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Meat Cutter Careers

A meat cutter, as the job title implies, cuts meat. They are also known as butchers, and they actually do more than cutting as they also package the meats and label them accordingly for sale. Since the job is filled with activities, sound physical stamina, and an ability to work effectively with one's hands are required.

They earn an average salary of $22,00 a year or roughly $11.00 per hour. They are trained professionals in cutting and packaging meats as there are various techniques with different types of equipment. This shouldn't come as a surprise, but they are tasked with maintaining the proper hygiene of the shop they work in as well.

Academic qualification is not required as most Meat Cutters learn on the job. However, degree programs in meat marketing or merchandising can help.

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.

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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Average Salary
$22,495
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,977
Job Openings

Meat Cutter Career Paths

Top Careers Before Meat Cutter

Cashier
16.1 %
Cook
9.3 %

Top Careers After Meat Cutter

Cook
8.0 %
Cashier
7.6 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Meat Cutter

Meat Cutters in America make an average salary of $22,495 per year or $11 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $29,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $16,000 per year.
Average Salary
$22,495

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Bellevue, WA
Salary Range28k - 46k$37k$36,643
Arlington, VA
Salary Range25k - 43k$34k$33,650
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range23k - 40k$31k$30,869
Washington, DC
Salary Range23k - 39k$31k$30,559
Detroit, MI
Salary Range23k - 37k$30k$29,696
Gilroy, CA
Salary Range23k - 37k$30k$29,696
$17k
$46k

Recently Added Salaries

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Meat Cutter
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Sprouts Farmers Market
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01/30/2021
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$30,82501/30/2021
$30,825
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Southside Market & Barbeque
Southside Market & Barbeque
01/26/2021
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$22,95701/26/2021
$22,957
Journeyperson Meat Cutter
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Town and Country Markets
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01/25/2021
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$50,40101/25/2021
$50,401
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Town & Country Markets, Inc.
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01/23/2021
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$50,40101/23/2021
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Meat Cutter
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Select Staff
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01/15/2021
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$35,47901/15/2021
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Meat Cutter Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Meat Cutter. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Meat Cutter Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Meat Cutter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Meat Cutter Demographics

Gender

male

84.2 %

female

13.1 %

unknown

2.7 %

Ethnicity

White

64.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.3 %

Black or African American

9.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.8 %

French

6.3 %

German

2.5 %
See More Demographics

Meat Cutter Education

Majors

Business
21.2 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

54.8 %

Associate

15.0 %

Bachelors

11.8 %
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Meat Cutter

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.0% of meat cutters listed pork on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and dexterity are important as well.

  • Pork, 15.0%
  • Meat Products, 11.1%
  • Food Safety, 10.7%
  • Company Standards, 9.0%
  • Hand Tools, 8.4%
  • Other Skills, 45.8%
  • See All Meat Cutter Skills

Best States For a Meat Cutter

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a meat cutter. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Meat cutters make the most in Washington with an average salary of $36,631. Whereas in Nebraska and Wisconsin, they would average $33,118 and $33,087, respectively. While meat cutters would only make an average of $32,300 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Meat Cutter Jobs:
138
Highest 10% Earn:
$57,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Ohio

Total Meat Cutter Jobs:
197
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Wisconsin

Total Meat Cutter Jobs:
92
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Meat Cutter Employers

1. Sam's Club
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$30,936
Meat Cutters Hired: 
491+
2. Publix
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$31,266
Meat Cutters Hired: 
353+
3. Food Lion
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$30,680
Meat Cutters Hired: 
272+
4. Kroger
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$30,662
Meat Cutters Hired: 
270+
5. Save-A-Lot
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$32,716
Meat Cutters Hired: 
226+
6. The Fresh Market
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,651
Meat Cutters Hired: 
204+

Meat Cutter Videos

Updated October 2, 2020