Career outlook for butcher

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would prepare meat and poultry so it’s safe to eat and sell it in shops, supermarkets or at local markets.

You might also make and sell your own specialist sausages, burgers and pies.

You would:

  • Order and pay for stock
  • Check deliveries for content and hygiene
  • Move meat stock to cold storage areas
  • Keep a record of the source of the meat and poultry
  • Create attractive counter and window displays
  • Cut, bone and trim meat
  • Serve customers at the counter and take payments

You’d use your in-depth knowledge to advise customers on how to prepare and cook meat and poultry safely. You’d also help them with getting the right type and cut of meat for the meal they want to cook.

You might deliver products to markets, wholesalers and customers’ premises.

You could specialise in halal, kosher or organic foods, depending on the demands of the local community.

You’d need to meet hygiene, and health and safety standards, and have a high standard of personal cleanliness.

Working conditions


You would work about 40 hours a week, which may include early mornings. You would usually work Saturdays, and Sundays in supermarkets, with time off during the week.


You will spend much of the day on your feet and you may need to lift and carry heavy joints of meat. You will wear protective clothing when handling meat, to comply with hygiene standards. You may work in chill rooms and cold stores for short periods.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources
  • Time management

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Most employers require a good general education

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but it is helpful to complete Scottish Meat Training and gain qualifications such as a Proficiency in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills (QCF level 2 - equivalent to SVQ level 2).

You may also undertake a Modern Apprenticeship run by Scottish Meat Training, leading to Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) at levels 2 and 3 in the qualifications section

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths/Numeracy subjects
  • Health and Food Technology

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience with food, health and hygiene and customer services.