Summary Report for:
51-3021.00 - Butchers and Meat Cutters
Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.
Sample of reported job titles: Butcher, Journeyman Meat Cutter, Market Manager, Meat Clerk, Meat Cutter, Meat Department Manager, Meat Manager, Meat Specialist, Meat Wrapper, Seafood and Service Meat Manager
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Wrap, weigh, label and price cuts of meat.
- Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
- Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers.
- Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form.
- Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality.
- Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.
- Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories.
- Supervise other butchers or meat cutters.
- Record quantity of meat received and issued to cooks or keep records of meat sales.
- Negotiate with representatives from supply companies to determine order details.
- Cure, smoke, tenderize and preserve meat.
- Total sales, and collect money from customers.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Air dryers — Air knives
- Baling press — Balers
- Belt conveyors — Material conveyors
- Blast freezers — Anti-griddles
- Butcher scissors — Poultry shears
- Chopping machinery — Bowl choppers; Mincing machines
- Commercial use blenders — Hand blenders
- Commercial use cutlery — Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Trim knives; Whizzard knives (see all 13 examples)
- Commercial use dough machines — Dough mixers
- Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Meat cubers
- Commercial use food grinders — Auto feed grinders; Frozen block grinders
- Commercial use food slicers — Bacon slicers
- Commercial use food warmers — Thermal circulators
- Commercial use rotisseries — Rotisserie ovens
- Commercial use scales — Meat scales
- Cutting machinery — Brisket cutters
- Dehydrating machinery — Meat dehydrators
- Dicing machinery — Dicers
- Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
- Ear plugs — Protective ear plugs
- Fat extractors — Specific gravity fat analyzers
- Filling machinery — Sausage linkers
- Forming machine — Hamburger presses; Meatball molders
- Handheld thermometer — Food thermometers
- Hoists — Meat hoists
- Label making machines — Label printers
- Meat tyers — Meat stringing machines; Net applicators
- Metal detectors — Food metal detectors
- Packaging vacuum — Vacuum package machines
- Pallet trucks — Pallet jacks
- Personal computers
- Power saws — Beef splitting saws; Butcher saws; Frozen food saws; Meat cutting band saws
- Power staple guns
- Saws — Handsaws
- Shackles — Beef shackles; Hog shackles
- Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Knife sharpeners
- Smoking machinery — Smokehouses
- Wrapping machinery — Wrapping machines
Technology used in this occupation:
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Detailed Work Activities
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Record operational or production data.
- Weigh finished products.
- Load items into ovens or furnaces.
- Prepare meat products for sale or consumption.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Inspect food products.
- Cut meat products.
- Estimate material requirements for production.
- Confer with customers or designers to determine order specifications.
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 71% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Physical Proximity — 63% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Time Pressure — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 42% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Moderate results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “40 hours.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 57% responded “Moderately competitive.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|58||High school diploma or equivalent|
|33||Less than high school diploma|
|7||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: RCE
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$13.78 hourly, $28,660 annual|
|Employment (2012)||137,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||40,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Butchers and Meat Cutters . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.