The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.
Sample of reported job titles:
Apprentice Embalmer, Assistant Manager/Embalmer, Associate Embalmer/Funeral Director, Chief Embalmer, Embalmer, Embalmer/Funeral Director, Funeral Director/Embalmer, Funeral Service Licensee, Licensed Embalmer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Dress bodies and place them in caskets.
- Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
- Close incisions, using needles and sutures.
- Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs.
- Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers.
- Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
- Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.
- Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.
- Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
- Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump.
- Maintain records, such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed.
- Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
- Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home.
- Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
- Perform the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities.
- Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
- Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
- Conduct interviews to arrange for the preparation of obituary notices, to assist with the selection of caskets or urns, and to determine the location and time of burials or cremations.
- Arrange funeral home equipment and perform general maintenance.
- Perform special procedures necessary for remains that are to be transported to other states or overseas, or where death was caused by infectious disease.
- Arrange for transporting the deceased to another state for interment.
- Direct casket and floral display placement and arrange guest seating.
- Supervise funeral attendants and other funeral home staff.
- Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
- Assist coroners at death scenes or at autopsies, file police reports, and testify at inquests or in court, if employed by a coroner.
- Data base user interface and query software — Custom Data Systems Sterling Management Software; FPA Software MACCS; HMIS Advantage; Twin Tier Technologies MIMS (see all 5 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Detailed Work Activities
- Embalm corpses.
- Apply cleansing or conditioning agents to client hair, scalp, or skin.
- Apply makeup to alter or enhance appearance.
- Maintain client information or service records.
- Direct funeral or mortuary activities.
- Handle caskets.
- Arrange items for use or display.
- Perform basic equipment maintenance.
- Supervise service workers.
- Contact With Others — 92% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 60% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 64% responded “Very important results.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 53% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 42% responded “High responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Letters and Memos — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 50% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Very important.”
- Electronic Mail — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 58% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 32% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 27% responded “More than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to|
Interest code: RCI
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- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2019)||$22.96 hourly, $47,760 annual|
|Employment (2019)||3,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||
Decline (-1% or lower)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||500|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
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