Butchers cut up meat and sell it to customers. They use very sharp knives and saws. Some butchers also make sausages and pies using the meat they prepare. Butchers weigh out meat. They cut meats such as ham using a slicing machine.
- Cutting up meat using saws and sharp knives
- Weighing and slicing meat
- Serving customers and telling them how to cook the meat
- Taking delivery of meat
- Making sure that the meat is stored properly
- Setting out the displays of meat and putting them away at the end of the day
- Taking payment from customers
- Keeping the shop clean and tidy
Butchers may work for independent shops or on market stalls. They may also own this themselves or they may be employed by the owner. Butchers work in butcher’s shops, supermarkets and food processing companies.
Butchers mainly work indoors in a shop or supermarket but those on market stalls are outside in all weathers.
Butchers generally work about 40 hours a week, although there are opportunities for part-time work. Many jobs offer part-time work only.
Starting salary £16,000 – £26,000.
You can start as a trainee or assistant butcher and learn on the job. Knowledge of the meat trade or experience in food retailing may help you find a trainee job.
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 do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 2 Diploma in Butchery
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma For Proficiency in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills