Butcher Training Courses and Requirements

Butchers carve and package cuts of meat. See what you'll need to know to become a butcher, and explore training options, which can include degree and certificate programs as well as on-the-job training. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can Butcher Training Courses Prepare Me for Job Requirements?

Butcher training courses teach you how to carve and present various types of meat, such as beef, lamb and pork. In some courses, you can also learn how to work with poultry and seafood. While completing butcher training course requirements, you gain hands-on experience using various types of knives and cutting equipment to fabricate, or section, animal carcasses into larger, primal cuts and then smaller, retail-sized cuts.

Classes cover inspection and grading procedures, the safe handling, wrapping and storing of meat and the meat aging process. In butcher training courses taught in culinary schools, you often learn how to grind meat for sausage, as well as how to smoke and brine various cuts. Some courses also teach you about merchandising practices involved in selling meat, poultry and seafood. Butcher training course topics may include:

  • Livestock and poultry processing
  • Terminology and identification of cuts and sections
  • Animal anatomy
  • Carving, boning and trimming techniques
  • Roast rolling and tying
  • Cutting methods for chops, ribs and steaks

Where Can I Take Classes?

While butchers often receive on-the-job training, you can frequently take butcher training courses through culinary arts degree and certificate programs offered by vocational schools, community colleges and universities. These courses may also be offered through the animal science and agriculture departments of universities along with instruction in meat processing and meat science. Some schools offer classes at on campus meat processing facilities. Because of the hands-on nature of butcher training classes, it's difficult to find courses online.

You can pursue a degree, such as an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts, take individual courses without college credit or attend weekend seminars and workshops. Depending on class size, you may have the chance to learn from local practicing butchers. If your class is held in a meat processing plant, your tuition fee will often cover the cost of equipment, such as a hard hat, knives and gloves.

Do I Need Certification?

Though you won't need professional certification to work as a butcher, your employer may require you to earn a sanitation certificate through a program approved by your state's health department. To earn a certificate, you'll typically need to attend food safety classes and pass an exam.

Classes in food handling and sanitation are often offered as part of culinary programs on campus; however, some food safety classes are offered online by community colleges and state health departments. Though you can typically view lectures and complete lessons online, you must often take sanitation certification exams in person at a designated location.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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