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All About Embalmers

Job Description: Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.

Life As an Embalmer: What Do They Do?

  • Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.
  • Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
  • Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
  • Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home.
  • Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
  • Maintain records, such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed.

What an Embalmer Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Embalmers say are important on the job.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Funeral Director/Embalmer
  • Preparation Room Manager
  • Anatomical Embalmer
  • Apprentice Embalmer
  • Supervisor and Licensed Embalmer and Crematory Operator

Is There Job Demand for Embalmers?

There were about 3,700 jobs for Embalmer in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Embalmer. The BLS estimates 600 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Embalmer are North Carolina, Colorado, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Kentucky, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Embalmer Make?

The salary for Embalmers ranges between about $25,260 and $71,920 a year.


Embalmers who work in New York, Oregon, or Ohio, make the highest salaries.

How much do Embalmers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $40,780
Arizona $46,090
Arkansas $40,270
California $50,280
Colorado $40,180
Florida $47,070
Georgia $36,570
Hawaii $39,320
Illinois $48,750
Indiana $35,880
Kansas $47,180
Kentucky $39,790
Louisiana $47,320
Massachusetts $46,320
Michigan $48,160
Mississippi $38,890
Missouri $52,810
Nevada $33,260
New York $91,760
Ohio $56,010
Oklahoma $48,360
Oregon $51,960
South Carolina $41,720
Tennessee $44,840
Texas $44,450
Virginia $46,710

What Tools & Technology do Embalmers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Embalmers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • FPA Software MACCS
  • HMIS Advantage
  • Belmar & Associates Mortware
  • Custom Data Systems Sterling Management Software
  • Twin Tier Technologies MIMS

How to Become an Embalmer

What kind of Embalmer requirements are there?


What work experience do I need to become an Embalmer?


Who Employs Embalmers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Embalmers employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Senior Airman Andrew Lee via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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