Funeral Director

Baker

Coffin Maker
Crematorium Worker

Embalmer
Funeral Attendant

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

Service or Persuading Practical Skill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3
Skill Level 4

Funeral directors help people to make funeral arrangements upon the death of a loved one. They arrange for the collection of the deceased from the hospital, mortuary or place of death and complete necessary paperwork to register the death. Funeral directors interview families to discuss matters such FutureGrowthModerate the type of coffin, floral arrangements, type of service, after-service catering and all other aspects of the funeral and reception. In some cases, they may also assist in dressing and preparing the body for viewings and open casket services. Funeral directors may also be responsible for managing the actual business, which includes organising finances, marketing, and hiring and training staff.

A funeral director, also known as a mortician or undertaker, is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the planning and arrangement of the actual funeral ceremony. Funeral directors may at times be asked to perform tasks such as dressing (in garments usually suitable for daily wear), casketing (placing the human body in the container), and cossetting (applying any sort of cosmetic or substance to the viewable areas of the person for the purpose of enhancing appearances). (Source: Wikipedia)

A funeral director coordinates and supervises funeral workers, including embalmers and drivers. They also provide assistance and support for the family through all aspects of the funeral procedure, including organising documentation, caskets and decorations, as well as facilitating the ceremony itself.

ANZSCO description: Plans and coordinates arrangements for funerals according to the wishes of the deceased or their relatives. Registration or licensing may be required.

Alternative names: Mortician, Undertaker

with flowerKnowledge, skills and attributes

A funeral director needs:

  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • excellent organisational skills

  • to be mature and responsible

  • good time management skills

  • a high level of empathy

  • to have a neat and tidy appearance.

Duties and Tasks

  • interviewing families and associates of the deceased to assist with funeral arrangements such as the selection of coffin, type of service and publication of death notices

  • advising on funeral costs and welfare provisions

  • collecting bodies from mortuaries

  • ensuring death certificates have been issued, burial and cremation certificates processed and that other legal requirements are met

  • preparing bodies for viewing and burial by washing, draining body fluids, applying padding and cosmetics, dressing bodies and placing them in coffins

  • liaising with clergy and cemetery and crematorium staff

  • coordinating the movement of coffins and funeral cars, arranging floral displays and collecting attendance and tribute cards

  • arranging the placement of coffins at funeral sites, and placing and adjusting floral displays and lighting

  • keeping records and accounts of transactions and services performed

  • may arrange the construction of memorials and the disposal of ashes

Working conditions

Funeral directors work in mortuaries, and the offices and workshops attached to funeral homes. They are also expected to travel to hospitals, private residences, places of worship, cemeteries and crematoriums. They work closely with people from a wide variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, who are often experiencing an emotionally difficult or traumatic time. Funeral directors must understand and respect the different ways in which people deal with death and the loss of a loved one, offering emotional support where required, while maintaining a professional manner. Funeral directors generally work irregular hours, which may include working nights, weekends and public holidays. They are often on call and must be available to clients. At larger funeral homes the on-call roster may be rotated between several funeral directors.

Tools and technologies

Funeral directors arrange the presentation of various elements of a funeral including flowers, coffins/caskets, photographs and monuments. They may also drive a hearse or limousine to transport the deceased and close family and friends to a funeral service. They will also use general office equipment, such as computers and telephones, for a range of activities, including writing notices for newspaper publication and managing business activities. Funeral directors need to maintain a well-groomed appearance and will generally be required to wear formal business attire.


Education and training/entrance requirements

Funeral Directors usually need an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience

 

Did You Know?

Pyramids
Meroe Pyramids in Sudan

Nubian pyramids are pyramids that were built by the rulers of the ancient Kushite kingdoms. The Kushites built these pyramids some 800 years after the pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built. They are thought to have similar workmanship of the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, but on a much smaller scale.

The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia, which lies within present day Sudan, was home to three Kushite kingdoms during antiquity. The first had its capital at Kerma (2600–1520 BC). The second was centered on Napata (1000–300 BC). Finally, the last kingdom was centered on Meroë (300 BC–AD 300).


Approximately 255 pyramids were eventually constructed at three sites in Nubia over a period of a few hundred years to serve as tombs for the kings and queens of Napata and Meroë. The first of these was built at the site of el-Kurru, including the tombs of King Kashta and his son Piye (Piankhi), together with Piye's successors Shabaka, Shabataka, and Tanwetamani.

 Fourteen pyramids were constructed for their queens, several of whom were renowned warrior queens. This can be compared to approximately 120 much larger pyramids that were constructed in Ancient Egypt over a period of 3000 years.
(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Funeral Attendant
Baker

Service or PersuadingPractical Skill Level 1Skill Level 2

Funeral attendants assist with the handling of people who have died, the preparation for funerals, the transportation of the deceased, placement of coffins, assisting at the funeral ceremony and the FutureGrowthModerate maintenance of funeral premises.

Comforting

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • enjoy helping people

  • neat personal appearance

  • tactful and sympathetic

  • good communication skills

  • emotional maturity

  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job

  • good driving record

  • good organisational skills.

 

Duties and Tasks

Funeral attendants may perform the following tasks:

  • collect the body from the hospital, morgue or place of death

  • assist with preparing the body and placing it in the coffin

  • escort mourners to funeral chapels

  • arrange burial equipment such as mats and lowering straps

  • distribute and collect attendance and tribute cards

  • drive passenger vehicles, mortuary vans and hearses

  • clean funeral homes, chapels and hearses

  • arrange floral tributes

  • assist as coffin or casket bearers.


Working conditions

The work of funeral attendants may be demanding and sometimes stressful. They are often required to work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, and are often required to be on call to meet their clients' needs. In small companies, one person may perform a variety of tasks, which requires a broad range of skills and a flexible attitude.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a funeral attendant without any formal qualifications, and get training on the job.

​You may improve your job prospects if you complete a traineeship in funeral services. The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

 

Coffin in state

Embalmer
Baker

Practical Analytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2


Embalmers preserve, sanitise and prepare the bodies of deceased people for presentation and burial. Usually a member of a funeral firm, an embalmer is responsible for preserving the  appearance of the person from the time of death until the funeral. This work involves washing and disinfecting the body, FutureGrowthModerate replacing bodily fluids and gases with preservatives, washing and arranging hair, and if required applying cosmetics. Depending on the case, the embalmer may be required to reconstruct the appearance of the person. In some instances, embalming work is part of the work of the funeral director. Embalmers are also expected to help keep the mortuary clean, adhere to strict health and safety regulations and complete any necessary paperwork.

ANZSCO description: Embalmers preserve, sanitise and prepare the bodies of deceased people for presentation and burial.


Embalmer
Mr Hockin with his embalming make-up kit used for reconstructions
(Source: ABC)


Knowledge, skills and attributes

An embalmer needs:
* to be comfortable working closely with deceased persons
* to be sensitive to people's feelings
* an ability to provide support to people experiencing grief and loss
* good hand-eye coordination
* an interest in chemistry and anatomy
* physical strength and stamina to lift bodies and stand for long periods.


Working conditions
 
Embalmers work in mortuaries in hospitals, funeral parlours and universities. These workers come into direct contact with deceased persons and are exposed to bodily fluids and infectious diseases. Embalmers tend to work normal business hours but can also be expected to be on-call as embalming work needs to be carried out soon after death. Embalmers carry out most of their work standing up.


Tools and technologies

Embalmers work with chemicals such as formaldehyde, which is used to preserve and disinfect the body. These workers sometimes use injection machines to pump chemicals through the body to replace blood and interstitial fluids. Embalmers also use surgical instruments to carry out reconstructive work. These workers need to wear protective clothing such as gloves, chemical-resistant boots and masks to protect themselves from body fluids and chemicals.

Education and training/entrance requirements

It is possible to work as an embalmer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.

You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a traineeship in funeral services (embalmer). The course usually takes 24 months to complete.

Embalmer

 

 

Coffin Maker
Baker

Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 2Skill Level 3

 

Future Growth StaticCoffin makers make coffins or caskets using solid timber, flat-panel or timber-based products and a wide range of laminates and other materials.

 

Specialisations: Casket Liner or Casket Upholsterer

Casket Liner – Casket upholsterer: Pads and lines inside of bodies and tops of caskets: Spreads layer of excelsior evenly over bottom of casket and spreads layer of cotton over excelsior. Cuts cloth from supply roll, using hand shears, and tacks or staples cloth over bottom padding. Pads and covers sides and ends of casket with cotton and crepe. Staples or tacks lining over padding. Tacks or staples prepared lining into top panel or cuts or drapes lining material into top, depending on casket style. May also attach handles and supporting hardware. May also fit and glue fabric to inside of casket cover body to fashion designs onto head panels.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes   

A cabinetmaker or coffinmaker needs:

  • to be skilled in practical and manual activities

  • to be good at basic mathematical calculations

  • excellent hand-eye coordination

  • to have a keen eye for detail and accurate in their work

  • no serious breathing problems or allergies to dust

  • creative ability.

 

 

Coffin Maker   
John Peddar hopes to have found an occupation for life
(Source: ABC News)     

Duties and Tasks

  • discusses requirements with dead person’s family and friends

  • designs the coffin or casket

  • quotes

  • orders the right materials: wood, fabric, screws, glue, paint etc

  • saws, glues, sands, paints the coffin

  • invoices the client

  • works to deadlines

  • Assembles wooden caskets from preformed panels and moldings and attaches supplemental hardware: Nails and glues side, end, and bottom sections together to form casket body.

  • Assembles preformed sections of top frame, using hammer, glue, clamping nails, and bar clamps.

  • Locates and marks midpoint of top frame, using ruler and pencil.

  • Glues and nails panelboard and brace block between sides at midpoint for reinforcement.

  • Positions template over top edge of body or measures body with ruler to locate position of hinges and catches, and recesses positions, using hammer and chisel or portable router.

  • Drills holes at specified locations, using portable power drill.

  • Installs hardware, such as corners, handles, hinges, and catches, using hand or power screwdriver.

  • Sands and planes edges between body, top frame, and top panel to form tight joint, using planer or portable sander.

  • Attaches top panel to top frame, using hand or powered screwdriver.

  • Measures, cuts, and attaches ornamental molding or beading to casket body, using saw, hammer, miter box, and ruler.

  • Sets nailheads, using hammer and nail set.

  • Fills cracks and nail holes with wood filler or plaster of paris by hand or with putty knife.

  • Smooths joints and edges, using sandpaper and handtools.

  • May cut or trim wood to specified size for use in assembly of casket, using cutoff saw.

  • May be designated according to part of casket assembled as Body Maker; Cap Maker; Molding Fitter; Panel Fitter; Top-Frame Fitter; Top-Frame Maker.

Did You Know?

The difference between a coffin and casket is:

Coffin: usually a shaped box that is narrower one end than the other: 6 – 8 sides

Casket: usually a simple box shaped with 4 sides

Coffin Makers may specialise in simple, low cost coffins and caskets while others may make extremely elaborate and expensive ones. The expensive ones may be covered in carvings, jewels and other decorations and lined with very expensive silks and velvets.

Some Coffin Makers mass produce coffins for funeral homes while others specialise in one-of-a-kind coffins or caskets.

(Source: CCareerPlanet)


Coffin workshop

(Source: ABC News)     

A simple, unlacquered coffin can be made within a day, while a stained casket takes a little longer to cure.

Mr Callahan said that back when he started in the job, 70 per cent of coffins were a standard size.

"There's a six-foot coffin which traditionally was a coffin for a man and there's a five-foot-nine coffin which is traditionally a coffin for a woman and these were 20 inches wide and 12 inches deep," he said.

Increasingly, though, the growing girth and height of Australians means those dimensions would make eternity a tight fit.
The company now builds an oversized range — longer, deeper and wider than the standard.

Mr Callahan said the funeral director would give the exact measurements of the deceased for a coffin to be made.

Mr Callahan said about 70 per cent of people now chose cremation rather than burial, shrinking the market for expensive, top-of-the-line coffins and caskets.
But while people are opting for lower and middle-range products, they are also demanding much more individuality.
"That can be in the way of photos, or colours or markings or decorations [on coffins]," he said.

We are basically here to serve the funeral director and the customer.
(Source: ABC News)     

 

Working conditions

Cabinetmakers or Coffinmakers work in large factories or small workshops that are frequently noisy and dusty. They may use glues, and paints and varnishes, which can release harsh fumes. They are almost always standing, and often have to undertake heavy lifting. If they are self-employed or work for a small business that does commission work, coffinmakers will often deal with funeral directors.

Tools and technologies

Cabinetmakers or Coffinmakers use hand and power tools, but may also use complex computerised equipment that are part or wholly automated. They also use very precise measuring equipment. Due to the nature of their working conditions, they often need to wear protective shoes, earmuffs, goggles and masks.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a coffinmaker or cabinetmaker, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The cabinetmaker apprenticeship takes 42 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship. ​

 

 

Crematorium & Cemetery Worker
Baker

 

Service or PersuadingClerical or OrganisingSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

 

Crematorium workers ensure that the cremation process runs smoothly and effectively. Future Growth StrongCrematorium technicians and cemetery workers carry out the practical work involved in cremating and burying the dead, and maintaining crematoria and cemetery grounds.

Employees work in a crematorium where they schedule and perform cremations. They organise the collection or memorialisation of cremated remains, train others, and undertake administrative functions.

A crematory operator provides cremation services for a funeral home or crematorium. The duties of a crematory operator are to ensure the body is treated with respect, correctly labeled and placed into the crematory machine. Some locations allow family members to witness the cremation, so a crematory operator must have the skills needed to perform their task with sensitivity and deference to the family.

Gravediggers, also known as cemetery workers or burial ground custodians, dig graves in cemeteries for burials. Gravediggers work in quiet, landscaped cemeteries. Their main job is digging the graves where coffins will be placed. They no longer dig graves with shovels and axes. Now, most use excavation equipment. Digging by hand can take 8 hours, while using a backhoe takes about 30 minutes.

The soil determines how much time it takes, how easy the process is, and how deep the grave must be. Most people think that all graves are 6 feet deep, but modern caskets allow graves to be a bit less. Technology has made this career much more efficient and safer because there is no longer a fear of collapsing graves. Every plot in the cemetery is planned to maximize the amount of gravesites available. Sometimes graves are only five inches away from the neighboring grave, which means a gravedigger must be a very accurate digger so he won’t disturb the next grave.

Digging Graves
(Source: Irish News April 2020)

Digging big holes is challenging and gravediggers must watch out for rocks, roots, wet soil, and frozen ground. In some colder climates, burials may be delayed until the spring thaw unless the gravedigger has access to a frost burner that makes it easier to dig through frozen soil.

Gravediggers are given coffin sizes and funeral times the day before a burial. Digging must be completed at least an hour before the ceremony. The dirt is loaded into a truck and removed from the scene. After mourners leave, the gravedigger returns with the truck, fills in the hole, and prepares it as a lawn site or monument site.
Gravedigging is more than digging holes and filling them back in. When not digging graves, some gravediggers stay busy laying sod, mowing grass, setting grave markers, blowing leaves, pruning plants, and doing other jobs that keep the cemetery looking pristine.

Alternative Names: Crematorium Technicians; Crematory Operator; Cemetery Worker; Grave Digger; Burial Ground Custodians;

Knowledge, skills and attributes   

To become a crematorium worker, you would need:

  • a polite, respectful and empathetic manner

  • to be tactful and sensitive to people's feelings about death and bereavement.

  • maturity and a responsible attitude

  • a high level of communication skills

  • to be able to follow instructions and procedures.

  • administrative and time management skills

  • the ability to work unsupervised

  • a good level of fitness.

  • to understand health and safety risks

  • to have some knowledge of gardening.        

 

QT News
(Source: QT News 5 February 2017)

 

Duties and Tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • cleaning and preparing the chapel before the service

  • schedule crematory activities  

  • order urns and other supplies

  • making sure cremation equipment is operating safely

  • receiving coffins and carrying out identification checks

  • meeting mourners as they arrive and escorting them into the chapel

  • meeting the funeral cortege and escorting the mourners into and out of the chapel.

  • Dealing with any enquiries from members of the funeral party, and may be responsible for playing recorded music during the funeral service.

  • making sure that legislation and regulations are followed: get permits, authorisations and permissions necessary to cremate a body

  • operating cremation equipment

  • making sure cremated remains are identified, stored and disposed of appropriately

  • accompanying visitors to existing memorials

  • keeping records
  • return remains to the person's family

Cemetery worker

  • Measure and mark out grave spaces.
  • Use mechanical excavators or hand tools to dig graves.
  • Use timbers and special hydraulic equipment to shore up the sides of graves safely.
  • Ensure there is safe access to the graveside - removing anything that could be dangerous to mourners and installing secure platforms around the edge of the grave.
  • Fill in the grave after the service, taking care not to damage the coffin.
  • Place flowers and tributes, being careful not to damage them.
  • Move memorials and headstones, inspecting them for damage and making safe any that are dangerous.
  • Maintain equipment, such as digging machines, water pumps, hydraulic and timber shoring equipment.
  • Maintain the grounds, including grass cutting, hedge trimming, tree works, seasonal bedding planting, shrub maintenance, litter picking and sweeping roads and paths.

Britain's Grave Digger Of The Year Finds Job Comforting
https://youtu.be/ZXbZBEBcv2k



Working conditions

As a crematorium worker you would work a standard number of hours per week, which may include Saturdays. You would spend most of your time in the chapel or working with the cremation machinery. Crematorium technicians spend most of the time indoors and are required to stand for long periods. They may also need to do some outdoor work. They need to be smartly dressed when working in public areas. Clothing is often provided.Cemetery workers usually work from Monday to Friday, but hours of work can vary. Weekend work may sometimes be necessary. Cemetery workers mainly work outdoors in all kinds of weather. The work is very physical and sometimes dirty, with lots of climbing and bending. The job might also involve using heavy machinery and chemicals. They may need to wear protective clothing for most of their duties.

Education and training/entrance requirements

No formal qualifications are required to become a crematorium worker. However, some experience in working with the public, and basic administrative or computer skills would be useful. You could also become a crematorium worker through completion of a Certificate in Cemetery and Crematorium Operations, which is part of the national Funeral Services Training Package.

 

Qualifications
(Source: AAPathways)

Opportunities

Cremation is a cheaper alternative to burial, and there has been a large increase in cremations in recent years, due both to the pressures on the availability of land for burials, and the cheaper cost of cremation. Additionally, the number of deaths in Australia is expected to increase steadily over the next couple of decades, directly related to the ageing population.

 

 

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmaker
Florist

Florist
Gardener

Gardener
Minister of Religion

Minister of Religion
Upholsterer

Upholsterer
WHS Officer

WHS Officer
   

Funeral Director

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Fashion Designer

Pharmacist

Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner

Confectioner

Dressmaker

Pastrycook

Clothing Patternmaker

Entrepreneur

Food Process Worker

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Brewer

Textile Designer

Abattoir Worker

Auctioneer

Primary Products Inspector

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Leather Goods Maker

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer

Makeup Artist

Visual Merchandiser

Screen Printer

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Fashion Designer

Pharmacist

Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner

&nbs Confectioner

Funeral Director

Dressmaker

Pastrycook

Clothing Patternmaker

Entrepreneur

Food Process Worker

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Brewer

Textile Designer

Abattoir Worker

Auctioneer

Primary Products Inspector

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Leather Goods Maker

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer

Makeup Artist

Visual Merchandiser

Screen Printer

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Fashion Designer

Pharmacist

Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner

 Confectioner

Funeral Director

Dressmaker

Pastrycook

Clothing Patternmaker

Entrepreneur

Food Process Worker

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Brewer

Textile Designer

Abattoir Worker

Auctioneer

Primary Products Inspector

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Leather Goods Maker

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer

Makeup Artist

Visual Merchandiser

Screen Printer

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker