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

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 2,600 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 75.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 37.2 hours Average full-time
  • 53 years Average age
  • 27.5% female Gender Share

The number of Funeral Workers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 2,600 in 2018 to 2,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 200 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Funeral Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales or South Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Other Services industry.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (75.7%, higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 37.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 53 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (83%).
  • Gender: 27.5% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20085500
20094000
20103700
20113100
20123300
20133000
20142200
20151600
20166300
20172800
20182600
20232800

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 2017, 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
NSW44.431.6
VIC22.526.2
QLD10.919.7
SA12.56.7
WA0.010.8
TAS4.72.0
NT1.01.1
ACT4.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-244.1-9.99.9
25-343.6-23.623.6
35-449.3-21.721.7
45-5443.6-20.820.8
55-5919.6-8.88.8
60-6411.7-6.06.0
65 and Over8.1-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Funeral Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-9061.00 - Funeral Service Managers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-9061.00 - Funeral Service Managers.

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