Career Development

What Does a Funeral Assistant Do?

Find out what a funeral assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a funeral assistant.

Funeral assistants are responsible for a wide range of duties related to funerals and funeral services. They may assist with embalming, cremation, or burial procedures; they may also be tasked with setting up the venue for a funeral service, greeting guests as they arrive, providing information about memorial options, etc.

Funeral Assistant Job Duties

Funeral assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Helping families select appropriate accommodations for the deceased, such as cremation or burial
  • Coordinating with funeral home staff to prepare the deceased for viewing at a service or visitation
  • Providing emotional support to grieving family members during difficult times such as wakes, funerals, and memorial services
  • Helping coordinate funeral services, including choosing music selections, ordering flowers, and arranging catering services
  • Communicating with clergy members who will officiate at services
  • Providing transportation for family members who are traveling to funerals or other ceremonies
  • Coordinating with florists, musicians, and other service providers to ensure that all arrangements are completed according to specifications
  • Helping transport the deceased from one location to another, such as from a hospital to a funeral home
  • Recording information about the deceased, including dates of birth and death, cause of death, medical history, and family details

Funeral Assistant Salary & Outlook

Funeral assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the funeral home they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

The employment of funeral assistants is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to hire funeral directors will limit employment growth for funeral assistants. However, funeral directors may choose to employ fewer workers and delegate some tasks to them so that they can focus on more lucrative areas of their business.

Related: Funeral Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Funeral Assistant Job Requirements

A funeral assistant typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most funeral assistants are required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer an associate’s degree in mortuary science or a related field.

Training & Experience: Most funeral homes will provide on-the-job training for new employees. This training will typically include instruction on funeral home policies and procedures, how to prepare bodies for funerals and how to assist families during services. Some funeral homes may also provide training in embalming and cremation.

Certifications & Licenses: Some states require funeral assistants to obtain a license to work in the field. Requirements vary, so you should check the standards in your state.

Funeral Assistant Skills

Funeral assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with families and other funeral home staff. You can use these skills to help families make decisions, answer questions and provide comfort during a difficult time.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. As a funeral assistant, empathy can help you comfort grieving clients and families. You can also use empathy to help you understand the needs of your clients and families and provide them with the best service possible.

Organization: As a funeral assistant, it’s important to be organized. You may be responsible for managing paperwork, tracking inventory and maintaining records. Being able to stay organized can help you complete your tasks efficiently and keep your workplace running smoothly.

Time management: Time management skills allow you to prioritize tasks and manage deadlines. As a funeral assistant, you may be responsible for coordinating the funeral service, managing the deceased’s remains and ensuring the family’s needs are met. Time management skills allow you to complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Detail-oriented: Funeral assistants should be able to pay close attention to detail when performing their job duties. This is because the job requires them to handle many different tasks, including preparing the deceased, arranging the funeral service and preparing the deceased’s final resting place.

Funeral Assistant Work Environment

Funeral assistants work in funeral homes, which are typically small businesses. They work closely with funeral directors to ensure that funeral services are carried out according to the wishes of the deceased person’s family. Funeral assistants are often required to work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may also be on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies. The work can be emotionally demanding, as funeral assistants must deal with grieving families on a daily basis. In addition, funeral assistants must be able to lift heavy objects, such as caskets, and must be comfortable working around dead bodies.

Funeral Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how funeral assistants work. Funeral assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Green Burials

The trend of green burials is growing rapidly as more and more people are looking for environmentally-friendly ways to say goodbye to their loved ones. This means that funeral assistants will need to be familiar with the latest trends in green burial products and services.

As the demand for green burials increases, funeral assistants will need to be able to help families find the right products and services for their needs. They will also need to be able to educate families about the benefits of green burials and how they can help to preserve the environment.

A Shift From Traditional Funerals

The traditional funeral is becoming less popular among younger generations, who are looking for more unique and personalized ways to honor the lives of their loved ones.

This shift has led to an increased demand for funeral assistants who are able to provide unique and personal services. As a result, funeral assistants will need to be able to create unique memorials that reflect the life of the deceased.

Greater Emphasis on Customer Service

The funeral industry is changing, and one of the most significant changes is the increasing emphasis on customer service.

As customers become more demanding, funeral directors and assistants will need to be prepared to meet their needs. This includes providing excellent customer service, as well as being knowledgeable about the products and services that the funeral home offers.

How to Become a Funeral Assistant

A career as a funeral assistant can be both rewarding and fulfilling. It’s a great way to get started in the funeral service industry, and it offers many opportunities for growth. As you progress in your career, you may want to specialize in a particular area of funeral service, such as cremation or memorialization. You may also want to become certified in certain areas, such as embalming or grief counseling.

No matter what stage you’re at in your career, there are always new things to learn. Take advantage of training opportunities offered by your employer and attend conferences and workshops related to funeral service. Read professional journals and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the funeral service industry. Some funeral assistants may wish to become funeral directors. To do this, they must complete a two-year apprenticeship or a four-year college program in mortuary science. Some states require funeral directors to pass a state-administered examination.

Other funeral assistants may wish to advance to positions such as embalmer, crematory operator, or cemetery manager. Some funeral assistants open their own funeral homes. To do this, they must have a sound business background and be familiar with all aspects of the funeral business.

Funeral Assistant Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time for families. As a funeral assistant, you will play an important role in providing support to families during this time of need. You will be responsible for assisting the funeral director with funeral arrangements, preparing the funeral service area, and helping to transport the deceased to the funeral home. You will also be responsible for providing support to families during the funeral service. The ideal candidate will be compassionate, organized, and able to handle difficult situations.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist funeral directors in the preparation of bodies for burial or cremation
  • Embalm bodies using formaldehyde and other chemicals
  • Dress, casket, and cosmetology
  • Assist with funeral services by setting up chairs, preparing the altar, and serving as pallbearers
  • Help transport caskets to gravesites
  • Perform administrative duties such as answering phones, writing letters, and maintaining records
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the funeral home
  • Stock supplies
  • Answer questions from grieving families
  • Direct traffic during funerals
  • Set up and maintain equipment
  • Prepare rooms for viewings

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to lift heavy objects (50+ pounds)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathy and compassion for grieving families
  • Ability to work well under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Funeral service education or experience
  • Experience working in a funeral home or related setting
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)


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