Skip to main content

Meat Processing Certificate

Meat Processing

Prepare for a career in the in-demand meat processing industry with the Meat Processing Certificate program.

Unique to North America, this program will provide you with industry focused instruction from the National Meat Training Centre at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology, where you will be given instruction on the entire meat process — from slaughter to retail.

During this fast-paced 15-week program, you will choose to focus your studies on either Livestock Slaughter or Full Service & Retail Meat Cutting. Please be aware that you can only choose one of these two areas of study. 

Livestock Slaughter: Through guided instruction and on-site applications, students will perform humane slaughter of selected livestock species to meet industry and regulatory inspection requirements. 

Full Service & Retail Meat Cutting: Students will gain practical skills in meat merchandising and marketing through the management of a service case and advanced merchandising techniques while working at Olds College’s Retail Meat Store.

Program Intakes: 

  • Winter Intake - January program start
  • Spring Intake - May program start
  • Fall Intake - September program start

Applications Open

  • Fall Intake - First Wednesday of October (9 a.m.)
  • Winter Intake - First Wednesday of February (9 a.m.)
  • Spring Intake - First Wednesday of June (9 a.m.)


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive a certificate in Meat Processing, with the option to specialize in Livestock Slaughter or Full Service and Retail Meat Cutting.

Program Details

    • Applicants should be 18 years of age of older and in good physical condition
    • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement 

    Transfer Options: Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has developed agreements with other educational institutions to allow for transition to Olds College, or to another institution to continue your education. Articulations & Agreements

    Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

    International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from International Applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency.

  • Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

    Tuition, Fees & Payments

    Scholarships & Student Awards

    Olds College of Agriculture & Technology offers over 450 awards, valued at $500,000+ in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Thanks to our industry partners, alumni, and friends of Olds College we are fortunate to offer a generous student awards program to students.

    For additional information on scholarships, bursaries and prizes at Olds College, visit Scholarships & Awards.

    Entrance Awards Available!

    Entrance awards range from $250 - $1,500 for students applying for the upcoming academic year and have paid the tuition deposit by the deadline.

    Awards are selected randomly from those that have applied and qualify based on the criteria.
    Award will be applied as a tuition credit to the student's account after the add/drop course deadline, confirming full-time attendance.
    Not all that apply will receive an entrance award.

    Student Funding

    For information on how to apply for government student loans, financial aid or for help with financial planning, visit our Student Funding page.

  • For course descriptions and requisites, view the Academic Calendar.

    Academic Calendar: Meat Processing

    Term 1
    • Complete all of the following
      • Completed the following:
        • MEP1007 - Meat Cutting (1.3-4.7-0 hrs)
        • MEP1008 - Value Added Processing (1.7-1.3-0 hrs)
        • MEP1009 - Food Safety and Sanitation (3-3-0 hrs)
        • MEP1010 - Meat Industry Communication (3-0-0 hrs)
      • Completed at least 1 of the following:
        • MEP1006 - Livestock Slaughter (0.7-5.3-0 hrs)
        • MEP2006 - Full Service and Retail Meat Cutting (1.3-4.7-0 hrs)
  • Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

    • Professional retail or industry meat cutter
    • Butcher
    • Value added meat processor
    • Processing Plant
    • Sausage maker
    • Slaughter man
    • Own and operate a business

    Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

    ALIS Occupational Profiles

  • Program Dates

    Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

    Class Registration

    You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

    Technology Recommendation

    It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College of Agriculture & Technology with the following technology:

    • A Chromebook or laptop (Mac or PC)

    As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

    • Go to
    • Enter your Olds College email address and password
    • Once logged in, there is a button on the right that says “Install Office Apps”
    This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

    Materials & Supplies:

    Required items to purchase before your program start:

    • Steel-toed rubber boots that will remain in the meat lab
    • Closed toed shoes (sneakers, running shoes) that will remain in the meat lab

    Required items to be ordered once you are at Olds College:

    • Coveralls
    • Various knives
    • Hard hat

    These supplies are specially ordered in and will be available within the second week or so of the program. If you have worked in the meat processing industry before and have some of the above mentioned supplies, please bring them along but do not purchase them as we are able to purchase supplies at a reduced cost.

    Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

    Textbook Order Form

    Other Important Information:

    • Time Requirements: The Meat Processing Certificate program is an intense program for scheduling, where students need to be available (on campus) for classes and laboratory participation Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (approximately). As part of the program you will participate in set-up and clean-up requirements assigned outside of the class time. More information will be provided the first day of classes.

"The Meat Processing program gave me the broad skills needed to open my own butcher shop. I was able to make virtually any type of product needed. The cutting-edge food safety components helped us differentiate ourselves in industry and keep us on top. We are grateful to the resources Olds College shared with us, and continue to use them to advance our business.”

Greg Pahl, Production Manager/Owner, Medicine Hat Meat Traders Ltd.

Take the Next Step

Begin your career in agriculture, brewing, livestock, equestrian, horticulture, and related fields with one simple click.

You might also be interested in:

Program at a Glance

Length: 15 Weeks

Delivery Method: On-Campus

Program Intake: Various

Applications Open: October, February, June

Program Status: Open

For any inquiries about the program of study contact