Overview

Slice into a world of opportunity with our Butchery and Charcuterie Management program. Learn specialized meat cutting and charcuterie skills, customer service, and business management.  

This one-year certificate program in butchery skills will prepare you for a career as a butcher, meat inspector or industry consultant. Learning at a rapid pace, you’ll spend around 25 hours per week our labs. 

Our certificate offers a unique educational opportunity beyond that of the typical cooking school. It provides you with both theoretical and practical knowledge in meat science, processing, and management. This combination of skills is essential for entering this rapidly growing field. 

You’ll work in modern facilities and gain practical skills in value-added butchery, identifying and breaking down carcasses, maintaining sanitation, and more. You’ll learn to cure and make salamis, sausages, prosciutto, and other cured and smoked items in charcuterie. You’ll also work with different proteins. We emphasize sustainability, teaching you the product’s origin and processing and how to maximize its value. 

As part of your training, you’ll prepare proteins for SAIT’s dynamic Marketplace and our new student-operated butcher shop. This hands-on experience will also teach you how to cut and present proteins while honing your customer service and meat management skills. 

Those in butchery and charcuterie management are methodical, objective, and directive.  

You need: 

  • good physical health (you may require a physical exam for work) 
  • physical strength and stamina to stand for long periods and lift and move heavy pieces of meat 
  • good hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and colour vision 
  • the ability to follow instructions 
  • the ability to work independently or within a team 
  • respect for public health standards - rooming and dressing accordingly 
  • strong communication skills 
  • an interest in providing good customer service.

You should enjoy following rules, being organized, using tools and equipment, and taking ownership of projects to ensure high-quality outcomes. 

There may be opportunities to further your education once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Butchery and Charcuterie Management certificate.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 88% graduate employment rate

salary icon $42,320 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 62020, 63201, 65202, 94141.

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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

Courses

The Butchery and Charcuterie Management certificate requires 30 credits (nine courses) to complete.

The program spans one year, with two semesters. 

View classes by semester

Course Credits

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.

1.5

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.

3

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.

3

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.

1.5

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.

6

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.

3

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.

Pre-requisites:
  • MEAT 212
6

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.

Pre-requisites:
  • MEAT 208
3

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.

Pre-requisites:
  • MEAT 206
3

Progression

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.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Admission requirements

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.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 28, 2024

Costs

2024/25 tuition and fees

The following estimated costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $7,110 $1,608 $8,718
Total cost:
$8,718

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $21,690 $1,608 $23,298
Total cost:
$23,298

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.

Required uniform

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.

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective until June 30, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $6,990 $1,870 $8,860
Total cost:
$8,860

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $21,687 $1,870 $23,557
Total cost:
$23,557
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Financial aid

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

Application process

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 hospitality@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Hospitality and Tourism Advising

Phone
403.284.8612
Email
hospitality.info@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca