In Summary - Butcher - Retail
Butcher - Retails typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Butcher - Retail
The Retail Butcher cuts up and prepares animal carcasses for retail sales. The range of duties includes preparing, displaying, weighing and wrapping cuts of meat for sale. The Retail Butcher also handles cash and serves at the counter. The Retail Butcher may manufacture sausage and burger type products and also prepare cured meat and marinated products. He/she must have a thorough knowledge about cuts of meat in order to advise customers. The retail butcher must also clean equipment and working areas regularly and sharpen knives and other tools.
The Butcher works under the very strict legal requirements of:
- Food Hygiene and Safety Legislation
- Health and Safety in the Workplace
- Consumer Information
- Sale of Goods and Supply of Services
- Labelling legislation
- Origin and Traceability
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Wrap, weigh, label and price cuts of meat.
- Prepare and place meat cuts and products in display counter, so they will appear attractive and catch the shopper's eye.
- Prepare special cuts of meat ordered by customers.
- Cut, trim, bone, tie, and grind meats, such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, to prepare meat in cooking form.
- Receive, inspect, and store meat upon delivery, to ensure meat quality.
- Shape, lace, and tie roasts, using boning knife, skewer, and twine.
- Estimate requirements and order or requisition meat supplies to maintain inventories.
- Supervise other butchers or meat cutters.
- Record quantity of meat received and issued to cooks or keep records of meat sales.
- Negotiate with representatives from supply companies to determine order details.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Interests - Butcher - Retail
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Those wishing to enter this trade must fulfil the requirements of the Food Hygiene Regulations regarding diseases. A butcher must maintain a high standard of personal hygiene. This is a legal requirement.
As a butcher, you need to be physically fit to cope with long periods of standing and have the ability to lift heavy weights. Good communication skills and detailed product knowledge are also essential. A steady hand and common sense are needed for handling cutting equipment.
Entry Requirements - Butcher - Retail
The official entry route for a Butcher - Retail is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
The career path to becoming a qualified butcher is as follows:
Secure an apprenticeship with a company. The apprentice will spend three/four years in training with his/her employer during which time instruction in all the skills required to become a qualified butcher will be given.
Having completed the relevant courses and passed the examinations the apprentice is awarded the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) Diploma.
All food workers must have completed both Food Hygiene and HACCP courses to be allowed by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to engage in food work.
A Level 5 National Certificate in Butchering Skills Course is available through ACBI
The employer pays the apprentice while s/he is being trained on-the-job. A training allowance is paid by the local ETB while the apprentice is attending the off-the-job training, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Generally, the rates of pay are based on a percentage of the fully qualified rate for the occupation:
- 1st Years – 33.3%
- 2nd Years – 50%
- 3rd Years – 75%
- 4th Years – 90%
A training allowance is paid by the local ETB to apprentices while attending off-the-job training. In some cases, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs may be paid if deemed eligible. The sector the apprentice's employer is engaged in will determine the allowance payable. These allowances are calculated on the gross wages paid by industry in each sector. The amount the apprentice gets will generally be less than that, as it is based on the net take-home pay of the relevant sector. The weekly gross wage norms for different industries can be found here
The Annual Student Contribution is charged to students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology (IoT). Apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.
The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.
Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. For further information, click here.
Last Updated: December, 2014
Pay & Salary - Butcher - Retail
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 32k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Butcher - Retail
Employment growth has been below the national average in this occupation. Attracting and retaining deboners for the meat processing sector continues to be an issue for employers.
National Skills Bulletin 2018