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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

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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

Tasks

  • Wrap, weigh, label and price cuts of meat. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supervise other butchers or meat cutters. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record quantity of meat received and issued to cooks or keep records of meat sales. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Negotiate with representatives from supply companies to determine order details. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cure, smoke, tenderize and preserve meat. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Total sales, and collect money from customers. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air dryers — Air knives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Baling press — Balers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt conveyors — Material conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blast freezers — Anti-griddles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Butcher scissors — Poultry shears See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Chopping machinery — Bowl choppers; Mincing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use blenders — Hand blenders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use cutlery — Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Trim knives; Whizzard knives (see all 13 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use dough machines — Dough mixers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Meat cubers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use food grinders — Auto feed grinders; Frozen block grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use food slicers — Bacon slicers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use food warmers — Thermal circulators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use rotisseries — Rotisserie ovens See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use scales — Meat scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cutting machinery — Brisket cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dehydrating machinery — Meat dehydrators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dicing machinery — Dicers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ear plugs — Protective ear plugs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fat extractors — Specific gravity fat analyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Filling machinery — Sausage linkers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forming machine — Hamburger presses; Meatball molders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Handheld thermometer — Food thermometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hoists — Meat hoists See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Label making machines — Label printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Meat tyers — Meat stringing machines; Net applicators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metal detectors — Food metal detectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Packaging vacuum — Vacuum package machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pallet trucks — Pallet jacks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power saws — Beef splitting saws; Butcher saws; Frozen food saws; Meat cutting band saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power staple guns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Saws — Handsaws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Shackles — Beef shackles; Hog shackles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Knife sharpeners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Smoking machinery — Smokehouses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wrapping machinery — Wrapping machines See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct operational or production activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Weigh finished products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load items into ovens or furnaces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare meat products for sale or consumption. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect food products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Cut meat products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimate material requirements for production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with customers or designers to determine order specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 76% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 76% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 71% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 63% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 81% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 72% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 47% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 49% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 38% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 42% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Moderate results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 57% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
58   High school diploma or equivalent Help
33   Less than high school diploma
7   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $13.78 hourly, $28,660 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 137,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 40,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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