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Become A Meat Cutter Apprentice

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Working As A Meat Cutter Apprentice

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $17,222

    Average Salary

What Does A Meat Cutter Apprentice Do

Butchers cut, trim, and package meat for retail sale.

Duties

Butchers typically do the following:

  • Sharpen and adjust knives and cutting equipment
  • Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery
  • Cut, bone, or grind pieces of meat
  • Weigh, wrap, and display meat or meat products
  • Cut or prepare meats to specification or customers’ orders
  • Store meats in refrigerators or freezers at the required temperature
  • Keep inventory of meat and order meat supplies
  • Clean equipment and work areas to maintain health and sanitation standards

Butchers cut and trim meat from larger, wholesale portions into steaks, chops, roasts, and other cuts. They then prepare meat for sale by performing various duties, such as weighing meat, wrapping it, and putting it out for display. In retail stores, they also wait on customers and prepare special cuts of meat upon request.

Butchers in meat processing plants are also known as meat cutters. They may have a more limited range of duties than those working in a grocery store or specialty meat shop. Because they typically work on an assembly line, those in processing plants usually perform one specific function—a single cut—during their shift.

Butchers use tools such as knives, grinders, or meat saws. They must follow sanitation standards while working and when cleaning equipment, countertops, and working areas in order to prevent meat contamination.

Some butchers run their own retail store. In these settings, they usually track inventory, order supplies, and perform other recordkeeping duties.

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How To Become A Meat Cutter Apprentice

Most butchers learn their skills through on-the-job training lasting more than a year. No formal education is required.

Education

There are no formal education requirements to become a butcher.

Training

Butchers typically learn their skills on the job and the length of training varies considerably. Training for simple cutting may take only a few weeks. However, more complicated cutting tasks generally require training that may last from several months to more than a year.

Training for entry-level workers often begins by learning less difficult tasks, such as making simple cuts, removing bones, or dividing wholesale cuts into retail portions. Under the guidance of more experienced workers, trainees learn the proper use and care of tools and equipment. For example, they learn how to sharpen their knives and clean working areas and equipment.

Trainees also may learn how to shape, roll, and tie roasts, prepare sausage, and cure meat. Those employed in retail stores are usually taught basic business operations, such as inventory control, meat buying, and recordkeeping. Employees also receive training in food safety to minimize the risk of foodborne pathogens in meats.

Butchers who follow religious dietary guidelines for food preparation may be required to undergo more specialized training and certification before becoming endorsed by a religious organization to prepare meat.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Butchers must pay close attention to what they are doing in order to avoid injury and wasting meat.

Customer-service skills. Butchers who work in retail stores should be courteous, be able to answer customers’ questions, and fill orders to customers’ satisfaction.

Dexterity. Butchers use sharp knives and meat cutting equipment as part of their duties. Therefore, they must have good hand control in order to make proper cuts of meat that are the right size.

Physical stamina. Butchers spend hours on their feet while cutting, packaging, or storing meat.

Physical strength. Butchers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy boxes of meat, which may weigh more than 50 pounds.

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Meat Cutter Apprentice jobs

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Meat Cutter Apprentice Typical Career Paths

Average Length of Employment
Meat Cutter 3.0 years
Meat Wrapper 2.5 years
Meat Butcher 2.1 years
Meat Processor 2.0 years
Meat Clerk 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 11.8%
Meat Clerk 9.2%
Cook 6.5%
Deli Clerk 4.6%
Line Cook 3.9%
Stocker 3.9%
Grill Cook 3.3%
Prep Cook 3.3%
Clerk 3.3%
Owner 2.6%
Top Employers After
Meat Cutter 21.4%
Meat Manager 14.3%
Cook 6.0%
Meat Clerk 3.6%
Manager 3.6%
Driver 3.6%
Carpenter 3.0%
Cashier 3.0%
Prep Cook 2.4%
Associate 2.4%

Meat Cutter Apprentice Demographics

Gender

Male

86.6%

Female

11.5%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

78.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.9%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.0%

German

10.0%

Korean

10.0%

Arabic

10.0%
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Meat Cutter Apprentice Education

Schools

Santa Fe Community College

10.0%

Rasmussen College

10.0%

Salem State University

6.7%

Lincoln Technical Institute

6.7%

Liberty University

6.7%

University of Houston

6.7%

Luzerne County Community College

6.7%

Valencia College

6.7%

University of Southern Maine

3.3%

Martinez Adult Education

3.3%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

3.3%

Washington State University

3.3%

Thomas Nelson Community College

3.3%

Community College of Vermont

3.3%

Illinois State University

3.3%

Santa Rosa Junior College

3.3%

Tom P Haney Technical Center

3.3%

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

3.3%

Northwest-Shoals Community College - Muscle Shoals

3.3%

University of South Florida

3.3%
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Majors

Business

24.3%

Criminal Justice

9.5%

Computer Science

6.8%

Automotive Technology

6.8%

Culinary Arts

5.4%

Engineering

5.4%

Management

4.1%

Marketing

4.1%

English

4.1%

Psychology

2.7%

Natural Resources Management

2.7%

Nursing Assistants

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.7%

Sociology

2.7%

Political Science

2.7%

Finance

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Fire Science And Protection

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Medical Technician

2.7%
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Degrees

Other

47.9%

Associate

20.7%

Bachelors

17.4%

Diploma

5.8%

Certificate

4.1%

Masters

3.3%

Doctorate

0.8%
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Internship
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Top Skills for A Meat Cutter Apprentice

PremierCustomerServiceGroundBeefPorkChopsSeafoodCounterPlaceMeatCutsMeatProductsDeliveryTruckMeatCounterDisplayCasesDisplayCounterPublixFreshMeatCasesWrapMeatSpecialOrdersDifferentCutsMeatRoomCompanyStandardsEnsureMeatQualityDirectCustomerSatisfactionSafeOperation

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Top Meat Cutter Apprentice Skills

  1. Premier Customer Service
  2. Ground Beef
  3. Pork Chops
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided premier customer service, including greeting them and responding to questions.
  • Ground beef, chuck and sirloin daily.
  • Cut pork chops, Fillet the fish, Cut fish steaks if needed.
  • Wrapped, weighed & priced meat products in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Unload meat from delivery truck and store meat into refrigerator.

Top Meat Cutter Apprentice Employers