How To Get A Job At A Funeral Home (2023)

Working in a funeral home can be a profoundly meaningful and rewarding career path for those who are compassionate, empathetic, and interested in providing support during times of loss. Whether you're looking for a starting point in the funeral industry or seeking a new opportunity within this unique field, knowing how to secure a job at a funeral home is essential. This article aims to guide individuals interested in pursuing a career in the funeral industry, offering foundational insights, compensation information, and practical tips on how to navigate the process of finding and landing a job in a funeral home.

What benefits does working at a funeral job have?

Working in a funeral job can offer several benefits, both personal and professional. Here are some advantages associated with working in the funeral industry:

  • Meaningful and rewarding work: Funeral professionals have the opportunity to provide comfort, support, and guidance to grieving families during their most challenging times. Assisting families in honoring and celebrating the lives of their loved ones can be deeply fulfilling and meaningful work.
  • Making a difference: Working in the funeral industry allows individuals to make a positive impact on people's lives by providing essential services and support during times of loss and grief. Being able to help families navigate the funeral process and find closure can be immensely rewarding.
  • Job stability and demand: The need for funeral services remains constant, regardless of economic conditions. This stability can provide job security and a steady career path for individuals working in the industry.
  • Diverse career paths: The funeral industry offers a variety of career paths and opportunities for professional growth. From funeral directors and embalmers to grief counselors and funeral home managers, there are diverse roles that cater to different skills, interests, and areas of expertise.
  • Strong community connections: Funeral homes often become integral parts of their communities. Funeral professionals have the opportunity to build strong connections with individuals and families they serve, as well as with other professionals in related fields such as clergy members and grief support networks.
  • Potential for entrepreneurship: For those interested in owning their own funeral business, the industry offers opportunities for entrepreneurship and owning a small business. Owning a funeral home allows individuals to have more control over their work environment and service offerings.

While the funeral industry presents its unique challenges, many individuals find the rewards and fulfillment of helping others through difficult times to be one of the most significant benefits of working in the field.

Downsides of jobs in a funeral home

While working in a funeral home can be fulfilling and meaningful for many people, there are some potential downsides to consider. Here are a few common challenges associated with jobs in a funeral home:

  • Emotional and psychological impact: Dealing with death and grieving families on a daily basis can take a toll on one's emotional well-being. Funeral home workers may encounter distressing and emotionally challenging situations, which can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue, and increased emotional stress.
  • Irregular and/or long hours: Funeral home workers often need to be available outside regular working hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Funerals and services can occur at any time, requiring employees to be on call and work irregular schedules. This can disrupt work-life balance and make it challenging to plan personal activities.
  • Exposure to grief and loss: Funeral home workers are consistently exposed to grief and loss, which can have an emotional impact. Hearing and witnessing the sorrow of grieving families can be emotionally challenging, and it requires individuals to have strong emotional resilience and coping strategies to manage their own emotions while providing support.
  • Unpredictability and high-stress situations: Funeral home workers must be prepared to handle unexpected events and challenging circumstances. They need to be adaptable, remain calm under pressure, and deal with complex logistical and emotional situations effectively.
  • Professional and personal boundaries: Funeral home workers must maintain professional boundaries while offering support and care to grieving families. Balancing empathy and compassion with the need to maintain professional distance can be challenging.

Proper self-care, support systems, and coping strategies can help mitigate some of these challenges.

Salaries at a funeral home

Funeral home job salaries will vary depending on your location, the funeral home you’re looking at working with, the job responsibilities, the job title, and some other factors. Here’s a rough estimate on what to expect for various roles at a funeral home:

Salary for a Funeral Home Director: The salary of a funeral home director can range widely depending on factors such as location and experience. Generally, funeral directors in the United States can earn between $40,000 and $72,000 per year. However, experienced and highly skilled funeral directors in larger metropolitan areas may earn even higher salaries.

Salary for an Embalmer: An embalmer's salary can also vary based on experience and location. Typically, embalmers in the United States earn between $25,000 and $78,000 per year. Highly experienced embalmers or those working in urban areas may command higher salaries.

Funeral Service Assistant/Funeral Attendant Salary: The funeral service assistant salary and and funeral attendant salary are often less than the other positions at a funeral home, as they are typically entry-level roles in the funeral industry. Salaries for these positions typically range from around $20,000 to $45,000 per year. However, it's important to note that these figures can vary depending on the location and responsibilities involved.

Funeral Home Owner Salary: The salary of a funeral home owner can be more challenging to estimate as it depends on various factors, including the success and profitability of the business. Generally, funeral home owners can earn a significant income. However, it is important to consider that their earnings may also be impacted by factors such as business expenses, investments, and fluctuations in the industry. Owners may earn six-figure salaries or more, but it is highly variable.

It’s important to remember that while we can provide you with information about the typical or average funeral home director, assistant, embalmer, or owner salaries – these numbers are just estimates. You’ll need to contact the company you’re looking to work for directly to get a better idea of their compensation offerings.

Jobs at a funeral home

Every funeral home has its own staffing needs and limitations, so this list isn't concrete for every funeral home that you might encounter. However, it can help you to understand that there are many different roles at a funeral home that aren’t just the funeral director or embalmer! Knowing the different roles may help you broaden your search and find something you weren’t expecting to be interested in. Here's a list of different jobs in a funeral home along with brief descriptions:

  • Funeral Director/Mortician: A funeral director (also known as a mortician) is responsible for overseeing funeral arrangements, coordinating with the family, and ensuring all legal requirements are met. They guide and support families through the funeral planning process.
  • Embalmer: An embalmer prepares and preserves the deceased through embalming techniques. They handle tasks like sanitizing, dressing, and applying cosmetics to the deceased's body.
  • Funeral Assistant: Funeral assistants provide support during funeral services and visitations. They assist with setting up and arranging the viewing area, managing guest flow, and offering general assistance to grieving families.
  • Funeral Service Assistant: Similar to funeral assistants, funeral service assistants aid in organizing and executing funeral services. They may help with transporting the deceased, arranging floral displays, and assisting mourners during services.
  • Funeral Home Manager: A funeral home manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the funeral home. They handle administrative tasks, manage staff, maintain facilities, and ensure that services are delivered smoothly.
  • Grief Counselor: A grief counselor provides emotional support and counseling to grieving individuals and families. They help clients navigate the grieving process and cope with their loss.
  • Pre-Need Counselor: Pre-need counselors work with individuals who wish to pre-plan their own funerals. They discuss options, explain services, and assist in arranging pre-funded funeral plans.
  • Crematory Operator: Crematory operators operate and maintain cremation equipment. They handle the process of cremation and ensure that it is carried out with care and respect.
  • Office Administrator: Office administrators handle various administrative tasks in a funeral home. They manage paperwork, answer phone calls, schedule appointments, and handle financial transactions.
  • Mortuary Transporter: Mortuary transporters are responsible for transporting deceased individuals from the place of death to the funeral home. They ensure the proper handling and transportation of the deceased.

Each of these roles plays a vital part in the functioning of a funeral home, collectively working to provide compassionate and professional services to families in their time of need. It’s also possible that one individual may inhabit many of these roles at a funeral home, depending on the size of the business.

Where can I search for funeral home jobs near me?

To search for funeral home jobs near your location, you can try the following methods:

  • Online job boards: Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn have extensive job listings where you can search for funeral home jobs. Use keywords like "funeral home," "funeral director," or "funeral service" along with your location to narrow down the search results.
  • General internet search: Simply typing in “jobs at funeral homes near me” into Google can sometimes provide you with unexpected great results and listings on sites you hadn’t previously considered.
  • Funeral home websites: Visit the websites of local funeral homes in your area. They often have a "Careers" or "Join Our Team" section where they post job openings. Check their websites directly for any available positions and application instructions.
  • Local classifieds: Check the classified ads section of local newspapers or community publications. Some funeral homes may still advertise job openings through traditional print media.
  • Networking: Reach out to people already working in the funeral industry or those who have connections to funeral homes. They might be aware of job opportunities or can provide recommendations.
  • Professional associations: Explore professional associations like the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) or state-specific funeral director associations. They may have job boards or resources available for members to find employment opportunities.
  • Career fairs: Attend career fairs or job expos that feature a variety of industries, as funeral homes sometimes participate in such events to recruit new talent.

If you’d really like to keep it old school, you can even try visiting local funeral homes and simply ask if they’re hiring.

Browse funeral homes

Can you get funeral home jobs with no experience?

Yes, it is possible to get funeral home jobs with no prior experience. The funeral industry recognizes that individuals may enter the field without prior specific experience, and there are entry-level positions available that provide training and opportunities for professional growth. While you may not be able to become a funeral home manager or director without any experience, you can certainly apply to jobs in the industry to gain some experience.

Pursuing a career in the funeral industry offers a unique opportunity to make a profound impact on individuals and communities during their most vulnerable moments. By following the information provided and continuously seeking opportunities for growth and learning, you can embark on a rewarding journey in the funeral industry, playing a vital role in providing comfort, support, and solace to those in need.

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The Funeral Industry

Last updated May 22, 2023

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