Funeral Workers prepare bodies for viewing and burial, arrange and conduct funerals, and perform other specialist funereal services.

Funeral Directors usually need an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Funeral Workers usually need a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • interviewing families and associates of the deceased to assist with funeral arrangements such as the selection of coffin, type of service and publication of death notices
  • advising on funeral costs and welfare provisions
  • collecting bodies from mortuaries
  • ensuring death certificates have been issued, burial and cremation certificates processed and that other legal requirements are met
  • preparing bodies for viewing and burial by washing, draining body fluids, applying padding and cosmetics, dressing bodies and placing them in coffins
  • liaising with clergy and cemetery and crematorium staff
  • coordinating the movement of coffins and funeral cars, arranging floral displays and collecting attendance and tribute cards
  • arranging the placement of coffins at funeral sites, and placing and adjusting floral displays and lighting
  • keeping records and accounts of transactions and services performed
  • may arrange the construction of memorials and the disposal of ashes

Job Titles

  • Funeral Director, Mortician, or Undertaker
  • Other Funeral Workers
  • Funeral Director, Mortician, or Undertaker

    Plans and coordinates arrangements for funerals according to the wishes of the deceased or their relatives. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Other Funeral Workers

    Includes Embalmer, Funeral Director's Assistant. Registration or licensing may be required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Associate Degree or Diploma
  • Employment Size

    2,200
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    29.8%
  • Female Share

    70.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    62.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 2200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Funeral Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Other Services.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 52 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Most workers are aged 45 years or over
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20052600
20063200
20074300
20084400
20094200
20103700
20113600
20122400
20132700
20143300
20152200
20202700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFuneral WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time62.968.4
Part-time37.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)39.240.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Other Services100.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFuneral WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW34.131.8
VIC27.125.5
QLD9.919.8
SA6.16.8
WA19.011.2
TAS2.22.0
NT0.01.1
ACT1.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFuneral WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-243.0-9.99.9
25-342.9-23.423.4
35-445.7-21.721.7
45-5455.7-21.121.1
55-5918.8-8.78.7
60-642.0-5.95.9
65 and Over11.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFuneral WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males29.8Males53.6
Females70.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Funeral Directors usually need an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Funeral Workers usually need a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Funeral Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic, physically fit and can interact well with others.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    95% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Administration and Management

    81% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  3. English Language

    79% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Clerical

    71% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  5. Computers and Electronics

    70% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    93% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    93% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  3. Getting Information

    90% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

    83% Important

    Communicating with customers, the public, government, and others in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

  5. Documenting/Recording Information

    82% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Occupational Information Network Funeral Attendants Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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