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How Do I Get a Butcher's Apprenticeship?

There is no certification or licensing necessary to become a butcher, so an apprenticeship isn't a necessity.
Different cuts of pork.
A butcher's apprentice may learn how to make sausages.
Apprentices might study under experienced butchers.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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While no formal education is necessary to obtain a butcher's apprenticeship, it is wise to complete a high school education, as this will make you a more valuable candidate for the job. Be sure to pay special attention to math courses during high school, as such skills will come in handy on the job. A butchers apprenticeship will prepare you for a job as a butcher in a variety of settings, and there are a few ways to go about getting such a position. One way is to approach a local butcher's union, if one exists in your area.

Getting a butcher's apprenticeship through a union can be difficult, as the positions will be limited and only the most qualified candidates will end up getting them. In many areas throughout the world, such unions do no exist, so this will not be a viable resource for you. Formal butcher's apprenticeship programs may be available at community colleges, meat packing plants, distributors, or even at grocery stores, so be sure to research the options in your region of the world. If a formal apprenticeship is not available, you can still get a job as a butcher in a grocery store or meat market; you will then work under the guidance of an experienced butcher who can teach you the trade.

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Before you apply for a butcher's apprenticeship, you can prepare yourself for the job by getting into good physical shape. Butchers often lift heavy objects, and animal carcasses can be extremely bulky. You will need to be in good shape physically to be able to do such lifting, and you will need to have good hand-eye coordination in order to work with the many machines and tools a butcher must use. These tools can be dangerous, so proper training through a butcher's apprenticeship will be required.

No certification or licensing is required to become a butcher, so a formal apprenticeship may not be necessary at all. If you want to get a job in a grocery store or meat market, your best option is to approach the management at the market and ask for an application to the meat department. If you get called in for an interview, express your interest in becoming a butcher so the management knows where to place you. You may have to start working in another unrelated position before a job in the meat department opens up; be prepared for this and work hard in whatever department you are assigned to.

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