Funeral Directors and Embalmers

(NOC 6346)

in All Sales and Service

Funeral directors coordinate and arrange all aspects of funeral services. Embalmers prepare the remains of those who have died for public visitation and burial. Funeral directors and embalmers are work for funeral homes.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate -505 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 6125 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Funeral Directors and Embalmers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 71% of Funeral Directors and Embalmers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $40,326. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$18.75

Median

$28.85

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$39,532

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$18.36

Median

$22.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Funeral directors coordinate and arrange all aspects of funeral services. Embalmers prepare the remains of those who have died for public visitation and burial. Funeral directors and embalmers are work for funeral homes.

Job duties

Funeral directors:

  • 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, coordinate 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:

  • 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.

Sample job titles

  • assistant funeral director
  • embalmer
  • embalmer apprentice
  • funeral director
  • funeral home director
  • funeral services director
  • mortician
  • undertaker
  • undertaker assistant

Skills

Funeral directors and embalmers should be comfortable working with the deceased. You must be sympathetic, understanding, and able to comfort people in times of distress. Patience, emotional stability, and maturity are essential. You must show tact and consideration at all times, even if called at irregular hours.

Job requirements

  • 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.
  • A two- to three-year college program and a twelve- to twenty-month practical apprenticeship program during or following the educational program or 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 Nova Scotia.

Other considerations

Funeral directors sometimes work long, irregular hours. This may include many evenings and weekends. They work indoors and outdoors regardless of weather conditions.

By the numbers

Quick look

165

employed in 2016

79.4%

employed full-time

14.7%

self employed

32.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
67.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.3

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

56.4%

employed full-time

5.8%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

27.3%

Cape Breton

27.3%

Halifax

18.2%

Southern

15.2%

North Shore

12.1%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

45-54

21.0%

55-64

21.0%

35-44

15.0%

65+

12.0%

25-34

Compared to: All Sales and Service

30.0%

15-24

17.2%

45-54

17.2%

25-34

16.1%

55-64

13.8%

35-44

Top levels of education

69.7%

College Diploma

$35,485 median annual income
12.1%

Apprenticeship

N/A
12.1%

Bachelor

N/A
6.1%

Less than high school

N/A
6.1%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Sales and Service

39.8%

High school

$15,705 median annual income
19.7%

Less than high school

$9,866 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$20,644 median annual income
9.9%

Bachelor

$21,262 median annual income
8.0%

Apprenticeship

$21,234 median annual income

Education & training

Funeral Direction/Service

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students for professional licensure as funeral directors and as managers of funeral homes, cemeteries, and related services. They include courses in the sociology of death and dying, psychology of grief and grief counselling, history of funeral service, funeral direction, business law, funeral service law, funeral home management, accounting and related computer operations, and funeral services marketing and merchandising.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

Mortuary Science and Embalming

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students for licensure as embalmers and morticians. They include courses in pathogenic microbiology, systematic pathology, thanatochemistry, gross anatomy, clinical mortuary science, embalming, restorative art, applicable laws and regulations, and special services such as cremation and preparations required by specific religious communities.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Embalmer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors
620 Nine Mile Drive, Suite 203
Bedford, NS B4A 0H4
(902) 407-6001
(902) 407-6002
Funeral Director

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors
620 Nine Mile Drive, Suite 203
Bedford, NS B4A 0H4
(902) 407-6001
(902) 407-6002

Contacts

Funeral Service Association of Nova Scotia
Country Harbour, NS