Meat Cutter

Cut and package meat, from large slabs for butchers to home-size patties.
picture of Meat Cutter

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $46,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Meat Cutters do?

Animals don’t grow in perfectly packaged cuts, ready to slap on the grill for cooking. As a Meat Cutter, you take very large pieces of meat, and process them into familiar shapes and sizes for Cooks to use.

If you work as a Meat Cutter in a meat packing plant, you remove meat from slaughtered animals and cut it into large pieces. You remove bones where needed, and make sure that your cuts are properly labeled so that Butchers will know what part of the animal the meat came from. Conditions in a meat packing plant can be extremely cold, and the work can be physically demanding, especially if you’re dealing with very large animals.

If you work as a Meat Cutter in a store, your job involves two components: meat and people. You cut the large pieces of meat that you receive from the meat packing plant into smaller pieces for home cooks. You may also grind the meat, blend it with spices for sausages, or tie parts together for roasts.

You then pack the meat into small containers and put prices on them. On a daily basis, you check the packets for freshness. You also talk to your customers about how wonderful the weather is and how great your meat selection is, and help them in any way possible so they’ll keep returning to the store.

Whether you work in a packing plant or a store, your cuts must be precise. The wrong cut can leave behind wasted meat, which is wasted profit. You must always wield your sharp tools with skill.

Should I be a Meat Cutter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Journeyman Meat Cutter, Meat Carver, Meat Counter Worker, Meat Cutter Apprentice, Small Order Cutter, Throat Cutter

    How to become a Meat Cutter

    Most Meat Cutters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gaaaa&chl=no+college+%2891%25%29|certificate+%289%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,91,91
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