What does a Butcher do?

Butchers are professional meat cutters who prepare various cuts of meat, poultry, and fish for consumer purchases. They are responsible for receiving and storing meat products and adhering to sanitary and health regulations about meat quality. After cutting the meat, they package and price it and prepare meat displays when necessary. Butchers working in a retail environment perform customer service tasks. They must negotiate with suppliers, manage special order cuts, keep records of inventory and transactions, and advise customers on cooking each cut of meat to satisfaction.

Butchers roll and tie roasts, prepare sausages, and cure meat; if working in a processing plant, they operate special equipment to slaughter, break, cut bone, and trim the meat into cuts for processing and sales in both international and domestic marketplaces. Butchers need to understand good hygiene practices, work independently or on a team, and communicate with customers, supervisors, and coworkers. Butchers need a minimum high school diploma, and individuals can pursue certification related to meat processing or meat science.

What responsibilities are common for Butcher jobs?
  • Maintain the organization, rotation and cleanliness of back stock areas.
  • Ensure both signing execution and pricing accuracy are maintained.
  • Prepare, stock, cut, weigh and wrap meat and seafood department products.
  • Ensure proper product handling to control shrinkage and waste.
  • Review inventory for product rotation on a daily basis to prevent shrinkage and damages.
  • Receive, inspect, and store meat properly upon delivery to ensure meat quality.
  • Resolve customer complaints to the full satisfaction of the customer.
  • Assist as needed in preparation of food products, catering, and special orders.
  • Produce and submit receiving records on a timely basis.
  • Order meat products according to anticipated sales and seasonal needs.
  • Direct or show customers where items are in the store.
  • Keep workstation and surrounding area neat and clean.
  • Train employees in job responsibilities and safe operating procedures.
  • Make regular announcements to inform guests of freshly prepared meat products and current sales.
  • Provide exceptional customer service while maintaining, a high level of productivity.
  • Unload trucks, sort cases for stocking, and inspect merchandise for damage.
  • Utilize up-time as the key metric to determine success of the team.
  • Follow daily cutting lists and complete work in allotted time.
What are the typical qualifications for Butcher jobs?
  • GED/High School Degree or Bachelor's Degree in business and demonstrated experience.
  • Dexterity and operational excellence when slicing items.
  • Attention to detail and a positive attitude when interacting with colleagues and customers.
  • Product knowledge and time management skills.
  • Confident with product pricing, critical thinking, and decision making.
  • Committed to operational excellence while sanitizing areas and using solvents to clean.
  • Has composure during busy shop times.
  • A leader with a strong work ethic.
Work/Life Balance
3.0 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 year

How much does a Butcher make?

$42,660 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Butcher Career Path

Learn how to become a Butcher, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.


Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Butcher Insights

Read what Butcher professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Jimmy John'sJimmy John's
Aug 20, 2020

“It is honestly the best part time job because the hours are really flexible and its easy work.”

Meat Cutter
Aug 5, 2021

“You can save your sick time which is nice and they pay stock dividends quarterly.”

Food CityFood City
Meat Cutter
Jun 11, 2021

“The people are amazing and I love what I do there in the meat department.”

Loblaw CompaniesLoblaw Companies
Meat Clerk
May 26, 2021

“Your work experience is very dependent on which store manager / department manager you work with.”

Sam's ClubSam's Club
Meat Wrapper
Aug 18, 2021

“There was low manager supervision which I liked because I can get the job done on my own.”

Costco WholesaleCostco Wholesale
Meat Wrapper
Mar 13, 2021

“The pay ranges from $27 an hour as a supervisor to About $75k SALARY for managers.”

Butcher/Meat Cutter
Jul 1, 2021

“Steady stream of work and good on the job training”

Meat Clerk
Jul 22, 2021

“Pay is terrible and unlivable.”

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Butcher Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Butcher

The most similar professions to Butcher are:
  • Line Cook
  • Prep Cook
  • Cook
  • Dishwasher

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Line Cook
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Prep Cook
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Butcher Jobs