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Learn specialized skills in meat cutting and charcuterie, customer service and business management for a career as a butcher or meat inspector.
A one-of-a-kind educational experience in Canada, the Butchery and Charcuterie Management certificate will provide you with comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge in meat science, processing and management — all required to enter this rapidly growing trade.
At SAIT, we continue to set the standard for excellence in culinary education. The Butchery and Charcuterie Management program is another example of training based on what employers are looking for and preparing our students for success in the global hospitality industry.
During this one-year certificate program, you will work in state-of-the-art facilities as you gain practical skills in value-added butchery, carcass identification and breaking, sanitation and much more.
Specific to charcuterie, you will learn extensive curing and product creation methods for salamis, sausages, prosciutto, cured and smoked products, and a host of other proteins. We focus on sustainability and help you understand where the product came from, how to process it and how to get the most value from it.
By preparing proteins for our dynamic Market Place at SAIT and the new student-run butcher shop, you will also learn how to properly cut and present proteins and gain skills in customer service and business management.
- This program is very hands-on, with students spending approximately 25 hours per week in our labs.
- The retail meat industry is a fast-paced, dynamic environment focusing on customer service and food quality.
- You must be in good physical condition for this physically demanding trade.
- You must groom and dress according to industry expectations during practical training.
- The material is presented at a relatively rapid rate. You must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience for the greatest success.
- You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.
The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.
There may also be opportunities to further your education by transferring to another institution once you graduate.
Learn more about program and institution transfer options.
After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT certificate in Butchery and Charcuterie Management.
Careers and opportunities
Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.
Career counselling and support
Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.
You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.
Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.Services and workshops
The Butchery and Charcuterie Management certificate requires 30 credits (nine courses) to complete.
The program spans one year, with two semesters.
This course covers food sanitation, hygiene and safety as it applies to meat preparation and cooking. Students will be prepared to sit the Alberta Health Services Food Sanitation and Hygiene Certificate exam after completing this course. This course also includes First Aid training.
This course provides an introduction to fundamental meat science. The student will learn about the composition of muscle meat and how the muscles work, how slaughter affects the eating quality of meat, the nutritional content of meat, how to perform final quality checks on meat and which government regulations impact the production of meat for retail sale.
Meat Management I is a comprehensive course designed to give students insight into the various domestic animals processed for food in Retail Meat Operations. Students who complete this course can answer questions that customers would ask when making their protein choices at a meat counter.
This course provides an introduction to the basic cooking skills required to succeed in applied butchery. Students will learn knife skills, stock and production, and cooking methods using equipment and value-added applications.
Practical Shop I is an introductory, hands-on meat-cutting course designed to give students practical skills to work in the meat industry. Students who complete Practical Shop I will have the foundational skills necessary for building on Practical Shop II.
This course provides an introduction to the food-safe production of charcuterie products. Students will learn to select ingredients based on quality standards, use basic food preservation techniques, and use safe production methods for various charcuterie products. They will apply proper sanitation methods for food production and equipment maintenance and use. The student will also learn how to package and market these value-added products to maximize returns on effort.
Practical Shop II is a second-semester course designed to give students advanced practical skills to apply to work in the meat industry. Students will be introduced to breaking carcasses and processing them into retail cuts. Students will also be introduced to the art of charcuterie and dry curing. Students who complete Practical Shop II will have the skill set to compete for jobs as meat cutters in supermarkets and farmers’ markets, and some students may eventually open their butcher shops. Students will also be able to work as butchers in kitchens and restaurants.
Customer service is a cornerstone of most successful retail enterprises. In the pursuit of good customer service, product knowledge is fundamental for any retail business to be sustainable. Students who complete Meat Management II will have the customer service and product knowledge skill set to thrive in a retail meat business.
This course builds on the fundamentals of Meat Science I by applying those principles to animal husbandry, sustainability, grading, dry aging, salt, temperature and humidity, bacterial growth, irradiation, blooming agents/nitrates, and cleaning agents. At the end of this course, you will be able to assess your work environment for cleanliness and be able to correct any deficiencies. You will also be able to determine the quality of the product being used, devise an application for the received product, and produce food-safe products as set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.
Applicants educated in Canada
All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.
- at least 50% in Math 10C or Math 10-3 and
- at least 50% in English Language Arts 10-1 or English Language Arts 10-2 or Humanities 10.
SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.
All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.
SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.
Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.Upgrade
- Domestic students: Closed
Application deadline: Oct. 26, 2023
- International students: Waitlisted
Application deadline: Sept. 28, 2023
- Domestic students: Open
Application deadline: June 28, 2024
- International students: Open
Application deadline: May 28, 2024
2023/24 tuition and fees
The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.
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Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.
This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.
Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.
Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.
Required equipment and tools
Students in this program must purchase a professional knife kit. The cost is $200 and must be purchased through a dedicated website. Students will receive an e-mail within one month of the program start date to purchase the kit, which must be purchased with a credit card.
One of your first steps to becoming a student in the Butchery and Charcuterie Management program is to be sure you have the required attire (same for male and female students) on your first day of class and dress appropriately throughout the program.
- Hat ($20) can be purchased from the Market Place in the John Ware building.
- Lab coat, full apron and black pants are provided with an annual laundry fee of $210 and issued twice weekly from the laundry facilities in the John Ware building.
- Professional non-slip kitchen shoes: SAIT will have a vendor on site on the Orientation day, but shoes can also be purchased at any professional shoe vendor. We suggest purchasing a clog-style shoe.
Required personal protective equipment (PPE)
Butchery student uniform (provided by SAIT) and professional non-slip kitchen shoes.
Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.Learn more
Ready to apply?
Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.Learn how to apply
Communication during admission
Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the email@example.com domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.
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