Funeral director

Alternative titles for this job include Undertaker

Funeral directors make arrangements for burials and cremations, and provide support and advice for the bereaved.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a funeral director

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working your way up

Apprenticeship

You can start by taking an intermediate apprenticeship in funeral operations and services or as a funeral team member.

Once you have 12 months' industry experience, you can do a funeral director advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

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.

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about funeral service careers from the British Institute of Funeral Directors and the National Association of Funeral Directors.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's home or at a cemetery.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With larger organisations, you could be promoted to branch, area or regional management.

With experience and qualifications you could become a tutor and teach NAFD qualifications.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a funeral director right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy

  • Provider: CIVIL CEREMONIES LIMITED
  • Start date: 23 December 2019
  • Location: Creaton

Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy

  • Provider: CIVIL CEREMONIES LIMITED
  • Start date: 31 August 2020
  • Location: Creaton

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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