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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/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $21,000

    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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Average Length of Employment
Meat Manager 7.3 years
Frozen Meat Cutter 5.5 years
Meat Cutter 3.0 years
Meat Specialist 3.0 years
Meat Wrapper 3.0 years
Fish Cutter 2.9 years
Butcher 2.6 years
Meat Butcher 2.4 years
Meat Processor 2.3 years
Cutter 2.0 years
Meat Clerk 2.0 years
Butcher Apprentice 1.8 years
Meat Carver 1.1 years
Top Careers Before Meat Cutter
Cashier 14.3%
Meat Manager 10.7%
Cook 8.5%
Manager 5.1%
Meat Clerk 5.1%
Line Cook 4.0%
Stocker 3.5%
Butcher 3.4%
Prep Cook 3.0%
Server 2.8%
Top Careers After Meat Cutter
Meat Manager 13.1%
Cashier 7.8%
Cook 7.3%
Driver 5.0%
Manager 4.3%
Line Cook 3.6%
Butcher 3.2%
Prep Cook 3.1%
Technician 3.1%
Meat Clerk 3.0%

Do you work as a Meat Cutter?

Average Yearly Salary
$21,000
Show Salaries
$16,000
Min 10%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
H-E-B
Highest Paying City
Alexandria, VA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Meat Cutter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Meat Cutter in the United States is $21,974 per year or $11 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $16,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $28,000.

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 Dec 09, 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

  1. Meat Products
  2. Ground Beef
  3. Pork
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cut and prepare meat products* Helped in ordering products for the restaurant* Shift Supervisor, ran shifts in a supervisory role
  • Can process Ground Beef in accordance to lean-to-fat ratios established by the Supervisor/Department utilizing grinding and mixing machines.
  • Manufactured and Produced Pork Fritters and Tenderloins
  • Cut and prepared all varieties and cuts of meat, including the safe operation of tools.
  • Sanitize meat cutting machine and utensils, as well as break down seafood department at the end of the day.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Meat Cutters

  1. Connecticut
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Indiana
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Delaware
  6. Maine
  7. North Carolina
  8. New York
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Rhode Island
  • (74 jobs)
  • (181 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (171 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)

Meat Cutter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 10,800 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Meat Cutter Resume

View Resume Examples

Meat Cutter Demographics

Gender

Male

80.0%

Female

12.1%

Unknown

7.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.8%

French

6.3%

German

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Japanese

1.9%

Hmong

1.9%

Russian

1.3%

Portuguese

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Hungarian

0.6%

Chinese

0.6%

Ilocano

0.6%

Aramaic

0.6%

Amharic

0.6%

Tigrinya

0.6%

Lingala

0.6%

Italian

0.6%
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Meat Cutter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.6%

The Academy

11.7%

Ashford University

5.8%

Johnson & Wales University

5.1%

Ohio State University

5.1%

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

4.7%

Culinary Institute of America

4.3%

Universal Technical Institute

4.3%

Augusta Technical College

3.9%

Houston Community College

3.9%

Broward College

3.9%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.9%

Kaplan University

3.9%

Trident Technical College

3.5%

Tidewater Community College

3.5%

Cornell University

3.5%

South Georgia Technical College

3.5%

Salt Lake Community College

3.5%

Purdue University

3.5%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Business

22.0%

General Studies

9.7%

Culinary Arts

9.2%

Criminal Justice

7.3%

Computer Science

5.6%

Automotive Technology

4.7%

Precision Metal Working

4.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Psychology

3.5%

Accounting

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Education

3.1%

Management

3.0%

Nursing

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Information Technology

2.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.3%

Communication

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

49.2%

Associate

19.4%

Bachelors

18.3%

Certificate

7.8%

Diploma

3.2%

Masters

1.5%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Updated May 19, 2020