“Only the stupidest calves choose their own butcher.”
Konrad Adenauer, Politician
Pros and Cons of Working as a Butcher
You consider becoming a butcher? Great!
However, before making your final decision in this regard, feel free to check out all the pros and cons of being a butcher in the following chapters.
Chances are that you may want to change your mind and go for other job opportunities instead.
Table of Contents
Being a Butcher – Key Facts
|Short Job Description||Butchers prepare all sorts of meat for customers to ensure our global meat supply.|
|Salary||$32,000 per year on average, ranging from $25,000 – $38,000.|
|Job Security||Good job security since we all need meat and competition is rather low.|
|Job Satisfaction||Rather low.|
|Work-Life Balance||Decent work-life balance.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be physically demanding|
|Future Outlook||Good since there is a lack of people who want to do this job.|
|Requirements||No special educational requirements necessary.|
Advantages of Being a Butcher
- Butchers can work with food
- You can assure the supply of meat for the local population
- Hands-on work instead of office job
- Low barriers to entry
- No college degree required
- Butchers can work indoors
- You can open your own butchery
- Butchers have standard workweeks
- Good work-life balance
- Butchers can interact with many different people
- Competition is rather low
- High level of job security
- Discounts on meat of your local meat market
- Butchers can work in different regions or even countries
Butchers can work with food
One advantage of being a butcher is that you can work with food.
Your job will be to process meat and to offer various different cuts to your customers.
By doing so, you can not only provide your customers with delicious steaks.
Similar to pastry chefs and other people in the food industry, you can also learn a lot about food in general.
In turn, you can build up plenty of expert knowledge which can benefit you for barbecues that you may want to make in the future since you will exactly know which meat you should buy for various different dishes.
Moreover, if your friends are not sure which cut of meat they should get, you can help them out and consult them due to your extensive knowledge.
Hence, becoming a butcher also allows you to become an expert in your field.
You can even participate in butcher contests or start your own YouTube channel and build an audience that you can monetize in the long run and make some extra money.
You can assure the supply of meat for the local population
Apart from the financial aspect of things, you can also assure the supply of meat for the local population.
Imagine a world where there is no meat around at all.
While this world would be perfect for vegetarians or vegans, it would be quite problematic for the rest of us since most people still love to eat meat and a world without meat would significantly lower their quality of life.
As a butcher, you can play a crucial role in the supply chain of meat since you will be the one who does all the fine-tuning and sells delicious cuts to your customers.
Consequently, you will also play an important social role as a butcher since without you and other passionate colleagues, the whole meat market would collapse and the supply with tasty meat would break down.
Hands-on work instead of office job
Most jobs out there will be carried out in an office.
While some people like to work in an office, many others just hate it.
In fact, office jobs can be mentally exhausting since you will work in a rather artificial environment in front of a computer screen all day long.
We as humans haven’t evolved like that at all and working in an office job can also be quite problematic from an evolutionary standpoint.
As a butcher, you can work in a completely different manner.
Your day will usually start with cutting meat and this can be considered as much more natural since our ancestors have done this kind of work for many thousands of years.
Of course, whether you like office jobs or not also greatly depends on your individual preferences.
Consequently, make sure to take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you want to work in an office all day long or rather want to do some physical work instead.
Low barriers to entry
Another upside of being a butcher is that you also don’t need fancy certificates and other qualifications.
In most countries, it will be enough to have a high-school diploma or similar education and you are good to go.
In fact, you will learn most of the things you need as a butcher in your job and formal education will just not be that helpful.
Therefore, if you don’t want to get high levels of education and rather want to start working at a young age, becoming a butcher can also be a good way to go for you in this regard.
No college degree required
You also don’t need to go to college as a butcher.
While many people like to go to college due to all the fun that it promises, there are also several downsides to college education.
The most serious problem with going to college is that you will likely accumulate significant levels of student loan debt which you will have to pay back later on in your life.
In fact, many college students have to pay back student loans for many years or even decades, especially if they don’t find a good job afterward.
Thus, by going for a career as a butcher, you can just avoid all the disadvantages of going to college and you can even earn money right from the beginning.
Butchers can work indoors
You will also be able to work indoors as a butcher.
This may not sound like a big advantage to you at first.
However, imagine how working outdoors would really look like.
People who have to work outdoors will have to work under extreme conditions like heavy snow or serious heat which can make working quite exhausting.
In contrast, you as a butcher will be able to work inside, protected by your four walls and can work in a more enjoyable manner since the overall conditions will be more moderate.
You can open your own butchery
If you are a rather entrepreneurial type of person who doesn’t want to work for someone else, you can also become your own boss and open your own butchery after a few years.
In fact, this is what many butchers are doing.
They just learn their craft for a few years, save some money and start their own business afterward.
Hence, you also don’t have to stay an employee for the rest of your life if you choose a career as a butcher and if your dream has always been to have your own business, you can fulfill this dream with your own butchery in the long run.
Butchers have standard workweeks
Another benefit of being a butcher is that you will have a rather standard 5-day workweek.
Especially if you work as an employee, you will often just work 40 hours per week.
Hence, being a butcher can be much more relaxed compared to other jobs where you will have to work 50 hours+ and also don’t have a fixed schedule.
Therefore, becoming a butcher can also make sense if you are the kind of person who likes to have a fixed schedule and also don’t want to work in a stressful working environment.
Good work-life balance
In general, since most butchers just work a normal workweek, they also have a pretty good work-life balance.
If you work 40 hours a week, there will be plenty of time left to spend with your family or your friends.
You can also hang out with your bodies for a beer in the evening and you will also not have to be available for any calls after you finished your shift.
Consequently, if leisure is really important to you and you just don’t want to work many extra hours, a career as a butcher can also make quite a lot of sense in this regard.
Butchers can interact with many different people
Another advantage of becoming a butcher is that you can talk to many different people.
Since you will sell many different cuts of meat, people will ask you what cuts of meat they should choose for various different occasions.
By informing people about meat, you will often also find ways to start conversations about politics and other topics that are currently going on in the world.
Hence, being a butcher can also be great if you love to interact with many different people and want to hear many different opinions on certain topics.
Competition is rather low
A career as a butcher is not that popular among young people.
In fact, it is pretty hard to find good people who are willing to become a butcher in our current state of the world.
However, this also means that the level of competition in this field will be rather low and that you will have excellent chances to get into this field.
After a few years, you will often also have the freedom of choice for which company you want to work for since there is simply a shortage of qualified butchers in many states.
High level of job security
Since there is only a rather limited number of butchers out there, you will also benefit from a high level of job security.
In fact, the demand for butchers will still be high in the future and with a shrinking number of butchers, you will not have to worry that much about losing your job.
Even if you did, you could still find another job pretty easily due to the high demand for butchers.
Discounts on meat of your local meat market
Many butcheries also offer discounts on meat for their employees.
Hence, if you are a real meat-lover, working in a butchery can be great for you since you can save plenty of money on meat in the long run.
Butchers can work in different regions or even countries
Since the basic skills of butchers will be quite similar across different regions, you will also be able to work as a butcher in many different states or even countries.
Thus, a career as a butcher can also be suitable for you if you are not sure yet whether you want to stay in your home country or rather want to spend your life abroad instead.
Disadvantages of Being a Butcher
- Being a butcher can be ethically questionable
- Working with meat is not for everyone
- Butchers don’t earn a lot of money
- Butchers often struggle to pay their bills
- Lack of promotion opportunities
- Rather narrow field of work
- Being a butcher can be physically demanding
- May be problematic once you become older
- Many butchers get bored in the long run
- You may have to work on weekends
- Rather low social status in society
Being a butcher can be ethically questionable
Apart from the many upsides of becoming a butcher, there are still some issues related to this profession.
For instance, one problem with being a butcher is that you will work in a supply chain that takes away the lives of animals.
While this might not be an issue for some people, others really have ethical concerns in this regard.
Hence, make sure to ask yourself whether the job as a butcher may lead to ethical problems for you or not.
Working with meat is not for everyone
Another disadvantage of being a butcher is that you will work with meat all day long.
In fact, you will be the one who cuts the meat even before your customers will ever see it.
This may also imply that you will see blood quite often and if you are a rather sensitive kind of person, you may want to work as a secretary or look out for alternative career paths instead.
Butchers don’t earn a lot of money
You will also not become rich as a butcher at all.
In fact, many butchers make under 40,000 dollars a year and this will be barely enough to pay rent and other expenses.
You will also not be able to afford any luxury as a butcher and the possibilities to significantly increase your income will be quite limited as well.
Hence, you should never become a butcher due to the money you will make and if you don’t have a real passion for this job, you will be far better off going for other jobs from a financial standpoint.
Butchers often struggle to pay their bills
Due to the rather low salaries, many butchers also struggle to pay their bills.
In fact, many butchers have to get into debt since they are simply not able to pay their rent and other basic expenses.
This is especially true in big cities where rents are quite high and eat up far too much of the average salary of a butcher.
Consequently, especially if you live in areas with high rents, you may be at great risk of poverty in case you become a butcher and you may want to go for an alternative career path instead.
Lack of promotion opportunities
The chances for promotions will also be rather limited as a butcher.
Once you have learned your craft, there is simply not that much room for career improvements.
You will just do the same work for many years or even decades and many butchers just get stuck in their daily routine without having any hope for better job opportunities in the future.
Rather narrow field of work
Another downside of being a butcher is that you will work in a rather narrow field.
In fact, there are many standardized tasks that butchers have to do every day.
It is also pretty difficult to change your career path once you have become a butcher.
In many cases, you need to get extensive additional education in a different field.
Therefore, make sure that working as a butcher is really the thing you want to do for a long time since changing careers will not be that easy.
Being a butcher can be physically demanding
Many people also underestimate the physical work that comes along with being a butcher.
In fact, butchers often have to lift heavy pieces of meat and also have to stand all day long.
When they come home from work, many butchers are tired and just want to sit on their couch watching some TV series.
Thus, also make sure that you have a certain fitness level and that you are willing to do physical work before deciding for a career as a butcher.
May be problematic once you become older
Due to the physical component of the job as a butcher, you may also face serious problems once you get older.
At an older age, you will no longer have the physical power you have in your 20s and 30s and some butchers even have to quit their job due to physical health issues and the physical burden that comes along with the job as a butcher.
In turn, this can lead to serious old-age poverty and other issues related to it.
Many butchers get bored in the long run
Once you have a certain level of experience as a butcher, chances are that you will also get bored in the long run.
In fact, many people start out in their jobs pretty excited and full of motivation.
However, as years go by, many people just lose interest in their occupation and dream to do something more exciting.
Since the job as a butcher is pretty standardized and you will carry out the same tasks every day, you will be at great risk to get bored sooner or later.
You may have to work on weekends
As a butcher, you will also sell meet to your customers and this also means that you will have to work on weekends, at least if you don’t have any employees who could do the job for you.
Hence, make sure that you are also willing to work on weekends while other people will enjoy precious time with their family and friends.
Rather low social status in society
You will also have a rather low social status as a butcher.
Many people admire doctors or other people who can save the lives of people.
You as a butcher will just sell meat and this will only be a minor achievement from the perspective of most people in society.
Thus, be prepared that you will not be appreciated that much and that you have the inner confidence to just ignore snarky comments in this regard.
Top 10 Being a Butcher Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Butcher Pros||Being a Butcher Cons|
|Butchers can work with food||Butchers don’t earn a lot of money|
|You can assure our food supply||Being a butcher can become boring|
|You don’t need a college degree||Rather low social status as a butcher|
|Good job prospects as a butcher||Questionable from an ethical perspective|
|Butchers have a good work-life balance||Narrow field of work|
|Rather low competition in this field||Problems to change your profession|
|Butchers can work in different countries||Being a butcher is physically demanding|
|You can talk to many people||Problematic at an older age|
|Butchers can work indoors||Lack of promotion opportunities|
|Hands-on job instead of office work||You have to work with meat|
Should You Become a Butcher?
As we can see from the previous discussion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a butcher.
In the end, no one but you can decide whether a career as a butcher will be right for you or not.
Hence, just take your time and evaluate all the arguments carefully to make the right decision regarding your future career.
If you are still interested in a butcher career, also make sure to have a look at the salary, job prospects, educational requirements, working hours and job satisfaction of butchers.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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