6346 Funeral directors and embalmers

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Lead statement

Funeral directors co-ordinate and arrange all aspects of funeral services. Embalmers prepare the remains of deceased persons for public visitation and burial. Funeral directors and embalmers are employed by funeral homes.

Example Titles

  • funeral director
  • embalmer
  • apprentice embalmer
  • mortician

Main duties

Funeral directors perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Consult with the family of the deceased regarding the nature of the funeral service, the disposition of the remains and funeral costs
  • Transfer, or arrange for the transfer of, the remains from the place of death to the funeral home
  • Inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible
  • Issue death notices to newspapers
  • Oversee the preparation of the remains, plan and schedule funeral services, co-ordinate burials and cremations and complete legal documents
  • Discuss and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients
  • Manage funeral home operations including hiring and directing staff, maintaining financial records, preparing accounts and ordering merchandise
  • Supervise embalmers, funeral home attendants and other funeral home staff
  • May perform same duties as embalmers.

Embalmers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Preserve, sanitize and prepare human remains for funeral services
  • Perform cosmetic and restorative work on human remains
  • Supervise funeral home attendants and other funeral home staff.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of a one- to two-year college program and a twelve- to twenty-month practical apprenticeship program during or following the educational program is usually required for funeral directors.
  • Completion of a two- to three-year college program and a twelve- to twenty-month practical apprenticeship program during or following the educational program or Completion of a three-year college program is required for embalmers.
  • Funeral directors require licensure in most provinces and territories.
  • Funeral directors may be required to be licensed embalmers depending on provincial requirements.
  • Embalmers require licensure in all provinces.

Exclusions

  • Bereavement counsellors (in 41534153 Family, marriage and other related counsellors)
  • Funeral home attendants (in 67426742 Other service support occupations, n.e.c.)
  • Funeral service general managers (in 00150015 Senior managers - trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.)