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Online Schools for Aspiring Butchers

Since butchers perform extremely hands-on work, online training programs in butchering are not available. Read about apprenticeship and on-the-job training options for aspiring butchers, and find out what you'd learn as a butcher trainee. Check what online courses are available in related fields of study, like meat culinology. Get more info on the skills needed to become a butcher.

Butchers can study remotely through certificate programs. You'll have options in animal science, animal nutrition and meat culinology.

Are There Any Online Schools for Aspiring Butchers?

Hands-on experience is necessary to become accomplished as a butcher. For this reason alone, there are no completely online programs in meat cutting. Butchers typically develop their skills either through 1-2 year apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training, but you can also enroll in relevant certificate programs at community colleges or skills centers that can prepare you for a career as a butcher.

A program leading to an apprentice meat cutter certificate will instruct you how to use and care for the tools and equipment of the trade as well as process game, lamb, cattle and hogs. You'll also learn to identify and properly display different cuts of meat. Sanitation practices, customer service skills and safety are also emphasized.

A meat merchandising certificate program teaches you to identify, process, slaughter, chill, age, cut, price and inspect poultry, fish, beef, lamb and pork. You also learn marketing and merchandising strategies in addition to techniques for curing and smoking meats, and making sausages.

You can also consider pursuing a degree in meat science, animal science, agriculture or culinology. All of these fields address elements of meat cutting or butchering but are not specifically focused on preparing you for employment as a butcher.

Are There Any Courses Available Online?

There are a few related online courses that exist either as standalone courses or as part of degree or certificate programs. In some cases, you may be able to find entire certificate programs online. These programs lack the hands-on training necessary to become a qualified butcher.

You may find online courses in meat science that introduce you to the meat industry. Such courses - which are typically offered in animal science programs - may be available to non-majors who meet the prerequisite requirements.

Another option is an online certificate program in meat culinology, which may include coursework in poultry and livestock meat products, fresh and processed meats, food sanitation and safety, meat buying and meat cooking. You can study such topics as meat processing and storage techniques, cooking preparations, flavor enhancements and meat quality standards.

Which Schools Offer Certificates in Meat Culinology?

Students who want to study meat culinology through an online certificate program can choose from these options. Coursework in these programs will vary.

  • The University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers an online Meat Culinology Certificate
  • South Dakota State University offers an online Certificate in Animal Science
  • North Carolina State University offers an online Certificate in Animal Nutrition

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Butcher?

You may need a high school diploma or GED to qualify for admission to an academic program. You should have some mathematical problem-solving skills, since there is an amount of calculation involved in the job performance. Because of the nature of apprenticeships and on-the-job training, you should have good listening and comprehensive skills.

You must have the ability to make sure, coordinated movements with your hands and arms since you manipulate what can be large, unwieldy meat products while using dangerous tools in slippery conditions. Completing relevant coursework prior to starting your hands-on training can enhance your understanding and performance of the job.

Consider studying to become a butcher through an online certificate program. Animal science is one pathway that is offered online.