Vocational Meat Cutting Programs

Updated 4.29.2022

There are a very limited number of hands-on vocational whole-animal meat cutting programs in the US and Canada that offer short courses and certificate programs.  All of these programs listed below accept adult students except for the Buckeye Career Center program, which is for high school students. Most teach only the butchering and processing of meat, very few will teach slaughter practices. Email or call each program for more details. This is an evolving list as more programs are developed and launched around the country. This list does not include degree programs such as animal science or meat science programs typically offered at land grant universities.

If you are a plant owner looking for skilled people to hire, you might consider finding a young person interested in learning and send them to one of these programs under a written “indentureship agreement.” The agreement would stipulate that they would work for you for a minimum number of years after completing training in exchange for your paying for the education. Such an employee would be required to reimburse you for the costs if they dropped out or failed to work for you for the specified minimum amount of time.

Know of a program we are missing here?  Contact us!

Arizona – Phoenix

Apprentice Meat Cutter program

GateWay Community College (formerly known as Maricopa Skills Center)
1245 East Buckeye Road
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 238-4300

Illinois- Chicago (offered virtually, nationwide)

Range Meat Academy

Meat Clerk and Meat Cutter courses. Must take the Meat Clerk courses before you take the Meat Cutter courses.


Ohio – Shelby

Pioneer Career & Technology Center
Meat & Animal Science Program
27 Ryan Rd.
Shelby, OH 44875

Contact: Bill Kucic
(419) 347-7744 x.1269
Pioneer Career Training Center

Ohio – New Philadelphia

Buckeye Career Center (high school program)
Food Processing/Meat Cutting Program
545 University Dr. NE
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Contact: Scott Ripley
(800) 227-1665
Program webpage

Minnesota- Brainerd & Staples

Central Lakes Community College Meat Cutting & Butchery Program, does not include slaughter

16 credit program

Program webpage

Minnesota- Willmar & Hutchinson

Ridgewater College Meat Cutting Program (starting Fall 2022), will include slaughter

18 credit program (online & in-person)

Program webpage

New York- Cobleskill

SUNY Cobleskill Meat Processing and Food Safety Certificate Program is back. 4 week intensive series. Cost is currently: $6,000.


Deb Pernat
PACE Program Coordinator
Knapp Hall 223

Program Webpage

Vermont- Randolph Center

Vermont Technical College

PO Box 500, 124 Admin Drive
Randolph Center, VT 05061

Meat Cutting Butchering Basics Series (currently $500 a course)

Weekend long hands-on trainings in Intro to Butchery, Beef Butchery, and Pig Butchery with instructor Bill Cavanaugh.

Program Webpage

Wisconsin- Madison

Sustainable Farm to Table: Modern Meat Production, One Year Technical Diploma

Madison Area Technical College

1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704



Alberta, Canada

This 5 month program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada, includes training in slaughter. The program is offered twice a year and costs about $10,000 with room and board. International students are welcome to apply.

Meat Processing Program
Olds College
4500 – 50th Street.
Olds, Alberta, Canada T4H 1R6

Program webpage

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