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Butchers and Meat Cutters
SOC Code: 51-3021.00

Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.

Sample of reported job titles: Butcher, Journeyman Meat Cutter, Meat Clerk, Meat Cutter, Meat Department Manager, Meat Manager, Meat Specialist, Meat Trimmer, Meat Wrapper, Seafood and Service Meat Manager

Tasks

  • Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
  • Wrap, weigh, label, and price cuts of meat.
  • Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form.
  • Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers.
  • Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality.
  • Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories.
  • Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.
  • Total sales, and collect money from customers.
  • Record quantity of meat received and issued to cooks or keep records of meat sales.
  • Supervise other butchers or meat cutters.
  • Cure, smoke, tenderize and preserve meat.
  • Negotiate with representatives from supply companies to determine order details.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Financial accounting software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air dryers - Air knives
  • Baling press - Balers
  • Belt conveyors - Material conveyors
  • Blast freezers - Anti-griddles
  • Butcher scissors - Poultry shears
  • Chopping machinery - Bowl choppers; Mincing machines
  • Commercial use blenders - Hand blenders
  • Commercial use cutlery - Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Trim knives; Whizzard knives (see all 13 examples)
  • Commercial use dough machines - Dough mixers
  • Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers - Meat cubers
  • Commercial use food grinders - Auto feed grinders; Frozen block grinders
  • Commercial use food slicers - Bacon slicers
  • Commercial use food warmers - Thermal circulators
  • Commercial use rotisseries - Rotisserie ovens
  • Commercial use scales - Meat scales
  • Cutting machinery - Brisket cutters
  • Dehydrating machinery - Meat dehydrators
  • Dicing machinery - Dicers
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • Ear plugs - Protective ear plugs
  • Fat extractors - Specific gravity fat analyzers
  • Filling machinery - Sausage linkers
  • Forming machine - Hamburger presses; Meatball molders
  • Handheld thermometer - Food thermometers
  • Hoists - Meat hoists
  • Label making machines - Label printers
  • Meat tyers - Meat stringing machines; Net applicators
  • Metal detectors - Food metal detectors
  • Packaging vacuum - Vacuum package machines
  • Pallet trucks - Pallet jacks
  • Personal computers
  • Power saws - Beef splitting saws; Butcher saws; Frozen food saws; Meat cutting band saws
  • Power staple guns
  • Saws - Handsaws
  • Shackles - Beef shackles; Hog shackles
  • Sharpening stones or tools or kits - Knife sharpeners
  • Smoking machinery - Smokehouses
  • Wrapping machinery - Wrapping machines

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Interests

  • Interest code: RCE
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 86% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 93% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 67% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 58% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 81% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 59% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 32% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 39% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 36% responded “About half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 34% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 30% responded “Extremely important.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
70%High school diploma or equivalent
20%Less than high school diploma
7%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $14.85 hourly, $30,890 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 136,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 17,700

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