.
  • If you don’t find a proper degree, you can still try to improve your knowledge base by finding an online course or any other extracurricular method of learning. 
  • This will help strengthen your CV or resume. Learn more about meat using this guide

Master some skills 

  • The most important thing is that the butcher must have a skill set for cutting.
  • This includes mastering the types of knives and other tools used to chop and efficiently prepare meat, understanding different types of cuts concerning different types of meats, and maintaining safety and hygiene protocols while butchering so that the consumer gets a high-quality product without any contamination. 
  • Learn how to prepare for such skills using this article

Learn how to manage and communicate.

  • Managing stock according to the customers’ demands is another important part of the job that the butcher should be an expert at so that the customers always get fresh meat, none of the meat goes bad, and wastage of inventory is minimized. 
  • Another important role of Butchers is that they communicate and collaborate 🤝with local cultivators of meat supplies so that they can get the freshest stock, and in case of any emergency, they are ready to help. 🗣

Top Butcher Courses in the United States

As I said, there are a lot of courses that will help with increasing your knowledge about meat cutting, and you will be able to find a lot of them online.

Here are a few that I found on the net. I hope this will help you a lot. ⏬

Introduction to Butchery (Online) | Course

  • The first course we talk about is the course ‘Introduction to Butchery.’ 
  • This is a completely online course that allows the students to use the resources via online methods. 
  • The only prerequisites they require to enroll for this course are two other courses on this site, which are about knife skills. 
  • As soon as you’re done with those courses, you will be able to do this one. 
  • The total duration of the scores is 24 hours🕰️, and the fee required to get the course is $197. 
  • The course aims to teach the students about basic butchery as well as different kinds of meat such as lamb, pig, chicken, and rabbit meat. 
  • This course is worth $197. 

Meat Cutter Training Online Meat Cutter Certificate Training

  • The next course we talk about is provided by the Range Meat Academy. 
  • This academy is very active when it comes to courses as well as jobs in the food industry. 
  • You will find a lot of other training programs designed for other professions, such as meat clerks, meat cutters, and more. 
  • All of these courses are part of certification programs, and you can complete two or three more courses to get a proper certificate. 
  • The promise is that you can finish the programs👩🏽‍💻 at your own pace, and you will earn a certificate at the end upon completion. 
  • You will have to pay $179 to $549 for the courses on this platform. 

ButcherCraft: Butchery Course Online

  • The instructor for your third course is going to be Save Lang, who is a master butcher and has been a trainer and mentor for a lot of people. 
  • Lang wishes to teach you all about keeping aging meat, storing meat, breaking down a side of pork and beef products🥩, and so much more about these things in the job of a butcher. 
  • The course is completely online, and you can visit the source’s website in order to better understand what more they are offering. 

Online Butchery and Meat Courses

  • Lastly, we talk about a source that has a plethora of online meat and butchery courses for you to do. 
  • This source is known as the Ethical Meat Handbook and has a lot of courses that can be learned at one’s own pace. It also has comprehensive video classes to explain the topic that is being taught. 
  • Some of the courses here are hog butchering, dry curing, sausage making, fermentation, and smoking meat.
  • All of these are taught by different masters of the art and guarantee excellence. You can look up more details about the courses you want to do on the source’s website. 

Top Butcher Schools in the World

Now, it’s time for us to look at the few top schools that offer to teach subjects related to butchery and the food industry.

Note them down so you can look them up later when you start looking for colleges. ⬇️

The Culinary Institute of America

  • The Culinary Institute of America is an American private college and culinary school specializing in culinary, baking, and pastry arts education.
  • One can also specialize in butchery and meat fabrication here, which is taught by experienced industry professionals. 
  • This university provides hands-on training with state-of-the-art equipment to conquer each butchery skill, and it also provides big opportunities when you complete the course to work with renowned chefs and industry experts. 

The Empire Farm, Somerset

  • The Empire Farm, Somerset, offers some great courses for all the aspiring butchers out there. The Empire Farm is a big certified organic farm. 
  • It is 100 acres in size, and it’s certified by the Soil Association. 
  • It’s right on the edge of Blackmore Vale, which is in the south of Wincanton. 
  • They have a lot of variety of animals on the farm – pigs, sheep, chickens 🐓- and they grow their vegetables and fruits as well. 
  • Their farm School is where they teach about butchery, gardening, and being a small farmer. 
  • They’ve got these very good hands-on butchery days that happen twice a year, where you can learn all about the art of butchering. 
  • They also have a whole weekend dedicated to butchery and charcuterie training, which takes place in February and again during the summer. The prices for the courses range from £95 to £395 per person. 

The School of Artisan Food, Nottinghamshire

  • The School of Artisan Food, Nottinghamshire, has beginner to advanced classes that teach you all about curing and smoking, the best British meat, and how to butcher lamb and mutton. 
  • Each course would cost you about £190. All the meat and game they use comes from the local Welbeck estate. 
  • They proudly tell all the applicants they will be learning and having fun 🎉 while supporting the local community. 

The Wellbeing Farm, Lancashire

  • The third school on this list is the Wellbeing Farm, Lancashire, and it has a bunch of courses you can take. 
  • You can learn all about rural crafts as well as beekeeping. They also have a cookery school where you can learn how to butcher game, pork, and lamb. 
  • The butchers who teach the courses are all award-winning working professionals. The lamb and pork courses cost £125, while the game course would cost you just £80. 

Forge Fieldcraft, Pembrokeshire

  • The course at Forge Fieldcraft, Pembrokeshire, is taught by Mark Oriel. 
  • He’s going to be teaching about how to survive and thrive off the land. 
  • In this course, you’ll learn about skills like hunting and field butchery. 
  • The meats you’ll be working with change depending on the season. 
  • Sometimes, it’s lamb, pigs🐖, or deer, but other times, it could be pigeons or chickens. You get to keep all the meat you prepare. 
  • The whole country’s living skills course only costs £150. 

Maynard’s Farm, Shrewsbury

  • At Maynard’s Farm, Shrewsbury, the courses are taught by Rob Cunningham. 
  • The Maynard’s Farm, Shrewsbury, is an award-winning place, and the courses here are going to be top-notch ✅for sure. 
  • The topics include bacon-curing, sausage-making, and pork butchery. 
  • The courses are scheduled to take place on the second Tuesday of each month. 
  • The fee for these courses is a mere £95, and you get to take the meal home with you if you want after you are done with studying. 

Where to find Butcher opportunities online?

Butchery is more of an on-site job, and hence, it can be difficult to find job opportunities for it on any online sources.

I have tried to find some and given the details for them down below. Hope they help out! ⤵️


  • Are you tired of finding jobs on your own, where you have to contact many HRs to get a job interview? 
  • And even after this hassle, you can’t find a job that embraces your skills and gives reasonable pay?
  • Indeed, it comes to the rescue, which is a leading website that helps you get the ideal job for you. 
  • It consists of a large database of companies among which you’ll find the job which you are wishing for. 

James Whelan Butchers 

  • James Whelan Butchers is this one super helpful website that’s all about finding jobs in the food industry, especially as a butcher. 
  • They’re really into butchery and foodstuff. 
  • It’s an award-winning platform🏆 that has helped a lot of people set up their jobs. 
  • It’s the perfect place for people who want to work in the meat processing field to find a job for themselves.
  • So, if you are looking for any job openings as a butcher, I recommend that you pay extra attention to both James Whelan Butchers and Indeed. 
  • Both of these sites are going to be very helpful for finding jobs.

On-site job hunting 

  • As we said, butchery is an on-site job and requires the individuals to be present in person for the job. 
  • Hence, if you want to get a job as a butcher, it would be better to rely on offline job hunting. 
  • You can keep an eye out for the openings via online sources such as websites🌍 and platforms like Indeed. But later on, you would have to go and talk about employment in person. 


This career option is never going to die out. Everyone eats food, and this will go on until the human species perishes, perhaps. So, there is no need to worry about unemployment if you decide to become a butcher. 

The salary 💰also may not be the most, but it is more than enough to put bread on the table. 

It would not take you much time 🕰️to become a butcher. So, with all of these perks and benefits, it should be good if you decide to become a butcher. Take notes of all we have talked about up till now, and make sure you follow all these steps properly. 

If you have to ask anything else, do so in the comments section below. I will answer as soon as I can. 

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