How to become a Butcher


Butchers select, cut, trim and prepare meat for sale or supply.

Personal requirements for a Butcher

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • In good health
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Good interpersonal skills

Education & Training for a Butcher

To become a butcher you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Butcher


  • Cut, trim and shape standard cuts of meat to size
  • Process carcasses into primary and secondary cuts
  • Pack and store products for display and sale
  • Order supplies from wholesalers using AUS-MEAT Language, and weigh and check stock on receipt
  • Assemble and operate mincers, grinders, mixers, patty-forming or sausage-forming machines, and bandsaws
  • Use correct detergents and sanitisers to prevent food poisoning and contamination of premises and equipment
  • Assist clients (including hotels and restaurants) with menu planning, estimating food portions and production costs
  • Collect payment for sales
  • Prepare marinated meats and ready-to-cook dishes
  • Advise customers about alternative cuts, cooking methods, storage requirements and nutritional aspects of meat.


  • Operating machines to grind, mix, mince and tenderise meat.
  • Operating sausage filling machines, smoking chambers, and cooking kettles and vats.
  • Advising customers on the suitability and uses of cuts of meat.
  • Selecting and preparing meat to produce smallgoods.
  • Preparing crumbed cuts of meat, and marinating, seasoning and curing special cuts.
  • Making seasonings and pickles by mixing spices, salt and other ingredients.
  • Preparing meat for sale by removing bones, trimming fat and cutting, mincing and grinding meat to shape and size for display or as ordered.
  • May assist in menu planning and scheduling, and in estimating food production costs.

Working conditions for a Butcher

Butchers work with a variety of knives, hand tools, power equipment (including mincers, mixers and bandsaws) and computer-operated machinery. They work in shops and boning/slicing rooms. They usually have early morning starts and their work involves a lot of contact with people, such as customers and workmates. Butchers are exposed to animal blood.

Employment Opportunities for a Butcher

Most butchers are employed in retail businesses or supermarkets. Some are self-employed. Butchers also work in wholesale and export businesses where they prepare meat for local consumption or export. Qualified butchers may have the opportunity to become involved in other areas of the hospitality and food industries, such as meat and meat products inspection, export and associated services.



Butchers select, cut, trim and prepare meat for sale or supply.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    6% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    46 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    82% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    19,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.0%
    NSW: 30.9%
    NT: 0.7%
    QLD: 23.7%
    SA: 8.7%
    TAS: 2.7%
    VIC: 22.6%
    WA: 9.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 6.6%
    20-24: 12.8%
    25-34: 22.3%
    35-44: 19.9%
    45-54: 19.1%
    55-59: 8.6%
    60-64: 6.4%
    65 and Over: 4.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 1.7%
    Bachelor degree: 1.9%
    Below Year 10: 8.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 67%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.2%
    Year 10 and below: 15.2%
    Year 11: 3.3%
    Year 12: 10.7%
    Years 11 & 10: 27.5%
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