Learn specialized skills for all aspects of meat cutting, including processing and packaging.

This 11-month certificate prepares you for a cutting-edge career in Canada’s growing meat processing industry. Learn all aspects of the trade, including nutrition, safety, tools, workplace values and essential communication skills. Enjoy a newly built, modern teaching lab with all the trimmings. Develop skills in curing and smoking for all types of animal protein, including poultry, beef, pork, goat and lamb.

Do you agree with raising animals for meat and preparing them for human consumption? Do you like to work with your hands, enjoy physical labour, and are passionate about delivering high-quality goods and services? If yes, then this is the program for you. Expectations include having good manual dexterity, cooperating with others in a team environment, and being able to work in refrigerated environments for long periods. Small class sizes, dedicated instructors and industry connections will prepare you for a fulfilling career in meat cutting.

Connect with local employers through a 12-week work practicum. If you meet all employer criteria, you may make up to $6,900 during your work-integrated learning experience; plus, take advantage of additional employment opportunities while enrolled in this fulltime program.

Rest assured, there is no shortage of work in this sector, and demand is high for skilled workers. After you graduate, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit; if Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grants the permit, you may benefit from Assiniboine’s partnerships with industry employers. Your work experience, combined with your credentials and personal interest, may lead to career opportunities such as retail meat cutter, retail meat manager, plant manager, production supervisor and/or sales manager.


English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list must meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

Please note: applicants must have good mental and physical health with the ability to lift 25 lbs from floor to shoulder and 40 lbs from knee to waist. They must be able to walk up and down stairs many times during the day, stand on concrete floors for approximately 8 hours per day and manage being in cold temperatures for extended periods of time, including going into a refrigerator and freezer.

If you do not meet these admission requirements, please visit assiniboine.net/international for more information.

Helpful Information for International Students

Important to Note:

Waitlists do not roll forward to future intakes of this program. Students must re-apply should they wish to seek admission to a future intake at a different start date.

All tuition and fees for this program are required to be paid in full before your program begins. Tuition and fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another program.

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

Find innumerable employment opportunities in all aspects of the meat cutting industry. Prospective employers include federal and provincial abattoirs, specialty meat operations, supermarkets, custom processors, case ready and wholesale operations, large-scale animal processing plants, and independently owned storefronts.


Graduates of this program are eligible to receive credit in Assiniboine’s Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs for the following certifications: Emergency First Aid, Fire Safety, Food Safe 1, and WHMIS 1.

Tools & Supplies

Our classrooms, labs and shops are equipped with the necessary equipment that you need to make the most of your experience. However, there are some tools and supplies that you will need to purchase for personal use to help you with your studies. Much of what you purchase you’ll be able to use after you graduate and begin your career. Tool and supply lists are available from the school office 30 days prior to the start date of the program.

2021-22 Lists:

Program Checklist:

Supply List:

Technology Requirements

Programs at Assiniboine have certain technology requirements. Students require access to computer devices at home and may be required to bring these on campus when instructed. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech  for more detailed information about the requirements for this program. 

Courses & Costs

Course offerings are subject to change and may vary by intake.

Estimated Program Costs (Domestic)

Tuition, books and supplies, fees, and Students' Association fees (Inc Health Premium) total $12,973. Students may be required to purchase additional supplies for this program.

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

All tuition and fees for this program are required to be paid in full before your program begins. Tuition and fees are non-refundable.

Estimated Program Costs (International)

Tuition, books and supplies, fees, and Students' Association fees (Inc Health Premium) total $17,395. Health insurance is approximately $750. Students may be required to purchase additional supplies for this program.

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

All tuition and fees for this program are required to be paid in full before your program begins. Tuition and fees are non-refundable.


Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
1st Aid - Emergency (HLTH-0030)

Basic First Aid & CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals and employees who want an overview of First Aid & CPR in the workplace or home. The course covers skills needed to recognize, prevent and respond to cardiovascular emergences for Adults, CPR and other topics such as choking, airway and breathing emergencies, and prevention of disease transmission. This course meets the minimum regulations for Workplace Health & Safety for Basic First Aid. Participants who meet the required standard receive a nationally recognized certification that is valid for three years. Textbook included in cost of tuition.

0 credit(s) No No No
Bovine Species - Front Quarter (MTPR-0012)

This course includes beef and veal carcass breaking procedures, producing primal, secondary, fabricated, retail, and value-added
products, grading, inspection, product identification, costing and wrapping.

3 credit(s) No No No
Bovine Species - Hind Quarter (MTPR-0013)

This course includes beef and veal carcass-breaking procedures, producing primal, secondary, fabricated, retail, and value-added
products, grading, inspection, product identificatin, costing and wrapping.

3 credit(s) No No No
Cdn Intercultural Awareness (IAPP-0002)

This course is designed to assist international students to transition into, and succeed in, the diverse Canadian workplace. Cultural values and expectations in a professional environment are examined through a variety of methods. Students will explore the variety of cultures in Canada, including those of Indigeneous peoples. The possible effects of culture on the various roles and the scope of practice in their field of study are explored. Strategies to uccessfully begin a new job, to create effective working realtionships and to resolve conflict are discussed and practiced. Interpersonal and inter-professional communciation is reviewed. The importance of concepts such as non-verbal communicaton, personal and professional etiquette and working as
part of a team are emphasized. Students must pass this introductory course to progress in the program.

6 credit(s) No No No
Communication - Retail Meats (COMM-0384)

This course provides daily EAL instruction, with focus on introducing and reinforcing retail meat processing and workplace vocabulary for the unit; strengthening oral and verbal comprehension and communication; strengthening workplace proficiency in reading and writing.

6 credit(s) No No No
Curing and Smoking (MTPR-0003)

This course includes production and processing of common cured and smoked varieties of sausages, bacons, hams, other smoked or cured products, packaging, wrapping, and costing.

6 credit(s) No No No
Fire Safety (WRKP-0021)

This awareness seminar is provided by the City of Brandon Fire Department. Participants learn to identify various fire types and understand their individual characteristics. Fire hazard identification and fire safety procedures are demonstrated in relation to food service operations. Participants learn the functions of a fire extinguisher, coupled with a practical learning exercise demonstrating proper handling and extinguishing techniques.

0 credit(s) No No No
FoodSafe 1 (COOK-0014)

This seminar, delivered by Manitoba Health, is a must for owners, managers, supervisors, chefs, cooks, and other personnel responsible for purchasing, handling, preparing and serving food. FoodSafe is a nationally-recognized seminar that addresses the relationship between microbiology and food-borne illness, safe food handling, personal hygiene habits, effective cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and utensils, and measures to ensure a clean, safe food service operation. Participants who pass the examination receive a nationally-recognized certificate which is valid for five years.

0 credit(s) No No No
Meat Composition & Nutrition (MTPR-0014)

This course includes nutritional value of meat products, muscle types and composition, cooking of raw meats, cooking methods
for different muscle groups, and advising consumers on cooking various meat products.

6 credit(s) No No No
Ovine Species and Seafood (MTPR-0005)

This course includes identification and production of primal, sub-primal, retail and value added cuts from Canadian lamb and goat, with study of common species of seafood. It includes lamb carcass breaking, merchandising, grading and specification, and retail wrapping and pricing of lamb, goat and seafood products.

3 credit(s) No No No
Pork (MTPR-0006)

This course includes breaking down pork carcasses into primal and sub-primal cuts, grading, preparing, packaging, and costing retail pork products. The course content about breaking carcasses specifically goes through the distinction between International cuts. Practical work breaking carcasses could happen on practicum since the program does not include bringing carcasses on site.

6 credit(s) No No No
Pork - International Cuts (MTPR-0015)

In this course, students learn how to process primarl cuts of pork using the various international carcass breaking styles.

9 credit(s) No No No
Poultry (MTPR-0016)

This course includes common poultry species, producing fabricated, retail, and value-added poultry products, grading wrapping,
and costing products.

3 credit(s) No No No
Practicum - MTPR (PRAC-0274)

The practicum component of the course develops employability and trade-specific skills in either the wholesale or the retail meat-cutting environment.

12 credit(s) No No No
Safety, Tools, Sanitation (HLTH-0282)

Prerequisites: HLTH-0030 1st Aid Emergency; COOK-0014 FoodSafe 1; HLTH-0047 WHMIS 1
This course includes procedures related to safety, sanitation, tools and equipment in a professional meat-cutting environment. It includes handling of workplace hazardous materials. Students learn how to prepare safe, sanitary food products while properly utilizing tools and equipment of the trade. Certification would be included in this course.

3 credit(s) No No No
Sausage Making (MTPR-0009)

This course includes history of sausage manufacturing, spices, equipment and safety, diseases associated with sausage manufacturing, formulating, mixing, stuffing, packaging, and pricing.

3 credit(s) No No No
Seminar (IAPP-0003)

This course offers students an opportunity to apply the knowledge that they have acquired in previous courses. Learners will demonstrate research skills and the ability to cite sources. They will participate in case scenarios, using industry terminology, that utilize numeracy skills and problem based learning techniques to foster deep understanding of good client/customer service. Students must pass this introductory course to progress in the program.

4.5 credit(s) No No No
Student Success (IAPP-0001)

This course integrates elements of student orientation including familiarization with college policies and improves the students’
ability to navigate the college experience and environment. This course also offers the learner an opportunity to learn and
practice the essential study skills needed to thrive in a Canadian post-secondary program of study. The course covers topics such
as success in online learning, time management strategies, communication skills, test taking strategies, academic integrity, and
information literacy, among others. Students must pass this introductory course to progress in the program.

6 credit(s) No No No
Value Added Processing (MTPR-0010)

This course includes content related to identifying methods and ingredients used in making value-added meat products. Production of value-added pork, beef, and poultry products is also included.

3 credit(s) No No No
WHMIS 1 (HLTH-0047)

If you work in the proximity of hazardous materials, this awareness course is for you. As an introduction to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), this course covers safe work habits with hazardous materials, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and labelling of hazardous materials. This course is presented in a straightforward, non-technical manner.

0 credit(s) No No No
Workplace Communication (IAPP-0004)

This course is designed to provide international students with the communication skills required to transition successfully into the Canadian workplace. It will prepare learners to utilize effective communication skills both personally and professionally. Students will use a broad range of activities to develop proficiency in industry terminology, explore scenarios from the field, develop critical thinking skills, and develop effective strategies to enhance their skills in writing and oral communication. Students must pass this introductory course to progress in the program.

6 credit(s) No No No


Jian Li Wu

Instructor, Food Processing (Animal Protein)

Jian Li Wu is an Instructor in the Food Processing (Animal Proteins) program, at Assiniboine Community College. He has been engaged in progressive management for more than ten years, within a variety of sectors. Jian Li’s meat cutting skills were recognized in 2019 by the Canadian Professional Meat Cutter’s Association, with their national-level Award of Excellence. Jian Li attended the Meat Cutting program at Assiniboine, graduating with honours, and later worked at Maple Leaf Foods as a Meat Cutter specializing in pork butchery and fabrication.

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.