Food & drink


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

Annual Salary

£12,500 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 42

What's it all about?

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.

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.

£12,500 to £30,000

Starter salary: £12,500 to £16,000

Experienced salary: £16,500 to £22,000

These figures are a guide.

38 to 42

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.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • communication skills
  • maths skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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