The Careers Clusters in a butchery

The Careers Clusters in a butchery
In this Workplace Spotlight we will be looking at the things you might expect when working in a butchery.

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Butcheries are places where meat is processed and prepared, then sold. Some might be large scale operations that sell meat wholesale and in bulk, while others are smaller retail stores accessible to the public.

Here are some things you should know about working in a butchery:

  1. Safety is important – not just the safe operation of tools and machines, but food hygiene and cleanliness as well.
  2. You’ll need a strong stomach – working with meat isn’t for the faint-hearted (and you probably won’t want to be a vegetarian either!).
  3. Communication is key – you’ll be doing a lot of work with other people, and talking to customers and clients.

Key Outcome – preparing and selling meat

The focus of a butchery is to prepare a wide variety of meat and smallgoods, and then sell them on, ensuring products are of high quality and safe to eat.

Key Tasks –

  • Cut and prepare products
  • Package and store products safely
  • Sell products to customers and clients
  • Ensure standards and regulations are met

Industry – you can find butcheries in the retail and manufacturing industries

Butcheries are found in the retail and manufacturing industries, as they are responsible for both the initial processing of animals and meat and their eventual sale to the public or wholesale.

Work Environment

You can expect regular hours and on-site work

Regular work hours  |  Work on-site  |  Lots of jobs in regional and rural areas  |  Strong job growth

If you work at a butchery, you might be expected to start early in the morning to ensure products are ready by the time customers arrive. The upside to this is your working day often finishes early too. Holidays can also be busy, as demand for meat tends to rise around these times. Outside of these times, working hours are fairly regular and reliable.

Almost all of the work in a butchery needs to be done on-site, so there isn’t much opportunity to work from home.

There are butcheries almost everywhere in the country, so you’ll be able to find work no matter where you go. But there is especially high demand in rural and regional areas, particularly on the processing and manufacturing side, where you’ll find butcheries working closely with local farms.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a butchery

You’ll find people from all Clusters in a butchery, but the most common ones you’ll find are Makers and Linkers.


The Makers in a butchery include the butchers and meat processors themselves, responsible for preparing the products for sale. There are also people responsible for maintaining and repairing any tools and equipment used, and the people who drive trucks to transport meat to customers and clients.

  • Butchers/Meat Processors
  • Machinery Operators
  • Truck Drivers

The Linkers are the people who sell the finished products, including both behind the counter in a retail store and organising large ongoing supply deals with grocers and restaurants. They might also answer questions, help customers to select the right product, and advise on cooking techniques.

  • Retail Assistants
  • Salespeople

Coordinators are responsible for managing workers on-site at a butchery, organising time sheets and making sure workers are being paid. They can also be responsible for ordering supplies and equipment needed to keep the butchery running and manage finances as well.

  • Site Supervisors
  • Payroll Officers
  • Finance Managers

The Informers in a butchery include the people who ensure the processes are running according to government regulations. They might also report on any environmental impact, and advise on any cultural or religious practices (such as the preparation of halal and kosher meats).

  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Policy Developers

The Innovators are the people who design the tools and machines used in butcheries. They might also design new packaging, and come up with more efficient and safe ways to store and transport meat.

  • Engineers
  • Product Designers

Guardians are responsible for upholding the safety and hygiene standards in a butchery. They can advise on the safe operation of dangerous equipment and machines. They might also educate workers on proper food handling and preparation techniques, or make surprise inspections to ensure a business is meeting safety requirements.

  • Workplace Health & Safety Advisors
  • Food Safety Inspectors

How do we expect working in a butchery to change in the future?

Manufacturing processes have changed a lot over time, with new machines and tools making the job easier and safer. Into the future, we can expect that some of the processing work will be done by machines instead of people, though a lot of precision techniques will still need a human touch.

Safe food packaging and transport options also mean people can have perishable goods delivered directly to their home, lessening the need for people to visit an actual store. But there is still no substitute for face-to-face contact, particularly if people have questions or want advice.