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Occupation Details

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Butcher - Retail

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€18k > 32
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 32
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

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.
Shortage Indicator

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

Occupational Category

Butchers, Fishmongers & Bakers

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 9%
Non-Nationals: 46%
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At a Glance... header image

Works in a butchers shop preparing meat for sale to the public.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Butcher - from: YouTube Video

The Work header image

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

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


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.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


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.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


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.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material: Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People: Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Food Production: Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.


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.


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.


Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


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.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.


Management of Personnel Resources: Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

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 Routesheader image

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 

To become an apprentice you must be a minimum of 16 years-old and have a D in five Junior Certificate subjects, or the equivalent.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you may still be able to register as an apprentice with an employer if you satisfactorily complete an approved preparatory course. You can also be eligible if you are over 18 years-old and have three years of relevant work experience.

For more information look at the SOLAS page on eligibility and assessment.

It’s worth noting that employers may require additional minimum qualifications to those specified by SOLAS.

Last Updated: December, 2014

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Butcher - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Meat Process Worker - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI)
Address: Dundrum Road, Dublin 14
Tel: (01) 296 1400
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Apprenticeship Information


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Food & Beverages
Farming, Horticulture & Forestry

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