Butcher Careers

How to become Butcher

What does a Butcher do?

Retail butchers sell meat, poultry and meat-based products to the public.

Daily tasks include cutting, boning and trimming meat, and serving customers at the counter. Butchers may advise customers on how to prepare and cook the meat.

Other tasks include buying, ordering and controlling stock; receiving deliveries and checking their content and hygiene; moving the stock to cold storage areas and preparing product displays.

Retail butchers may also manufacture a range of meat-based products such as sausages, burgers and pies. Some butchers specialise is halal, kosher or organic foods according to demand from the local community.

What's the working environment like working as a Butcher?

Butchers usually work around 40 hours a week but can be required to work longer hours, which often include early mornings. Most butchers work Saturdays (and Sundays in supermarkets) with time off during the week. Overtime and part-time work may be available.

Butchers’ shops are normally light and airy with counter areas kept at a controlled, cool temperature. Butchers may work in chill rooms and cold stores for short periods.

Butchers need to be physically fit as they need to lift and carry heavy joints of meat and spend much of the day standing. The work may not be suitable for those with allergies and skin conditions.

A driving licence is useful as the job can involve driving a van to markets, wholesalers and customers’ premises.

What does it take to become a Butcher?

As a butcher, you should:

  • have good practical skills to use sharp hand tools and machinery
  • have a high standard of personal cleanliness and strict observance of workplace hygiene standards
  • work well within a team
  • be friendly and outgoing
  • have good communication and customer service skills
  • have in-depth product knowledge
  • have good visual sense for counter and window displays
  • have good numeracy skills for handling payments.

Butcher Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Butcher that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Worshipful Company of Butchers Guild
Tel: 020 7600 4106

Meat Training Council (MTC)
PO Box 141
Winterhill House
Snowdon Drive
Milton Keynes
Tel: 01908 231062

Scottish Meat Training
8-10 Needless Road
Tel: 01738 637785

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Coursefinder
Tel: 020 7827 5800

The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (RSPH)

Facts and Stats:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte once called England a "nation of shopkeepers".

  • Consumer expenditure per head in the UK is £8,053.

  • The phrase "The customer is always right", was coined by H Gordon Selfridge.

  • The annual sales of digestive biscuits, if stacked on top of each other, would reach 275 miles high That's 4,500 times the height of Nelson's Column or 1,400 times the height of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Britain's first department store was Selfridges, which was opened in 1909.

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