School of Skilled Trades

Professional Meat Cutting & Merchandising

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  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

Please note due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these delivery options may shift from term to term. Please consult your program for details on delivery options.

  • On-Campus Day - Your course activity is done in-person Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • On-Campus Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done in-person on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Day - Your course activity is done online Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Online Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.


The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 5 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of B- in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

Program delivery varies by program and may be subject to change.. We encourage you to review how your classes will be delivered for the upcoming terms. If you have questions about program delivery or class enrolment, please contact your program area.

For careers that are a cut above

You want to be a professional meat cutter.

You want to work with beef, bison, pork, lamb, seafood and poultry and learn how to produce cured, smoked and processed meat and sausage. You also want to learn about merchandising and purchasing meat products.

This 15-week program has an emphasis on sanitation, safety and quality control. You will have the opportunity to train in the NAIT Retail Meat Store, and you will benefit from a 3-week (90 hours) work experience placement for on-the-job training following the 15 weeks of classroom instruction.

Average hours

25 hours per week hands-on shop training, 5-6 hours studying and class assignments

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Hands-on, industry-relevant training 

The meat industry in Canada presents numerous challenging employment opportunities. The varied nature of this industry demands that personnel have a basic understanding of most meat-cutting concepts, including merchandising, cutting yields, purchasing, sausage-making and value-added meats.

The curriculum is designed so that you will develop a thorough appreciation for shop sanitation and personal hygiene standards. You will learn the practical aspects of proper care and safety procedures of tools and equipment. Instruction emphasizes a high standard of occupational competency and workmanship. The program's content includes concepts of total quality management that specifically includes quality awareness, customer focus, employee involvement and team work.

Emphasis is placed on practical cutting methods, selection of meats, preparation of specialty meats, storing and handling meats and general operation and maintenance of shop equipment.

Meatcutting students

 Graduates of the Professional Meat Cutting and Merchandising program will learn to:

  • understand the fundamentals of meat theory including meat structure, nutrition, grading and inspection
  • order, judge and select meats
  • use safe and sanitary practices relating to meat storage and handling
  • prepare fresh meat, fish, poultry and value-added items
  • care for and safely operate hand tools and power meat-cutting equipment
  • provide quality customer service during the Retail Meat Store training component
  • engage in business fundamentals, including purchasing, receiving, marketing strategies, inventory control and product merchandising
  • apply business math techniques in profit principles, retail pricing and spreadsheet analysis
Meatcutting student

Enter the workforce with confidence

Graduates can find employment in the expanding number of supermarket food chains, in independent meat markets and in specialty sausage and delicatessen stores. Opportunities exist in both urban and rural centres throughout the province.

With experience, graduates can move into positions of increased responsibility, including management or owning their own business.

Professional Association Courses

  • Alberta Meat Processors Association
  • Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association
  • CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
  • Alberta Beef Information Centre
  • Alberta Pork Producers
  • Alberta Bison Association
Retail Meat Store

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

Contact this program

The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780 471 7664 or

International Students

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

  • Study Permit: This program is a credit certificate and meets the criteria for a study permit and a co-op work permit. 
  • Co-Op Work Permit: Students enrolled in this program must complete a work practicum. As such, you must apply for a co-op work permit and receive approval before the start of your work placement.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: This program is too short to meet the requirements for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Completion of this program will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International applicants seeking permissions to take this program can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.



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Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.

*Program availability is subject to change without notice.