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How to become a Butcher

avg. starting salary

In your prime? Cut above the rest? Good at making generic, meat-based puns? We may have found your perfect position… Butchers cut, prepare and sell meat, as well as a wide range of meat-based products. Traditionally, this would have been done in a dedicated shop. However, Butchers are now found plying their trade in a wide range of shops and supermarkets, and many specialists may work preparing products behind the scenes, ready to be distributed to venders and on to the general public. Some Butchers also specialise in halal, kosher or organic meat, depending on local demand. Typical duties for a Butcher could include:
  • Ordering stock from suppliers (generally wholesalers or abattoirs)
  • Taking deliveries, and ensuring that all meat is hygienic
  • Storing meat appropriately (e.g. hanging, cold storage etc.)
  • Cutting, boning, slicing and trimming meat
  • Preparing game
  • Serving and advising customers
  • Ensuring all equipment is safe and sanitary for use

As you might expect, having to deal with animal carcasses on a daily basis isn’t for everyone. Even the most dedicated carnivore might find it hard being surrounded by blood and raw meat all day, and this job certainly isn’t for the feint-hearted. However, as apprenticeships are the most common route into the industry, it will also take a good amount of hard work, time and dedication in order to become a Butcher, not to mention an in-depth knowledge of all the products on offer. Those who prefer their meat ‘well done’ need not apply… Other key skills for a Butcher could include:
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical strength
  • Maths and arithmetic skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • A good knowledge of hygiene and safety regulations


Butcher's Apprentice

Up to £12,000


Up to £24,000

Butcher's Manager

Up to £30,000

"Being a Butcher is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Early morning starts, pretty physical work, and some things that could turn your stomach. But there is a real delicacy to the job, which might shock some people, and your knowledge of the different cuts needs to be top notch. One wrong turn of the knife, and sirloin steak can quickly turn into scraps for sausages. Nothing gets wasted though. And for me, working for customers is what makes it. My regulars know I’m always on hand to give them the best quality meat possible. And that’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Sorry, Butcher humour…"

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