Retail butchers may also manufacture a range of meat-based products such as sausages, burgers, pies and a range of ready to cook meals.
Communication skills are necessary for dealing with colleagues and customers, along with a detailed knowledge of the products.
A high standard of hygiene must be maintained at all times and a butcher needs to be in good physical condition - capable of carrying, lifting and standing for long periods.
A steady hand is needed to operate tools and cutting machinery and an interest in creating new products is important.
Food handlers should not suffer from skin allergies and associated conditions. Butchers can be self employed or work in shops or supermarkets.
It is possible to use cutting skills in meat catering, meat manufacturing and meat wholesaling outlets.
Butchers usually train on-the-job and young people can train via government sponsored work-based training schemes. The recognized courses for retail butchery are SVQs in Meat Processing at Level 2.
Opportunities are available to train through Modern Apprenticeships which lead to SVQs at levels 2 and 3 respectively. Entry is at SVQ Level 2, with the potential of progressing to level 3 and Modern Apprenticeship.
Opportunities are available to add Advanced Practical Skills and qualify for the Scottish Craft Butcher Certificate Award or even Diploma. This is a internationally recognized qualification of a craft butcher in Scotland.