Cemetery worker

Alternative titles for this job include Gravedigger

Cemetery workers prepare and maintain graves and memorial sites.

Average salary (a year)

£11,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

weekends

How to become a cemetery worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could work towards this role by doing an intermediate apprenticeship for horticulture and landscape operatives.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You can apply directly for a job as a cemetery worker, if you've got some of the relevant skills needed for this role.

You don't need any particular qualifications, although some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.

You'll need to be able to deal sensitively with bereaved people. It can also be useful if you have experience in landscaping, gardening or use of a mechanical mini digger

Once you're working, your employer will arrange for you to follow the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme.

More information

Further information

You can find more details about working and training in cemetery work through the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You may need a driving licence.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • measuring and marking out grave spaces
  • using a mechanical excavator and hand tools to dig and prepare graves
  • keeping graves tidy
  • checking headstones for damage and removing those that are unsafe
  • maintaining lawns, verges and plants around the cemetery
  • working with other funeral and cemetery staff

Working environment

You could work at a cemetery.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to being a supervisor. If your job involves clerical duties, you could train for progression into cemetery administration.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Horticulture Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £151.13 Weekly
  • Location: Cramlington NE23 1WE

Apprentice Landscape Operative Level 2

  • Wage : £200.00 - £250.00 Weekly
  • Location: Crowborough TN6 1QU

Courses In England

RHS Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture - Course 1

  • Provider: WILTSHIRE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 14 February 2020
  • Location: Chippenham

DIPLOMA IN HORTICULTURE AND COUNTRYSIDE LEVEL 2

  • Provider: THE ISLE OF WIGHT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Newport

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