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What is a Butcher? The School Leaver Guide

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What is a Butcher?

Butchers prepare and sell meat and poultry, and also make meat products including: sausages, burgers and pies. They also package products for retail.

What does a Butcher do?

Generally, butchers undertake the following daily duties:

  • Cutting and trimming of meat

  • Creating product displays

  • Buying, ordering, storing and controlling stock

  • Receiving deliveries

  • Checking stock hygiene and standards

  • Moving meat stock to cold storage areas

  • Advising customers on preparing and cooking products

  • Travelling to markets, wholesalers and customer properties

  • Sharpening and adjust cutting equipment

  • Cut or prepare meats to specification or customer’s orders

  • Cleaning equipment and work areas to maintain health and sanitation standards

  • Keeping inventory of meat sales and order meat supplies

Skills & interests required for a Butcher

Butchers need to be skilled and accurate with a range of culinary tools (including carving and filleting knives, weighing scales and mincers). They also need to be good at interacting with customers, offering advice about products in a friendly and knowledgeable fashion. Physical strength may also be important when handling larger carcasses.

- Customer Service
- Teamwork
- Technical skills
- Time Management
- Verbal Communication

Working hours

A butcher generally works around 40 hours per week, which may include early mornings and weekends.

Work base

Butchers are based in a butcher’s shop, market or a supermarket.


Throughout a typical day, butchers may be required to travel to a market or wholesalers.

Salary ranges & earning potential

Butchers who are beginning their careers can expect a salary of between £14,500 and £16,000 per annum. Butchers with experience can receive a salary between £16,500 and £22,000 per annum.

A highly experienced butcher can earn around £30,000 per annum.

Perks & benefits

An experienced butcher could potentially run their own business by setting up an independent shop.

Useful resources

National Association of Catering Butchers

The National Federation of Meat & Food Traders