What does a Embalmer do?
Embalmers are responsible for preserving and disinfecting a body
until the cremation or burial is carried out. Their job is to try to
restore the physical appearance of a deceased person and eliminate
- as far as is possible - the distressing signs of death, so the body
can be viewed by the bereaved.
They may use wax and
plaster of Paris to ensure that the appearance of the body is as
natural as possible. They are also responsible for ensuring that there
is no health risk to anyone coming into contact with the body and as
such many wannabe embalmers choose to take courses in advance of starting in a
such a role.
What's the working environment like working as a Embalmer?
Embalmers' working hours are variable, and can include weekends.
Part-time work is possible.
A lot of time is spent standing
and the work involves lifting and bending. Embalmers may have to
travel to different funeral parlours locally and even nationally. Some
embalmers spend short periods away from home.
What does it take to become a Embalmer?
As an embalmer you should:
- be sensitive to other
- have a serious and dignified manner with a
smart, conventional appearance
- be able to pay close
attention to detail
- have an understanding and acceptance of
different religious beliefs and of people with no belief
- have an interest in science, particularly
chemistry and anatomy
- have manual dexterity for handling
tools and surgical instruments.
Embalmer Career Opportunities
Some embalmers work for one large organisation. Others are self-
employed and work for several funeral directors. Staff turnover is
low and this area of work may be hard to get into. In some firms
jobs may combine funeral directing and embalming. (See the
Funeral Director profile for information on this role). Opportunities
also exist with embalming companies, which do not direct funerals.
Some specialists work with disaster teams, embalming the bodies of
those killed in air crashes etc.
Prospects for promotion
only exist for those who are funeral directors as well as embalmers.