Butchers prepare, package, display and sell meat and meat products in shops and supermarkets.

Butchers perform a wide variety of tasks from dealing with meat wholesalers, to boning carcases, preparing cuts of meats and presenting them, through to providing excellent customer service. This means that you need to be great at dealing with people and have a detailed knowledge of where cuts of meat come from and how they will be used.

Butchers work in environments that are clean and sterile, but also need to be able to cope with the blood and mess that can result from working with an animal carcass. Butchers also need to be good with the cold, as you will often be working in chillers and meat storage lockers. They need to be safety conscious, as they work with sharp, dangerous equipment.

To become a butcher, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Trade Butchery. Completing Butchery Gateway units while you’re at school could be the first step on a path to a Butchery apprenticeship.

All distance learning prices are in New Zealand Dollars (NZ$) and are GST exclusive.

Key Skills

These unit standards will give you the key skills you need for a job in a butchery or meat processing workplace.


Learn about personal presentation and dealing with different people in your butchery or meat processing workplace (like customers, workmates and suppliers).
Learn about how to present meat for sale in the butchery retail section. Read about preparing and wrapping the different cuts of meat for presentation and refrigeration.
Learn about how to make mince meat out of different types of meat, like sheep, beef, pork and poultry.