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Butcher or Meat Cutter

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What is a Butcher or Meat Cutter?

Job Description: Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.

Butcher or Meat Cutter Responsibilities

  • Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality.
  • Wrap, weigh, label, and price cuts of meat.
  • Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.
  • Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper’s eye.
  • Total sales, and collect money from customers.
  • Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form.

Butcher or Meat Cutter Required Skills

When polled, Butchers and Meat Cutters say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Meat Wrapper
  • Cleaver
  • Meat Cutter Apprentice
  • Meat Supervisor
  • Meat Carver

Butcher or Meat Cutter Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 135,700 jobs in the United States for Butcher or Meat Cutter. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,800 new jobs for Butcher or Meat Cutter by 2026. The BLS estimates 17,700 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Butcher or Meat Cutter are Nevada, Utah, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Vermont, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Butcher or Meat Cutter

The salary for Butchers and Meat Cutters ranges between about $20,900 and $49,110 a year.


Butchers and Meat Cutters who work in New Jersey, Alaska, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Butchers and Meat Cutters make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $30,900
Alaska $46,160
Arizona $35,420
Arkansas $30,610
California $34,450
Colorado $35,090
Connecticut $44,880
Delaware $39,140
District of Columbia $43,450
Florida $30,960
Georgia $29,810
Hawaii $40,920
Idaho $32,440
Illinois $30,990
Indiana $31,660
Iowa $26,460
Kansas $32,800
Kentucky $30,340
Louisiana $28,810
Maine $33,160
Maryland $39,810
Massachusetts $40,920
Michigan $31,270
Minnesota $37,100
Mississippi $27,350
Missouri $32,260
Montana $32,820
Nebraska $33,850
Nevada $35,160
New Hampshire $42,080
New Jersey $43,680
New Mexico $30,390
New York $36,500
North Carolina $31,870
North Dakota $35,040
Ohio $34,960
Oklahoma $28,600
Oregon $35,730
Pennsylvania $32,110
Rhode Island $38,820
South Carolina $33,190
South Dakota $31,650
Tennessee $31,160
Texas $27,140
Utah $32,480
Vermont $35,370
Virginia $35,140
Washington $40,600
West Virginia $29,020
Wisconsin $39,830
Wyoming $35,240

What Tools do Butchers and Meat Cutters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Butchers and Meat Cutters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Financial accounting software

How to Become a Butcher or Meat Cutter

Are there Butchers and Meat Cutters education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Butchers and Meat Cutters?


The table below shows the approximate number of Butchers and Meat Cutters employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those who work as a Butcher or Meat Cutter sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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