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Butcher and Meat Cutter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Cuts, trims, or prepares consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Food Products and Processing Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Wraps, weighs, labels and prices cuts of meat.
  • Prepares and places meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
  • Prepares special cuts of meat ordered by customers.
  • Cuts, trims, bones, ties, and grinds meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form.
  • Receives, inspects, and stores meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality.
  • Shapes, laces, and ties roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.
  • Estimates requirements and orders or requisitions meat supplies to maintain inventories.
  • Supervises other butchers or meat cutters.
  • Records quantity of meat received and issued to cooks or keeps records of meat sales.
  • Negotiates with representatives from supply companies to determine order details.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Halal Butcher -- Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat according to Islamic standards.
  • Kosher Butcher -- Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat according to Jewish standards.
  • Meat Dresser -- Butchers livestock, such as hogs, sheep, and cattle, in private slaughter house or on customer's premises.
  • Meat Loiner --