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Life As an Embalmer

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

Life As an Embalmer

  • Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
  • Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
  • Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.
  • Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
  • Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
  • Assist coroners at death scenes or at autopsies, file police reports, and testify at inquests or in court, if employed by a coroner.

Qualities of an Embalmer

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

  • Associate Embalmer/Funeral Director
  • Embalmer Apprentice
  • Trade Embalmer
  • Apprentice Embalmer
  • Manager, Embalmer, Funeral Director

Job Outlook 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 600 job openings in this field each year.

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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.

Average Embalmers Salary

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

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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 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

Individuals working as an Embalmer have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Embalmers Work

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

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References:

Image Credit: Senior Airman Andrew Lee via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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