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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6251 Occupation: Butchers, Meat Cutters and fishmongers - Retail and Wholesale
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Butchers and meat cutters, retail and wholesale, prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail and wholesale food establishments. They are employed in supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher shops, fish stores or may be self-employed. Butchers who are supervisors or heads of departments are included in this group. Butchers and meat cutters, retail and wholesale, prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail and wholesale food establishments. They are employed in supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher shops, fish stores or may be self-employed. Butchers who are supervisors or heads of departments are included in this group.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read instructions and other text on product labels and tags. For example, scan package labels for details about meat, poultry, fish and shellfish products. Read instructions for storing and using disinfectants on container labels. (1)
  • Read logbook entries and short notes from co-workers. For example, read comments about cleaning and cutting priorities for weekly specials, clients' orders, deliveries and other work activities such as changing product prices. Read logbook entries from co-workers about cleaning and maintenance tasks completed in previous shifts. (1)
  • Read memos from within the employer and government organizations such as provincial departments of health and agriculture, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. For example, read memos to learn about changes to regulations for food hygiene and handling. Read memos to learn new waste prevention procedures. (2)
  • Read text entries and comments written on forms. For example, butchers and fishmongers in retail locations read recipes to follow instructions to cut and prepare products such as stuffed pork loin chops for display cases. They also read instructions in recipes to provide preparation and cooking tips to customers. They read custom cutting and seasoning instructions in clients' orders. (2)
  • Read articles about new products, cutting, processing and marketing tips and industry highlights in trade publications. For example, read product reports for new beef products with lower fat content to learn cutting procedures and cooking suggestions. Review fact sheets to learn about issues such as contaminates and toxins in seafood and red meat. (3)
  • Read food hygiene and handling regulations and addenda. For example, supervisors, department heads, self-employed butchers and fishmongers read provincial ministry of health and agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection regulations to determine daily, weekly and monthly cleaning and maintenance requirements for work areas and equipment. (3)
  • Read operating manuals. For example, read operating manuals in order to disassemble cutting and grinding equipment to complete cleaning and minor maintenance tasks. (3)
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Writing
  • Write brief notes in daily logs. For example, write comments in daily logbooks to record customers' comments about products and to note concerns such as dull grinder blades, low inventory and outstanding tasks. (1)
  • Write entries for a variety of forms. For example, enter preparation instructions and serving ideas in recipes, production sheets and customers' instruction sheets. Write customers' packaging and cutting preferences on order forms. Write narrative accounts of incidents on accident and incident reporting forms. (2)
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Document Use
  • Locate data on product labels and warning signs. For example, locate certification stamps, box numbers, product codes, product descriptions and grades on container labels. Observe hazard warnings on equipment and container labels. (1)
  • Locate data in order forms. For example, locate details such as product, weights, thicknesses, preparation preferences, quantities and pick-up dates in order forms. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, locate stock quantities in inventory lists and cutting and cleaning requirements in daily job lists. Locate product code numbers and prices in price lists. Self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers locate sales data in sales reports. (2)
  • Complete quality control tags and labels. For example, enter data such as ingredients and prices into label templates. Complete product quality tags by entering dates, container numbers and reasons for rejecting products. (2)
  • Complete order, tracking and quality control forms. For example, complete cutting, cleaning and product checklists to record the numbers of items prepared and in stock. Complete 'cold chain' checklists and fridge and cooler temperature logs to note that proper handling procedures were followed and temperatures were maintained when transferring and preparing stock. Record customers' contact information, product details and cutting and preparation instructions in order forms. Self-employed and head butchers complete supply order and bank deposit forms. (2)
  • Review meat and fish cutting charts to follow cutting sequences and locate different types of cuts. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Browse government websites and other websites geared towards industry highlights and cooking meats, poultry, fish and shellfish. (2)
  • Send orders to suppliers and receive government reports and advisories by email. (2)
  • Self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers may create and maintain spreadsheets for production schedules and sales data. They insert formulae to transform, summarize and automatically update data. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss supply orders and share product information with suppliers. For example, order cuts of meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, spices and fresh vegetables from suppliers. Self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers discuss new products such as new breeds of cattle and types of fish and clams with suppliers. (1)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and participate in staff meetings. For example, throughout work shifts speak with other butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers to discuss job assignments and to coordinate the use of equipment and space. During staff meetings, learn about new products and receive instructions for implementing new procedures. Head butchers and fishmongers may lead staff meetings. (2)
  • Discuss clients' orders and new products with customers and co-workers. For example, discuss details of customers' order such as types of cuts, quantities, cutting specifications, preparation preferences and pick-up dates. Provide customers and sales staff with preparing, cooking and serving tips. Share product information such as the origins of beef and fish with customers. (3)
  • Speak with public health inspectors about quality control and code violations. For example, self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers provide inspectors with technical information such as 'cold chain,' equipment maintenance and cleaning processes. They discuss code violations, and negotiate terms for remedying defects. (3)
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Money Math
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Complete sale summaries. For example, self-employed butchers and fishmongers complete daily sales summaries, reconcile cash registers to money in tills and calculate bank deposits. (2)
  • Schedule job tasks for other workers. For example, self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers establish production timelines and staffing schedules to meet daily, weekly and seasonal meat, poultry and fish product orders. (3)
  • Calculate retail costs per pound for different cuts of meat to determine the best processing methods to maximize profits. For example, butchers may calculate actual costs per pound of meat for a variety of cuts using wholesale and processing costs as factors. They divide actual costs by the percentage of useable meat to determine retail costs per pound. (3)
  • Calculate production costs for products such as haggis, sausage, mixtures for fish chowder and fish cakes. Calculate costs for ingredients and the hours required to prepare products. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take measurements using weigh scales, measuring cups, thermometers and rulers. For example, measure ingredient amounts when preparing marinades and mixtures of seafood for chowders. Weigh cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. Measure cooler and freezer temperatures using thermometers and thermostats. Measure the lengths and girths of fish. (1)
  • Calculate serving quantities of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. For example, calculate quantities of meat, poultry and fish products needed for special events by multiplying typical serving sizes by the number of guests attending. (2)
  • Prepare solutions and mixtures. For example, calculate ingredient quantities using mixture ratios. Weigh and measure out quantities and volumes for mixtures such as marinades and disinfectant solutions. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare the weights, lengths, temperatures and thicknesses of cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish to specifications to verify that they meet quality standards. (1)
  • Analyze stock movement data to manage inventories. For example, self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers analyze inventory and movement data to determine weekly and seasonal inventory quantities to order. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the weights and thicknesses for cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish when exact measurements are not required. For example, cut steaks and fish fillets to approximate thicknesses. Estimate weights of meat, poultry and fish products when packaging products for display cases. (1)
  • Estimate the quantities of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish you will be able to sell to determine daily quantities and types of prepared and cut meat, poultry, fish and shellfish to produce. Use weekly and seasonal sales data and purchasing trends to estimate potential sales. (2)
  • Estimate times needed to complete job tasks such as preparing roasts, hips of beef and fish chowder mixtures using experience with similar activities to estimate times. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers generally organize their own tasks within established daily schedules. Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers in retail locations respond to customers' enquires and orders while completing daily meat cutting and preparation tasks. Changing priorities and lack of space and equipment sometimes complicate their daily job task planning. Self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers may be responsible for planning work assignments and training new workers. They plan cutting and food preparation schedules for the butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers who they supervise. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide the types of cuts and weights per item when carving wholesale cuts of meat and fish into retail cuts or small servings to maximize the yield of each wholesale cut. You are guided by specifications, but other factors such as fat distribution, weight, grain of cuts, animal breed for beef and thickness for fish filets are considered. (2)
  • Select equipment and suppliers. For example, self-employed and head butchers and fishmongers make purchasing and renting decisions for knives and processing equipment. They consider prices, quality, maintenance service and their personal preferences. When selecting meat suppliers they consider product selection, required quantities, quality, prices and delivery options. Head butchers may require department managers' approvals for expensive equipment purchases and changes to suppliers. (3)
  • Choose quantities, types and thicknesses of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish to prepare and package for display cases. For example, butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers in retail locations consider customers' purchasing trends, products' shelf lives, amounts of time needed to prepare items and expected wastage. They review past sales statistics and consider customers' requests for items and comments about products offered in the past. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Encounter packaging defects and poor quality meat products from suppliers. Tag the products and inform managers. (1)
  • Cutting and preparation tasks and keeping products at required temperatures cannot be completed because of equipment breakdowns. Replace components such as broken blades and if necessary call service technicians and inform managers. Move products to other freezers and refrigerators to avoid spoilage. Adjust activities such as manually cutting meats to ensure that deadlines are met. (2)
  • Experience low sales and the resulting overstocking of certain meat cuts, poultry and fish products. Depending on the types of cuts and products and their expiration dates, you may cut, grind, marinate and cook the meat, poultry, fish and shellfish to offer alternative products and increase the shelf life. Reduce prices and freeze items to avoid spoilage as appropriate. Reduce product inventories to minimize overstocking problems in the future. (2)
  • Customers are dissatisfied with products and services. For example, receive complaints about meat and poultry being tough or fatty and fish going bad quickly. Discuss storage and cooking methods to determine if products were stored too long and prepared incorrectly. Advise customers about proper storage and cooking procedures and may offer customers free products and discounts on future purchases. (2)
  • There are reductions in sales for certain products after negative news reports about contamination and disease. Share facts about products safety with customers to alleviate their concerns and to increase their product knowledge. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about new cooking tips and consumer purchasing trends for meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. For example, read customer service sheets, magazine articles and recipes for preparing and cooking meats to share with customers. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the visual appeal of retail displays. For example, butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers in retail locations use established criteria such as aesthetics, food safety and overall neatness to judge the appeal of display cases and racks. (1)
  • Evaluate the quality of products such as meat, poultry, fish and shellfish and of supplies such as marinades, spices and fresh vegetables. Use criteria such as particular colours, smells and textures when inspecting supplies and retail products. (2)
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