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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,500 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 38 to 42 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but knowledge of the trade and previous experience in retail will help you to get a job.

Some employers prefer you to have taken a 1-day food safety for retail (or catering or manufacturing) award course, provided by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health or the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

You'll usually start as a trainee or assistant and learn on the job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • communication skills
  • maths skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • buying, ordering, storing and controlling stock
  • receiving deliveries and checking their content and hygiene
  • moving meat stock to cold storage areas
  • creating product displays
  • cutting, boning and trimming meat
  • serving customers
  • advising customers on how to prepare and cook meat

You may also drive to markets, wholesalers and customers’ premises.

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

4. Salary

Starter: £12,500 to £16,000

Experienced: £16,500 to £22,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work about 40 hours a week, which may include early mornings and weekends, with time off during the week.

You'll spend much of the day moving heavy joints in and out of cold storage, preparing cuts of meat and serving customers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could work in larger and more prestigious independent butchers’ shops, retail chains and supermarkets, or set up your own shop.

With supermarkets and chains, you may progress to supervisory or management roles.

You could work at the Meat Hygiene Service, checking quality and standards in abattoirs and meat plants.

You could move into catering, meat manufacturing and wholesaling.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017