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 deceased persons for public visitation and burial. Funeral directors and embalmers are employed by funeral homes.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • 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 Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 5260 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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 77% 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

$11.00

Minimum

$16.28

Median

$31.25

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$39,532

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$10.70

Minimum

$12.50

Median

$21.17

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 deceased persons for public visitation and burial. Funeral directors and embalmers are employed by funeral homes.

Job 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, 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 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.

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

  • 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 Nova Scotia.

Other considerations

None

By the numbers

Quick look

150

employed in 2016

87.1%

employed full-time

16.7%

self employed

33.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
66.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.3

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

6.2%

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%

Northern

12.1%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Other Services

What is the age of Employment?

26.1%

65+

17.4%

45-54

17.4%

55-64

17.4%

25-34

13.0%

35-44

8.7%

15-24

Compared to: All Sales and Service

35.7%

25-34

28.6%

35-44

21.4%

55-64

Top levels of education

66.7%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
12.1%

Trades certificate

N/A
9.1%

Bachelor's degree

N/A
6.1%

Less than high school

N/A
6.1%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Sales and Service

40.4%

High school

$12,982 median annual income
19.9%

College certificate or diploma

$19,514 median annual income
18.8%

Less than high school

$9,486 median annual income
10.0%

Bachelor's degree

$20,807 median annual income
8.0%

Trades certificate

$18,797 median annual income

Education & training

Funeral service and mortuary science - General

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals for careers in the funeral service industry and for licensure as funeral service directors or morticians. These programs include courses in the basic elements of mortuary science and the business, counselling, and operational aspects of funeral service.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive

Halifax, NS B3S 1B3

(877) 491-6774

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Embalmer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors
PO Box 373
Arichat, NS B0E 1A0
(902) 226-0770
(902) 226-3016
Funeral Director

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors
PO Box 373
Arichat, NS B0E 1A0
(902) 226-0770
(902) 226-3016

Contacts

Funeral Service Association of Nova Scotia
17545 Hwy 316
Country Harbour, NS B0H 1J0
Tel: (902) 783-2467

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.