Butchers cut meat in a variety of different settings. This is an entry-level job that requires no formal education and for which training is provided on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 126,800 butchers and meat cutters were working in the U.S. as of 2010, and that an additional 10,100 butcher jobs will be added to the workforce between 2010 and 2020.
National Salary Statistics:
According to May 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of butchers working in the United States was $30,000. The lowest-paid 25 percent of butchers earned $21,730 or less per year and the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $18,090 or less per year. The highest-paid 25 percent of all butchers earned $37,040 or more per year, and the highest-paid 10 percent reported annual earnings of $45,220 or more. The median of all reported salaries was $28,460 per year.
Hourly Wage Statistics:
Across all employment sectors and locations, butchers reported an average hourly salary of $14.43 as of May 2011. Half of all butchers earned between $10.45 and $17.81 per hour, and the median of all reported wages was $13.68 per hour. The lowest-paid 10 percent of butchers reported hourly earnings of $8.70 or less, while the 10 percent of butchers who were the highest earners made in excess of $21.74 per hour.
Pay by State:
High-paying jobs for butchers were disproportionately concentrated in the Northeast. As of May 2011, the highest-paying state for butchers was Connecticut, where the average annual salary was $41,680. Those in Massachusetts earned the second-highest average salary, at $40,270 per year. Outside of the Northeast, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Minnesota were among the highest-paying states. Butchers and meat cutters working in Iowa reported the lowest average salary as of May 2011, at $24,280 per year.
Salary by Employment Sector:
Nearly three-fourths of all butchers and meat cutters were employed by grocery stores as of May 2011. They earned an average annual salary of $30,240. Those working at specialty food stores reported an average yearly income of $28,320, and those employed at other general merchandise stores earned $32,830 per year on average. Butchers working for grocery merchant wholesalers reported an average annual salary of $28,970. Those in animal slaughtering and processing earned an average of $27,410 per year. The approximately 1,150 butchers employed by the federal government earned the highest average yearly income, at $44,430.