Career Profile: Meat Cutter

Career Profile: Meat Cutter

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you eat lunch meat like bologna or salami, you might notice that it sometimes comes already sliced and sometimes not. Have you ever thought about who cuts the meat? In small shops, it might be the same person who sells the meat to you and your family. In many places, however, the job of meat cutter is a special one that requires a lot of skill and experience.

Working as a meat cutter requires no special education other than a high school diploma. However, people in this trade need to know about mathematics to be able to weigh and measure the meat and to calculate prices. They need to be able to work with other people in the store or factory and to be skillful in dealing with customers. Depending on where they work, they might spend a lot of their time dealing with people or almost none at all.

One of the most important aspects of being a meat cutter is to know a lot about the product. Sometimes, this might include knowing about the nutrition in a piece of sausage. At other times, this might include knowing about the different cuts of meat and how they are used. Do you know the different kind of steak or what kind of meat is best for using in soup? How long should a turkey be in the oven before it is done? These are the kinds of questions that a meat cutter might have to answer.

Jobs for meat cutters can vary. They can work in processing plants, butcher shops, small grocery stores, large supermarkets, or anywhere else that deals with meat. Some of them might spend their days cutting up large chunks of meat in factories or feeding it into grinders to make sausages. Others might work in restaurants or small shops where they cut small amounts of meat for sandwiches.

The special skills that meat cutters need and the working conditions depend a lot on the specific job. People working in factories or slaughterhouses might have to deal with very harsh conditions as they work with cold freezers, sharp tools, and heavy animals. However, people who work in small shops might be very busy dealing with customers but have much more comfortable working conditions. Wages vary from about $14 to about $30 per hour, depending on experience and the difficulty of the work.

Like many other tradespeople, meat cutters have a special organization to help members. The Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association Helps members develop their skills and to deal with any problems that they encounter. Becoming a member of an organization like this can help people find others in the same trade and can help with education and apprenticeships. If you are interested in becoming a meat cutter, you should find out about what the trade association is doing in your area.

Do you like working with food? Maybe you should consider becoming a meat cutter.


BC Tourism. “Meatcutter Program.” https://www.go2hr.ca/training/meatcutter-program.

Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association. Training & Education http://meatforce.ca/training-education/.

Payscale.com. “Meat Cutter Salary (Canada).” http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Meat_Cutter/Hourly_Rate

Sample Job Descriptions. “Meat Cutter Job Description.” http://www.samplejobdescriptions.org/meat-cutter.html.

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