Vocational Meat Cutting Programs

Small Meat Processors October 13, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF



To our knowledge, there are only five vocational meat-cutting programs (not including college/university meat science programs) in the U.S.: one in Arizona, one in New York, one in Pennsylvania, and two in Ohio. We list an additional program from Alberta, Canada. All accept adult students except for the Buckeye Career Center program, which is for high school students. The Pioneer Career Training Center teaches slaughter as well as processing skills. The Steel Center Area Vo-Tech School doesn't cover slaughter, but fully covers processing. All will accept job postings at any time.

If you are a plant owner looking for skilled people to hire, you might consider finding a young person interested in learning and send him or her to one of these programs under a written "indentureship agreement." The agreement would stipulate that she or he 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 and Meat Dept. Helper programs 

Maricopa Skills Center
1245 East Buckeye Road
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 238-4300
Program Description

New York - Cobleskill

Meat Processing and Food Safety Certificate

State University of NY (SUNY)
Knapp Hall 128
106 Suffolk Circle
Cobleskill, NY 12043
(518) 255-5528
Program Description

Ohio - Shelby

Pioneer Career Training Center
Meat Processing 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
Food Processing/Meat Cutting Program
545 University Dr. NE
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

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


Steel Center Area Vo-Tech School
Meat Cutting Technology
565 Lewis Run Road
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025

Contact: William Bair
(412) 469-3200 x.107
Fax (412) 469-3209

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.

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

Contact: Brad Mcleod
(403) 556-4792
Program webpage




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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.