Butcher School, Training Program and Course Info

Training programs for butchers involves learning to break down large portions of meat to smaller sizes in the form of steak, ground meat, sausage or additional chopped or cut meat. They use tools such as grinders, cleavers, knives and slicing machines. Get info about important factors to consider when choosing a butcher school, and learn more about the training programs here.

How to Choose a Butcher School

Butchers are skilled in the trade of handling and cutting foods such as pork, beef, veal, lamb, seafood and poultry. They use customary preparation techniques in order to make the meat presentable and sanitary for sale. Butchers typically work in refrigerated environments that are fast-paced; the work may also include heavy lifting. A number of schools offer training programs in meat cutting and meat processing, especially technical and vocational schools.

Consider the following when looking at butcher training programs

  • There are different programs to prepare you for entry-level work or apprentice-level work in preparation for career butchery.
  • Make sure your program operates under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) protocol for up-to-date guidelines in food sanitation and safety.

Overview of Butcher Training Programs

Certificate in Meat Cutting

Certificate programs range from one month for a basic program to 12 months for a more advanced program. Students learn about food safety, sanitation, portion control and knife handling. Additional topics may include:

  • Slaughter
  • Cutting and wrapping
  • Meat storage

Apprenticeship in Meat Cutting

An apprenticeship program typically lasts two years and is suitable for individuals who want a career as a butcher. In addition to the topics covered in a certificate program, an apprenticeship includes on-the-job training in maintaining merchandise and managing inventory. Other topics include:

  • Filling orders
  • Customer service
  • Workplace guidelines
  • Dealing with complaints

10 Schools with Butcher Training Programs

College/University Institution Type
University of Kentucky4-year, Public
Maricopa Skill CenterLess than 2-year, Public
Vermont Technical College4-year, Public
Eastern Oklahoma State College2-year, Public
SUNY Cobleskill 4-year, Public
Bridgerland Applied Technology Center2-year, Public
University of Wisconsin-Extension4-year, Public
Madison Area Technical College2-year, Public
South Seattle College-Georgetown4-year, Public
University of Nebraska-Lincoln4-year, Public

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