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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: Meat Cutter, Meat Manager, Meat Specialist, Meat Department Manager, Journeyman Meat Cutter, Market Manager, Butcher, Meat Clerk, Seafood and Service Meat Manager, Meat Wrapper

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Chopping machinery — Bowl choppers; Mincing machines
Commercial use cutlery — Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Trim knives; Whizzard knives
Commercial use food grinders — Auto feed grinders; Frozen block grinders
Forming machine — Hamburger presses; Meatball molders
Meat tyers — Meat stringing machines; Net applicators
Power saws — Beef splitting saws; Butcher saws; Frozen food saws; Meat cutting band saws
Shackles — Beef shackles; Hog shackles

Technology used in this occupation:

Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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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.
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.

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Skills

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.

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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.
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).

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Work Activities

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.

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Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — How often does this job require working in very hot (above 90 F degrees) or very cold (below 32 F degrees) temperatures?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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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)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Meat Cutter; Butcher, Meat

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


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

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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.
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.

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Work Styles

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.

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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.
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.

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Related Occupations

35-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers Bright Outlook
35-2011.00 Cooks, Fast Food Bright Outlook
35-2012.00 Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
35-2014.00 Cooks, Restaurant Bright Outlook
35-3011.00 Bartenders Bright Outlook
35-3021.00 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food Bright Outlook
43-5071.00 Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks Bright Outlook   Green Occupation Green
51-3011.00 Bakers
51-3022.00 Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers
51-3093.00 Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $13.70 hourly, $28,490 annual
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
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 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

Find Jobs
for Butchers and Meat Cutters

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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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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