Alternative titles for this job include

Butchers prepare and sell meat and poultry, and make meat products like sausages, burgers and pies.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

43 to 45 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a butcher

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Professional Butchery
  • Level 3 Diploma For Proficiency in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could get into this job by doing a Butcher Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, then move on to the Butcher Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

Each apprenticeship takes around 1 year and 6 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


You can start as a trainee in a butcher's shop and learn on the job. Knowledge of the meat trade or experience in food retailing may help you to find a trainee position.

More Information

Career tips

Any experience you have of working in retail, customer service, food preparation or catering will be useful for this career.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Meat or the National Craft Butchers for professional development and training.

Further information

You can get more advice about becoming a butcher from Tasty Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

Some employers will want you to have a Level 2 Award in Food Safety. This can be taken as a 1-day course and is widely available through colleges and private training providers.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you could:

  • receive stock deliveries and put them into cold storage
  • create product displays
  • cut, bone and trim meat
  • serve customers
  • clean knives, cutting equipment and work areas

Working environment

You could work in a factory or at a store.

Your working environment may be cool and physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • become a manager in a butcher’s shop, farm shop or supermarket
  • specialise in particular product types like organic or cured meats
  • take further training to become a master butcher
  • move into catering, meat manufacturing or wholesaling
  • set up your own business

You could also work at the Food Standards Agency, checking quality and standards in abattoirs and meat plants.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Butcher

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually

Butchery Apprentice

  • Wage: £17,472.00 Annually

Courses In England

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