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Cemetery worker

Alternative titles for this job include Gravedigger

Cemetery workers prepare and maintain graves, memorial sites and gardens.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

weekends

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How to become

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How to become a cemetery worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could do an intermediate apprenticeship for horticulture and landscape operatives.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, 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 skills needed for this role. For example, you must be able to deal sensitively with bereaved people.

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

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

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 cemetery work from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You may need a driving licence for some jobs if working with heavy plant machinery.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you'll:

  • measure and mark out grave spaces
  • dig and prepare graves with a mechanical excavator or hand tools
  • maintain lawns, verges and plants around the cemetery
  • keep pathways clear, empty bins and remove litter
  • check headstones for damage and remove those that are unsafe
  • keep work records up to date

Working environment

You could work at a cemetery.

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

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team supervisor. You could also train to work in cemetery, crematorium and natural burial management.

You could use your skills to move into other careers like landscaping, gardening or horticulture.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Apprentice Gardener (Trinity Hall)

  • Wage: £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Cambridge

Grounds Maintenance Apprentice

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Stafford

Courses In England

RHS Practical Horticulture

  • Provider: HILLINGDON LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
  • Start date: 02 October 2021
  • Location: Hillingdon

Certificate in Practical Horticulture

  • Provider: ASKHAM BRYAN COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: YORK

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