How to Select a Meat Cutting School
Before choosing a meat cutting school, prospective students should be clear about the roles they wish to play within the food industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most meat cutters and processors learn from on-the-job training ( However, for those wanting to seek training before entering the work force, a certificate of completion in meat cutting may be appropriate for someone who wishes to work at a grocery store or butcher shop. Some states require butchers to have health certificates, so a prospective student will want to choose a school that satisfies any legal requirements of the state in which he or she intends to work.
An undergraduate or graduate degree program in meat science prepares students to conduct research on meat. Students may want to look for programs with clubs or other student associations that allow them the opportunity to participate in statewide and national meat judging competitions.
Students pursuing either career route will want to consider the facilities offered before choosing a school. Students that want to work with large machinery at a slaughterhouse will need to look for a program that allows them to train on up-to-date equipment and to learn industry safety standards. Many schools have state-approved, on-site processing facilities that are used for teaching and research. Students who want to focus on research will want to select a school with updated laboratory facilities for the analysis of meat.

Meat Cutting Program Overviews

Apprentice Meat Cutter Certificate

Apprenticeships prepare students for employment at grocery stores, butcher shops or meat warehouses. Students learn about cuts of meat, retail merchandising, safe equipment operation, sanitation and meat-cutting terminology. Participants train on state-of-the-art hand tools and equipment as they process beef, pork and poultry products for retail sale. Apprenticeship requirements vary depending on the workplace; some require that candidates demonstrate competency in arithmetic to be accepted. While no federal guidelines for completing an apprenticeship exist, some states do have specifications, such as required classes in health and safety.

Undergraduate Degree in Meat Science

Meat science coursework teaches students to judge and evaluate meat, as well as to cut, process, cure, cook and merchandise meat in retail or wholesale settings. Credentials awarded can vary, from an associate's degree to a major or minor as part of one's bachelor's degree studies. Students usually complete an internship as part of their course requirements.

Graduate Degrees in Meat Science

If a student's interests in meat cutting fall more on the side of research than retail and wholesale butchery, then he or she may want to prepare for graduate-level study in meat science. Graduate students go on to conduct research and to teach in the field of meat science. Specific subfields include food microbiology, efficiency of meat processing and food engineering. Completion of a bachelor's degree program is necessary before applying to a master's degree or Ph.D. program.


SUNY Cobleskill is the only college in the State University of New York system that has a United States Department of Agriculture certified meat processing facility.


Rocky Mountain Institute Of Meatdo State Accredited Certificate

Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat Professional Program accepting fall 2012 registration:
Colorado Certificate Accredited
American Culinary Federation Accredited for 64 Continuing Education/Certification Points.
Contact information and dates/times posted on the RMIM website:!__classes
Fall 2012 mostly applies to Colorado or individuals close by due to being spread out over 2 months of Monday nights.

Additionally Mark M. DeNittis, RMIM Founder/Educator is also in process of getting the 8 day program to have each day individually accredited/certified with the American Culinary Federation so as to allow for single or multiple accredited days, allowing the professional series to be hosted across the nation.

Lastly if interested in hosting an Full 8 day, ACF 64 Credit/Certification or non-accredited programming please contact:


Maricopa Skill Center Meat Cutting Class


Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center  Two-year program, which the career center will offer in collaboration with Vermont Technical College (VTC),  to adults (18 and over) who want to earn state certification for careers as meat cutters.


Steel Center Area Vo-Tech School Meat Cutting Technology

Western Technology Center 
Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter degrees offered: Certificate Program

Bridgerland Applied Technology College
Graduates are thoroughly prepared for careers in many settings such as retail stores, wholesale dealers, US Department of Agriculture grading and inspecting services, livestock buyers, merchandising/sales, and processing plants.  Approx. Program Length: 10 mos (30 hrs/wk)


Bay de Noc Community College

Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter
Hinds Community College Meat Merchandising
The Meat Merchandising Program is designed to prepare the student for entry level employment in the various related phases of processing, marketing, merchandising of meats, catering, and value-added products. Students are given the opportunity to master the skills necessary for success in meat merchandising, which includes slaughtering, chilling, aging, quartering, cutting, and inspecting pork, beef, lamb, poultry, and fish.
The Hinds Community College Meat Merchandising Program is completed in three semesters (one full year) and may be started at the beginning of any eight week segment