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Summary Report for:
39-4031.00 - Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors

Perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, aiding with the selection of officials for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

Sample of reported job titles: Funeral Arranger, Funeral Arrangment Director, Funeral Counselor, Funeral Director, Funeral Director / Embalmer, Funeral Location Manager, Funeral Pre-Need Consultant, Licensed Funeral Director, Mortician, Operations Manager

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Obtain information needed to complete legal documents, such as death certificates or burial permits.
  • Oversee the preparation and care of the remains of people who have died.
  • Consult with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details, such as obituary notice wording, casket selection, or plans for services.
  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate funerals, burials, or cremations, arranging details such as floral delivery or the time and place of services.
  • Perform embalming duties as necessary.
  • Arrange for clergy members to perform needed services.
  • Contact cemeteries to schedule the opening and closing of graves.
  • Provide information on funeral service options, products, or merchandise and maintain a casket display area.
  • Close caskets and lead funeral corteges to churches or burial sites.
  • Inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families or friends.
  • Discuss and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients.
  • Maintain financial records, order merchandise, or prepare accounts.
  • Provide or arrange transportation between sites for the remains, mourners, pallbearers, clergy, or flowers.
  • Plan placement of caskets at funeral sites or place or adjust lights, fixtures, or floral displays.
  • Direct preparations and shipment of bodies for out-of-state burial.
  • Manage funeral home operations, including the hiring, training, or supervision of embalmers, funeral attendants, or other staff.
  • Clean funeral home facilities and grounds.
  • Arrange for pallbearers or inform pallbearers or honorary groups of their duties.
  • Receive or usher people to their seats for services.
  • Participate in community activities for funeral home promotion or other purposes.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air brushes
  • Autopsy fluid collection vacuum aspirators or tubing — Nasal tube aspirators; Non-clogging post aspirators
  • Autopsy head rests — Head blocks
  • Autopsy knives or blades — Bistoury knives
  • Autopsy saws — Stryker saws
  • Bandage scissors or its supplies — Lister bandage scissors
  • Cadaver lifter or transfer devices — Casket lifters; Hydraulic body lifts; Mortuary lifts
  • Centrifugal pumps — Centrifugal force pumps
  • Chemical pumps — Embalming fluid pumps; Embalming machines
  • Desktop computers
  • Embalming cavity injectors — Embalming bulb syringes; Embalming syringes; Gravity injectors
  • Embalming injecting tubes — Curved arterial tubes; Hairpin injectors; Infant arterial tubes; Straight arterial tubes (see all 5 examples)
  • Embalming injector needles
  • Embalming vein drainage tubes — Axillary drain tubes; Femoral drain tubes; Iliac drain tubes; Jugular drain tubes (see all 5 examples)
  • Eyewashers or eye wash stations — Emergency eye wash stations
  • Finger ring removers — Ring cutters
  • Floor grade forceps or hemostats — Angular forceps; Curved Kelly forceps; Thumb forceps; Tube occluding forceps (see all 7 examples)
  • Footwear covers — Protective shoe covers
  • Goggles — Safety goggles
  • Hair care supplies — Barber scissors
  • Hypodermic needle — Hypodermic needles
  • Makeup kits — Blending brushes; Cosmetic brushes; Stippling brushes; Tinting brushes (see all 7 examples)
  • Manicure implements — Cuticle scissors
  • Medical body bag — Body bags
  • Medical exam or non surgical procedure gloves — Protective medical gloves
  • Medical staff isolation or surgical masks — Protective medical face masks
  • Morgue cabinet refrigerators — Refrigerated body storage cabinets
  • Mortuary aspirators — Electric mortuary aspirators; Hydro-electric aspirators
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories — Arm and hand positioners; Body positioners; Head rests; Lower body positioners (see all 5 examples)
  • Ophthalmic surgical knives or blades or scissors or accessories — Eye suture scissors
  • Paint sprayers
  • Personal computers
  • Postmortem incision clips — Calvarium clamps
  • Postmortem needles — Aneurysm needles
  • Protective coveralls — Safety coveralls
  • Safety hoods — Protective hoods
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Steam autoclaves; Trocar sterilizers
  • Surgical needle holders for general use — Suture needle holders
  • Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories — Surgical scalpels
  • Surgical scissors — Iris scissors; Mayo scissors; Straight surgical scissors
  • Surgical shave kits or prep razors or clippers — Surgical razors
  • Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Adult trocars; Infant trocars
  • Suture needles — Curved suture needles

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Custom Data Systems Sterling Management Software; FPA Software MACCS; HMIS Advantage; Twin Tier Technologies MIMS (see all 5 examples)
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Office
  • Project management software — FuneralKiosk
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Skills

  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

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Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

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Work Activities

  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Gather information in order to provide services to clients.
  • Direct funeral or mortuary activities.
  • Discuss service options or needs with clients.
  • Embalm corpses.
  • Arrange facility schedules.
  • Handle caskets.
  • Provide counsel, comfort, or encouragement to individuals or families.
  • Maintain financial or account records.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Provide escort or transportation.
  • Arrange items for use or display.
  • Clean work areas or facilities.
  • Perform human resources activities.
  • Supervise service workers.
  • Train service staff.
  • Usher patrons to seats or exits.
  • Promote products, services, or programs.

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 96% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Contact With Others — 88% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 64% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 69% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 57% responded “Very important results.”
  • Time Pressure — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 51% responded “Very important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 63% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 43% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 43% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 78% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 41% responded “Very serious.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 67% responded “About half the time.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
51   Associate's degree
21   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help
17   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: ESC

  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $23.31 hourly, $48,490 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 31,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 8,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Funeral service workers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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