Butchers prepare meat and sell it in shops, supermarkets, or through wholesalers. Specialist butchers prepare organic, kosher, or halal meats, depending on local demand.
You could be:
removing bones and sawing, cutting, dicing and mincing meat
creating recipes for making new products such as burgers or readymade meals
making raw and cooked meat into sausages and pies
serving customers; weighing and packaging meat and giving advice on preparation and cooking
making sure work areas are kept clean at all times
sharpening and cleaning knives and operating cutting machinery
displaying produce in windows or cabinets
monitoring stock levels, placing orders and storing meat correctly
driving to markets, wholesalers and customers’ premises to collect and deliver products.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2022 the National Minimum Wage is £4.81 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.83 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £9.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over.
At present the apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £4.81 an hour (1 April 2022).
With experience this can rise up to £15.00 an hour or more.
Your workplace will be clean and indoors, but might be cold.
You would work around 40 hours a week, including early mornings, evenings and weekends.
There will be heavy lifting.
Your employer will give you protective overalls, disposable gloves and something to cover your hair.
You would stand for long periods.
You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful.
You need basic reading and numeracy skills.
You can get in through a Modern Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Operations (Meat and Poultry Skills) at SCQF Level 5.
A driving licence may be useful.
For some aspects of butchery work, you must be over 18 years old.