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


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work


How to become a Cemetery worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do 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 could apply directly for a job as cemetery worker. Some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.

Experience in landscaping, gardening or use of a mechanical mini digger would be useful.

You'll also need to work sensitively around bereaved people and be prepared to take part in training once you start work.

More information

Further information

You can find more details about 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
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

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.

You could also join the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Horticulture and Landscape Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £187.50 Weekly
  • Location: Launceston PL15 7PD

Horticulture Landscaping Apprentice

  • Wage : £157.50 Weekly
  • Location: Liss GU33 6HQ

Courses In England

Horticulture Skills

  • Provider: Bedfordshire & Luton Education Business Partnership
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Dunstable

Horticulture & Gardening taster

  • Provider: Derbyshire County Council
  • Start date: 30 April 2019

Get help using this service

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