Butchers

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Analytical: 16
  • Social: 14
  • Purpose: 6
  • Creative: 4
  • Supported: 1

What Butchers Do

Butchers cut, trim, and package meat for retail sale.

Work Environment

Although most butchers work in grocery stores and specialty meat shops, some work in animal slaughtering and processing plants. The work can be physically demanding and may include exposure to repetitive motions, dangerous equipment, and cold temperatures.

How to Become a Butcher

Butchers learn their skills on the job. No formal education is required.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish processing workers

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of butchers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Because the work is physically demanding, many job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year.

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    Job Trends for Butchers

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    This occupation supported 136,700 jobs in 2012 and 139,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 1.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.8% in 2022 to 143,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 138,000, compared with an observed value of 139,000, 0.7% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.1% in 2024 to 146,000 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 144,500 jobs for 2024, 1.0% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.