Apprentice Meat Cutter

The Certificate of Competency (CCT) for Apprentice Meat Cutter explores proper safety and maintenance of hand tools and all power equipment used in the meat cutting industry, including a variety of knives, meat saws, meat grinders, meat tenderizers and meat slicers. Identify, cut, wrap, weigh and display all retail cuts of meat for sale in a retail environment. Maintain and merchandise a retail meat case and manage inventory. Gain experience filling customer orders. Break down and process a variety of meats like elk, deer, antelope and javelina, whole cattle, hogs and lamb. Perform tasks while maintaining industry safety and sanitation standards.


Field of Interest
Business, Entrepreneurialism, and Management
Degree Type
Certificate of Competency (CCT)
Academic Plan
Apprentice Meat Cutter (CER)
Academic Plan Code
Total Clock Hours Required
Catalog Year
Effective Term
Fall 2022
Admissions criteria

Must be able to lift 50 pounds.

Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.

Must be able to work in cold/freezing temperatures.


Food Handlers Card is completed in class and required before working in the lab.

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Practice safety and sanitation standards in daily operations.
  2. Operate power and hand tools according to industry standards.
  3. Differentiate the anatomy of an animal within the industry.
  4. Prepare primal and subprimal cuts of meat according to retail and wholesale standards and customer specifications.
  5. Apply logical reasoning and principles of weights and measures to the meat cutting process.
  6. Apply merchandising best practices to maximize profit and minimize loss of meat product.
  7. Use market demographics to meet retail requirements and customer needs.
  8. Perform operations for quality control within a meat department.
  9. Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct within the retail and wholesale environment.
  10. Work effectively within a team.
  11. Apply effective customer service skills.
  12. Utilize effective oral, written, and visual communication skills with diverse audiences.

Successful completion of this certificate may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Maricopa County-based annual median wages* for this certificate. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information. You can click on any occupation to view the detail regarding education level, wages, and employment information.

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers


* Career and wage information provided by Lightcast using data, reports, and forecasts which are generated using government data sources and Lightcast’s proprietary analytical processes. Lightcast’s data covers multiple classes of workers including QCEW, non-QCEW, and those who are self-employed. Disclaimer

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by block. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with a navigator to discuss their academic and career goals.
  • The course sequence is laid out by block and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • This is a cohort program in which students progress through their course of study together in the required course sequence.

Courses Sequence

Block 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Block 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Clock Hours
MCP100 Basics of Meat Cutting 146
MCP101 Introduction to Meat Helper 146

Block 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Block 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Clock Hours
MCP103 Meat Fabrication 176
MCP104 Merchandising 176

Students must earn a grade of ‘P’ or ‘C’ or better (depending on the course grading scale) for all courses required within the program.

Weekly hour requirements vary by program. Students should meet with a navigator to discuss these requirements further. Actual completion times may vary. A separate $15 Registration Fee will be charged per academic year.

View MCCCD’s official curriculum documentation for additional details regarding the requirements of this award (

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.