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Embalmer

Embalmer

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.

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 people's feelings
  • 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
  • not be squeamish
  • 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.

Further Career Information

If you would like to know more about a career as an Embalmer related facts, statistics, articles and websites.

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