- Involves moving heavy joints in and out of cold storage, preparing cuts of meat and serving customers
- With experience, option to work in larger and more prestigious independent butchers' shops, retail chains and supermarkets
- Option to set up your own shop, or move into catering, meat manufacturing and wholesaling
Butchers slaughter, dress and sell meat and are required to clean, shape, de-bone and tie cuts of meat by hand to form roasts. In addition, the butcher must maintain a clean and safe working environment for all equipment and areas. They must deal with pricing and ensure stock is available to meet daily demands.
- Buying, ordering, storing and controlling stock
- Receiving deliveries and checking their content and hygiene
- Moving meat stock to cold storage areas
- Creating product displays
- Cutting, boning and trimming meat
- Serving customers
- Advising customers on how to prepare and cook meat
You'll spend much of the day moving heavy joints in and out of cold storage, preparing cuts of meat and serving customers. You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.
You may also drive to markets, wholesalers and customers' premises. You could specialise in halal, kosher or organic foods, depending on the demands of the local community.
To be a butcher you need knowledge of food production methods, to be able to be around large quantities of all kinds of meat and to be able to work with your hands.
There are no set requirements, but knowledge of the trade and previous experience in retail will help you to get a job. Any experience you have working with the public, food or handling cash would be useful for this career.
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 2 Certificate For Proficiency in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills and Level 2 Diploma in Butchery. Some employers will want you to have a Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail or Catering. This can be taken as a 1-day course and is widely available through colleges and private training providers.
You could get into this job through a butcher intermediate apprenticeship. Once working, you could move on to the butcher advanced apprenticeship.
With experience, you could work in larger and more prestigious independent butchers' shops, retail chains and supermarkets, or set up your own shop. With supermarkets and chains, you may progress to supervisory or management roles. You could work at the Meat Hygiene Service or Food Standards Agency, checking quality and standards in abattoirs and meat plants. You could also move into catering, meat manufacturing and wholesaling.