Funeral director

Alternative titles for this job include Undertaker

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

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£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


You could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in funeral operations and services.

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


You could start off in a support role and get experience to help you work your way into this job. You would usually need customer service experience, and good IT and administration skills.

While you work, you could take a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration, or a Certificate in Funeral Service.

You'll need to take on more responsibility before taking the Diploma in Funeral Directing or the Diploma in Funeral Service.

Volunteering and experience

You could get some office and customer service experience by volunteering.

More information

Further information

You can get more information on qualifications from the British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) and the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).

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
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

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.

Training 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

  • Start date: 18 March 2019
  • Location: Creaton

Sympathy & Funeral Design 6 Week Workshop

  • Provider: Capel Manor College
  • Start date: 21 February 2019
  • Location: Enfield

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