Butchers sell meat and poultry through individual shops, supermarkets or local markets.

What does a butcher do?

A butcher's work would include:

  • buying, ordering and controlling stock
  • receiving deliveries and checking their content and hygiene
  • moving meat stock to cold storage areas
  • preparing product displays
  • cutting, boning and trimming meat
  • serving customers at the counter
  • advising customers on how to prepare and cook meat

Butchers may also drive to markets, wholesalers and customers’ premises. They may specialise in halal, kosher, or organic foods, depending on the demands of the local community.

What do I need to do to become a butcher?

You would usually start as a trainee or assistant butcher and learn on the job. You may have an advantage if you have previous experience in food retail.

Some employers will prefer you to have a Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail (or Catering or Manufacturing) Certificate, which can be taken as a one-day course. See the CIEH and RSPH websites for course details and training providers.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Numeracy
  • Teamwork

Vocational route

  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail (or Catering or Manufacturing) Certificate
  • Improve Proficiency Apprenticeship in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You can work in independent butchers’ shops, retail chains, and supermarket butchery departments. Setting up your own shop is also an option.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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