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Career profile Butcher

Also known as Butcher, Journeyman Meat Cutter, Meat Clerk, Meat Cutter, Meat Specialist, Meat Trimmer, Meat Wrapper

Butcher

Also known as Butcher, Journeyman Meat Cutter, Meat Clerk

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$22,210 - $50,440 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Food Production
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter to appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
  • Wrap, weigh, label, and price cuts of meat.
  • Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare in cooking form.
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What does a Butcher do?

Butchers cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.

What kind of tasks does a Butcher perform regularly?

Butchers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter to appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
  • Wrap, weigh, label, and price cuts of meat.
  • Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare in cooking form.
  • Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers.
  • Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery to ensure meat quality.
  • Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories.
  • Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.

The above responsibilities are specific to Butchers. More generally, Butchers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.

What is a Butcher salary?

The median salary for a Butcher is $32,900, and the average salary is $34,630. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Butcher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Butchers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Butchers earn less than $22,210 per year, 25% earn less than $26,950, 75% earn less than $40,930, and 90% earn less than $50,440.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Butchers is expected to change by -5.4%, and there should be roughly 15,400 open positions for Butchers every year.

Median annual salary
$32,900
Typical salary range
$22,210 - $50,440
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-5.4%

What personality traits are common among Butchers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Butcher are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Enterprising interests.

Butchers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Butchers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Butchers typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Butcher tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Support.

Most importantly, Butchers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Butchers somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Butchers somewhat value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Butchers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, cooperation, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Butchers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Butchers need?

Working as a Butcher usually requires a high school diploma.

Butchers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Butchers

  • 29.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 43.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.8% completed some college coursework
  • 4.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.6% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Butchers

Butchers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, food production, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Butchers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Butchers

Butchers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Butchers need abilities such as manual dexterity, near vision, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Butchers, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Butchers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Butchers frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Butchers, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.