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What Do Embalmer Do?

Career Description Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.

A Day in the Life of an Embalmer

  • Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
  • Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
  • Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
  • Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
  • Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
  • Dress bodies and place them in caskets.

What Every 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.

Types of Embalmer Jobs

  • Embalmer
  • Funeral Service Licensee
  • Chief Embalmer
  • Trade Embalmer
  • Prep Room Supervisor

Job Outlook for Embalmers

In the United States, there were 3,700 jobs for Embalmer in 2016. 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.

Salary for an Embalmer

The average yearly salary of an Embalmer ranges between $25,260 and $71,920.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Embalmers 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?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Embalmers may use on a daily basis:

  • 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 education or degrees do I need to become an Embalmer?


What work experience do I need to become an Embalmer?


Where do Embalmers Work?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



Image Credit: Senior Airman Andrew Lee via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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