Undertaker Job Description

Morticians, Funeral Service Workers Or Funeral Directors, Often Referred To By The Old-fashioned Term "undertaker," Are Professionals Providing Funeral And Embalming Services For The Dead And Their Families. Although It's Not A Career With Broad Appeal, It's A Stable And Reliable Field. Death Is Proverbially One Of The World's Few Constants, And A Competent Funeral Director With Good Interpersonal Skills Can Build A Substantial Business.

Together With The Family, Funeral Service Workers Establish The Locations, Dates, And Times Of The Visitations (wakes), Funerals Or Memorial Services, Burials, And Cremations. They Handle Other Details As Well, Such As Determining Whether The Body Should Be Buried, Entombed, Or Cremated. This Decision Is Critical Because Funeral Practices Vary Among Cultures And Religions.

Most Funeral Service Workers Deal With Paperwork Pertaining To The Person’s Death, Including Submitting Papers To State Officials To Receive A Death Certificate. Some Help Resolve Insurance Claims Or Apply For Veterans’ Funeral Benefits On Behalf Of The Family.

A Growing Number Of Funeral Service Workers Collaborate With Clients Who Wish To Plan Their Own Funerals In Advance To Ensure That Their Needs Are Met.

Increasingly, Funeral Service Workers Also Help Individuals Adapt To Changes In Their Lives Following A Death With Support Groups.

The Following Are Examples Of Types Of Funeral Service Workers:

Morticians, Undertakers, And Funeral Directors Plan The Details Of A Funeral. They Often Prepare Obituary Notices And Arrange For Pallbearers And Clergy. If A Burial Is Chosen, They Schedule The Opening And Closing Of A Grave With A Representative Of The Cemetery. If Cremation Is Chosen, They Coordinate The Process With The Crematory. They Also Decorate And Prepare The Sites Of All Services, And Provide Transportation For The Deceased And Mourners. They Also Direct The Preparation And Shipment Of Bodies’ Out-of-state Or Out-of-country For Final Disposition.

Morticians, Undertakers, And Funeral Directors Also Handle Administrative Duties. For Example, They Often Must Apply For The Transfer Of Any Pensions, Insurance Policies, Or Annuities On Behalf Of Survivors.

Most Morticians, Undertakers, And Funeral Directors Embalm Bodies. Embalming Is A Cosmetic And Temporary Preservative Process Through Which The Body Is Prepared For A Viewing Of Visitation By Family And Friends Of The Deceased

Funeral Service Managers Oversee The General Operations Of A Funeral Home Business. In This Position, They Perform A Wide Variety Of Duties, Such As Allocating The Resources Of The Funeral Home, Managing Staff, And Handling The Marketing And Public Relations.

Undertaker Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

  • Obtain information needed to complete legal documents, such as death certificates or burial permits.
  • Oversee the preparation and care of the remains of people who have died.
  • Consult with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details, such as obituary notice wording, casket selection, or plans for services.
  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate funerals, burials, or cremations, arranging details such as floral delivery or the time and place of services.
  • Perform embalming duties as necessary.
  • Arrange for clergy members to perform needed services.
  • Contact cemeteries to schedule the opening and closing of graves.
  • Provide information on funeral service options, products, or merchandise and maintain a casket display area.
  • Close caskets and lead funeral corteges to churches or burial sites.
  • Inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families or friends.
  • Discuss and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients.
  • Maintain financial records, order merchandise, or prepare accounts.
  • Provide or arrange transportation between sites for the remains, mourners, pallbearers, clergy, or flowers.
  • Plan placement of caskets at funeral sites or place or adjust lights, fixtures, or floral displays.
  • Direct preparations and shipment of bodies for out-of-state burial.
  • Manage funeral home operations, including the hiring, training, or supervision of embalmers, funeral attendants, or other staff.  
  • Clean funeral home facilities and grounds.
  • Arrange for pallbearers or inform pallbearers or honorary groups of their duties.
  • Receive or usher people to their seats for services.
  • Participate in community activities for funeral home promotion or other purposes.

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