Cemetery Worker Careers

How to become Cemetery Worker

What does a Cemetery Worker do?

Cemetery workers, also known as gravediggers, tend grave and memorial sites and dig graves. They measure and mark out grave spaces before digging the grave with a mechanical excavator and hand held shovels. They then shore up the sides of the grave using timber and hydraulic equipment.

Cemetery workers also attend to the general maintenance and appearance of the graves and often carry out basic gardening duties around the cemetery.

What's the working environment like working as a Cemetery Worker?

Hours are mainly 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but some overtime may be required at weekends.

Cemetery workers work mainly outdoors, often in all kinds of weather. Cemetery work is physically demanding, involving lots of climbing and bending. Some aspects of the job may involve the use of heavy machinery and chemicals.

What does it take to become a Cemetery Worker?

As a cemetery worker you will need:

  • to be physically fit, for manual digging work
  • willingness to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • the ability to use (or learn to use) mechanical digging equipment
  • to be able to work alone and as part of a team
  • the ability to follow instructions and work within set regulations for burial
  • to be able to deal politely and tactfully with the public when necessary
  • practical and gardening skills.

Cemetery Worker Career Opportunities

Crematoria and cemeteries in Britain are operated by local authorities and private companies. The number of people employed in cemeteries is greater than at crematoria.

Cemetery workers who also undertake clerical duties can, after undertaking further training, progress into cemetery administration positions. There is little scope for promotion within practical cemetery work itself.

Experienced staff may be able to progress into crematorium/cemetery management.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Cemetery Worker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Vacancies are advertised in the local press, in jobcentres, in the bulletins issued by local councils and on www.lgjobs.com – the recruitment website for local government.

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM)


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