Funeral directors (sometimes called Undertakers) make arrangements for burials and cremations, and provide support and advice for the bereaved.
You can start by taking an intermediate apprenticeship as a funeral team member.
Once you have 12 months’ industry experience, you can do a funeral director advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship#
You could start in a support role and get experience as you learn on the job. You would usually need a customer service background, and good IT and administration skills.
You could take a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration, or a Certificate in Funeral Service, while you work.
As you take on more responsibilities, you could do the Diploma in Funeral Directing or the Diploma in Funeral Service.
You’ll need the following skills:
- customer service skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- business management skills
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- taking details from relatives or friends of the deceased
- arranging for transfer of the body to the place of rest before the funeral
- meeting with relatives or friends to give advice and arrange details of the funeral
- arranging the date and time of the funeral with the church, cemetery or crematorium
- organising flowers, transport and death notices
- advising on legal requirements and helping clients complete paperwork
- preparing the body for burial or cremation
- arranging visits to the place of rest
- dealing with floral tributes and charitable donations
- travelling in the hearse at the time of the funeral
You’ll also be:
- making sure that everything runs smoothly during the ceremony
- advising on types of memorials, like headstones
The following salaries are a guide only:
- Starter: £16,000
- Experienced: £30,000
- You will sometimes need to work weekends, bank holidays and unsocial hours.
You could work at a funeral home, at a cemetery, in an office or at a client’s home.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear a uniform.