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Become A Meat Cutter

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Working As A Meat Cutter

  • 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

  • $24,908

    Average Salary

What Does A Meat Cutter 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

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 jobs

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Meat Cutter Typical Career Paths

Meat Cutter Demographics

Gender

Male

84.6%

Female

14.3%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

79.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.3%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.6%

French

8.6%

German

3.8%

Arabic

2.9%

Russian

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hmong

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

Chinese

1.0%

Ilocano

1.0%

Aramaic

1.0%

Amharic

1.0%

Tigrinya

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Lingala

1.0%
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Meat Cutter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.3%

Lansing Community College

5.3%

Cornell University

5.3%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

5.3%

Kaplan University

5.3%

Universal Technical Institute

4.5%

Ashford University

4.5%

Ohio State University

4.5%

Kirkwood Community College

4.5%

Houston Community College

4.5%

Alabama State University

4.5%

Bates Technical College

4.5%

Johnson & Wales University

4.5%

North Dakota State University -

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

4.5%

University of Alabama

3.8%

University of Toledo

3.8%

Augusta Technical College

3.8%

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

3.8%
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Majors

Business

22.8%

General Studies

8.7%

Criminal Justice

8.6%

Culinary Arts

7.5%

Computer Science

5.6%

Precision Metal Working

5.0%

Automotive Technology

4.4%

Management

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.4%

Education

3.3%

Communication

3.3%

Accounting

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Psychology

3.1%

Graphic Design

2.8%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Nursing

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

English

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

49.2%

Bachelors

19.9%

Associate

17.2%

Certificate

8.3%

Diploma

2.7%

Masters

2.2%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Real Meat Cutter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Butcher/Meat Cutter Hadi & Basit Inc. Arlington, VA May 13, 2016 $44,000
Meat Cutter Mujtaba, Inc. Catonsville, MD Mar 11, 2016 $42,682
Meat Cutter J&K Corporation of Manassas D/B/A Fiesta Supermarket Manassas, VA Apr 20, 2015 $41,725
Meat Cutter Manager International Meat Market Central Falls, RI May 19, 2016 $40,900
Meat Cutter El Mercado Lakewood, LLC Lakewood, NJ Feb 18, 2016 $36,629
Meat Cutter Valley Markets Inc. DBA Hugo's Grand Forks, ND Sep 17, 2015 $31,305 -
$41,740
Butchers and Meat Cutters Matt's Custom Meats, Inc. Saint Anthony, ID Oct 01, 2016 $25,378
Butchers and Meat Cutters Matt's Custom Meats, Inc. Saint Anthony, ID Aug 01, 2016 $25,378
Meat Cutter ASSI Plaza Pa, Inc. D/B/A ASSI Plaza North Wales, PA Sep 29, 2016 $24,440
Butcher/Meat Cutter Hadi & Basit Inc. Arlington, VA Dec 29, 2016 $24,000
Meat Cutter Creston Valley Meats Creston, CA Jan 01, 2015 $20,870
Poultry Meat Cutters Case Farms Processing Inc. Morganton, NC Sep 13, 2016 $20,035
Poultry Meat Cutters Case Farms Processing Inc. Morganton, NC Jun 24, 2016 $19,847
Poultry Meat Cutters Case Farms Processing Inc. Morganton, NC Jun 17, 2016 $19,847

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Top Skills for A Meat Cutter

GroundBeefPorkChopsMeatDepartmentSafetyRegulationsSeafoodDepartmentPlaceMeatCutsMeatProductsMeatPackagesGrindMeatsSpecialCutsDisplayCounterStoreMeatDeliveryTruckFreshMeatCookingFormEnsureMeatQualitySpecialOrdersPrepCustomerServiceSkillsDifferentCuts

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Top Meat Cutter Skills

  1. Ground Beef
  2. Pork Chops
  3. Meat Department
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Use a meat grinder to grind trimmings into ground beef.
  • Cut various meats: ribs, pork chops, pork steaks, chuck roast and ground meat.
  • Organize process meat by grade, clean meat department, fill meat bays, customer service and pack meat/seafood by weight.
  • Comply with sanitation and safety regulations.
  • Managed the seafood department, which included maintaining pricing integrity, labor, merchandising and operational processes.

Top Meat Cutter Employers

Meat Cutter Videos

Butchers and Meat Cutters - Career Profile

Butchers and Meat Cutters Job Description

Become a Butcher and Meat Cutter

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