Career Profile: Butcher
Any time you enjoyed a sizzling steak or plump burger, have you ever stopped and wondered what went into getting that Grade A beef from the cow to your dinner table? You have the butcher to thank for that! A butcher is essentially a person who works in meat preparation who either slaughters the animal, prepares the meat for sale, or sells the meat to consumers (or perhaps all three of these jobs). You will find them working at grocery stores and markets, slaughterhouses, independent or franchised butcher shops – or running their own business. There are no educational requirements to get into this field, though training may require the butcher to understand how the industry machinery works and know the different cuts of meat. Most of the job positions across butcher shops or industrial meatpacking plants are full-time jobs, though grocery stores often employ part-time or seasonal workers (which can be ideal for high school and university students looking for summer work).
What are the perks of the job?
Being a physically demanding job, the butcher role is often in high demand to replace workers that are often leaving the profession. This leaves many positions open for the butcher-to-be when getting into the profession or transferring to another location. Another trait that makes this job an easy one to get into is the fact that there is no educational requirements to get into the field, a new butcher can get the job after some job training. For people passionate about the culinary arts and knowledgeable about different types and cuts of meat, being a butcher is a great choice in occupation.
What are some of the setbacks?
The largest con with this job is the physically demanding nature of moving large meat products, repetitive cutting motions, and working with large industrial meat-cutting devices. This kind of work can lead people into an earlier retirement. As well, the job has an average salary of approximately $40,171 as of February 2018 (according to PayScale), which is lower than the Canadian national average of $51,000 as of September 2017. There are also few means of being promoted through the career. However, many butchers who are passionate about the career go on to start their own business.
How can I grow with this career?
After serving a few years in an entry-level position, you could be promoted to a more managerial position within the company depending on what kind of an establishment that you work at. There aren’t too many ways to be promoted in the job, though some butchers go the entrepreneurial route and begin their own butcher shop or business.
That’s all great, but could I be hired for other careers?
Being a butcher gives you a better understanding of how food is prepared, which can make it easier for butchers to get into other jobs in food preparation such as: food preparation jobs, food manufacturing jobs, and other industrial food jobs and grocer jobs. With business skills, another career the butcher can consider is starting their own meat packing business where they can be their own boss, set their own hours, and develop a franchise.