Program Overview

Meat is a major industry in Canada and this program will give you all the knowledge needed to become an expert butcher and hit the ground running in your career. This program is a perfect fit for both entry-level students and chefs looking to incorporate farm-to-table practices. Choose a career that is truly cutting edge.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
London - Downtown
2023 September
London - Downtown
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
London - Downtown
2024 September
London - Downtown

Your Learning Experience

Meat cutting is a unique, specialized and highly in-demand trade that offers plenty of job opportunities upon graduating. Jobs include retail or wholesale butchers, industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, ham cutters, meat trimmers and more!


This one-year Ontario College Certificate program is located at Fanshawe’s London Downtown Campus in a state-of-the-art facility using the latest equipment. You’ll build skills in meat processing, product packaging, professional safety standards and customer service, taught by faculty with years of experience in the art of butchery. More than half of class time is spent in hands-on learning labs, and you’ll apply what you learn by operating a full-service retail meat outlet on campus. 


Professional Butchery Techniques provides students with the comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge to be successful in the growing meat processing industry. Throughout the program, students will engage with industry professionals to learn the latest techniques for meat cutting, with a focus on specific skills in trimming, deboning, carcass breakdown, and meat processing. Additionally, students will learn how to package and market meat products for resale.


Upon graduation, students may choose to transition into the Retail Meat Cutter 245R Apprenticeship or to earn dual certificates by transitioning into the Culinary Skills program.


Career Information

Meat cutting is a unique, specialized and highly in-demand trade that offers plenty of job opportunities upon graduating from this one-year program. Jobs include retail or wholesale butchers, industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, ham cutters, meat trimmers and more.


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Professional Butchery Techniques program:

Industrial Butcher
Working well with others you will have excellent hand-eye coordination and decision-making skills to excel in this position.

Meat Cutter
From Cutting, trimming, and preparing standard cuts of meat to training other meat cutters, the possibilities are endless.

Meat Manager

Create a coaching and development culture for all employees which embraces a passion for meat.


Learning Outcomes
  1. Process the beef front quarter, beef hind quarter, a side of pork, a carcass of lamb, a side of veal, and various types of poultry into wholesale and retail cuts;
  2. Practise procedures used to control foodborne illness in compliance with recognized industry standards, food service laws, and government regulations;
  3. Provide quality customer service by responding to inquiries about basic cooking, food safety, and carving techniques and identifying health and safety issues;
  4. Determine markups and markdowns and profit and loss related to the retail meat cutting industry;
  5. Select the appropriate packaging material for different products to ensure safety and salability;
  6. Select parts of the animal carcass for retail cuts of meat based on bone, fat, and muscle structures, and dispose of abnormalities in a safe and sterile manner;
  7. Demonstrate safe working practices and the safe set up, breakdown, operation, and maintenance of tools and equipment in accordance with health and safety regulations;
  8. Fabricate fresh sausage using industry-specific equipment;
  9. Develop value-added products, such as spice rubs, marinades, and stuffed and/or breaded meat products to support sales in a retail operation;
  10. Identify and label meat products to comply with Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations;
  11. Receive and store meat products in a safe and orderly manner to meet industry standards for quality and safety;


Program Coordinator:

Troy Spicer


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or mature applicant with the following course:

- Grade 12 English (C or U)

Students who do not meet the admission requirements are recommended for academic upgrading. A conditional offer may be possible with proof of enrolment.


International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands. score of 80 in listening
PTE Academic 53
Cambridge English Overall score of 169 with no language skill less than 162
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 8, 75% in Level 9, or 70% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 105, with no score lower than 95


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 11 Food and Culture (M)
  • Grade 11 Information and Communication Technology: The Digital Environment (O) OR Grade 12 Information and Communication Technology: Multimedia Solutions (C)
  • Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Entrepreneurship (C) or (O)
  • Grade 11 and Grade 12 Hospitality and Tourism (C)
  • Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE): Business or Technical Mathematics course and Computer Skills course
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Develop an interest in meat cutting by visiting butcher shops, grocery store meat counters and by following meat industry leaders and butchers on social media 
  • Develop leadership skills
  • The person who enters the meat cutting industry should be motivated, responsible, have a high attention to detail and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment 
  • Employment in the meat industry would be an asset
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

  • Valid Safe Food Handlers Certificate



Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
SFTY-1071Safe Work Practices2
In this course, students will be introduced to occupational health and safety practices. Students will study equipment utilized in the meat cutting industry personal protective equipment, current workplace legislation, and best practices in occupational health and safety.
WRIT-1042Reason & Writing 1-Tourism/Hospitality3
This course will introduce tourism and hospitality students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
FDMG-1131Nomenclature & Labelling2
In this course the students will demonstrate an understanding of food labelling, nomenclature, and regulations and policies which apply to statements and claims made for foods. The most recent CFIA food labelling requirements will be used.
FDMG-1127Meat Cutting Practicum 12
This course provides hands-on training in the identification and processing of primal, sub primal, and fabricated cuts of Beef and Pork. The content includes demonstrations on the safe operation of both hand tools and power equipment necessary to meat cutting. The course includes the industry-standard breakdown and packaging of Beef.
FDMG-1128Meat Cutting Practicum 22
This course provides hands-on training in the identification and processing of primal, sub primal and fabricated cuts of lamb and poultry. The course includes the industry-standard breakdown and packaging of both lamb and poultry.
FDMG-1129Meat Cookery2
The student will be instructed on all the fundamental cooking methods, terms, and basic preparation of meat. It is an opportunity to learn the proper preparation methods for specific cuts of meat in a professional setting and to be familiar enough with them to inform customers about safe and flavourful cooking methods.
FDMG-1130Retail Meat Operations 12
Students will operate a retail meat counter that is in compliance with government legislation. The course will provide an opportunity for the student to manage meat and value-added products via marketing, merchandising. packaging and labeling, with a strong focus on customer service skills.
View all courses

Tuition Summary

London - Downtown

Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.